Charity Shop Tuesday: Testing Out Checks

One of the things I love most about charity shopping is that as most of the stock is second-hand, charity shops don't follow fashion, and thus you can try on a wide range of styles all under one roof. Before I discovered the delights of charity shopping, I would often complain that I couldn't buy new clothes for years at a time, because everything in the shops didn't suit me or was in colours I didn't like.

As the clothes are usually cheaper (hint: look for higher-end high street brands to find the biggest bargains), I don't hesitate to try on anything that catches my eye, even if I have some doubts about it when I'm looking at it on the hanger, and if I like it, I usually don't hesitate to buy it either!

So it was with this dress, which was a donation to the charity shop I used to volunteer in - check out 6 Reasons Why You Should Volunteer in a Charity Shop and How to Donate to Charity Shops (an insider's guide) for more on my experience there.

I hadn't really worn a lot of either dark blue or checked fabric since I'd left school and the trauma of my hideous navy-and-cream-checked uniform behind, but this dress caught my eye for some reason. I decided to try it on, and I fell in love.

Dark blue, it turns out, looks really good with my brown hair and brown eyes, and wearing this dress also gives me an excuse to wear dark blue eye-makeup and nail polish.

I love the shape of it, it wraps around and the skirt sticks out a bit - I often emphasise this by wearing another skirt underneath!

Unfortunately, although I have worn it on some memorable occasions (an early date with my boyfriend, and to a couple of parties), it doesn't get that frequent an airing. It's one of those dresses that's a bit too fancy for everyday wear but not formal enough for really special occasions.

Also, with its low neckline it's strictly a summer dress - wearing a long-sleeved top underneath it doesn't work, though I have a black wraparound top I can wear on top to make it suitable for slightly cooler days.

If I'd owned this dress back in my student days I'm sure I would have worn it a lot, but now it tends to languish at the back of my wardrobe for most of the year. If only I'd discovered charity shopping sooner!

When did you start (assuming you have started!) charity shopping?

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