Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a great love of charity shops and finding a bargain. As a lover of designer, High Street and vintage clothing, I have been able to find some really great pieces from Charity shops all across the Midlands. So I was really honoured when I was asked to take part in the very first blogger Charity shop challenge at the Bournville branch of the Birmingham St Mary’s hospice shop.
The Birmingham St Mary’s hospice is an independent adult hospice providing care to people across Birmingham and Sandwell. It cares for around 1,200 people a year, many who receive care in their own homes supported by the hospice at home schemes. It is free of charge for all patients, so has to raise £8million per year to fund the care. It has recently launched its #CareatChristmas campaign and the charity shop challenge that I took part in is part of this challenge, hoping to raise awareness of the two boutique Charity shops which are filled with stunning pieces, often brand new and complete with original tags.
The Bournville branch of the St Mary’s hospice shops is one of two boutique shops in the company, with the second being situated in Dorridge. The Boutique branding means that these are great for those looking for a special outfit – for a black tie event, a wedding, or just a very special outfit to wear on Christmas day. There are designer finds from brands like Michael Kors, high end High Street from Jacques Vert and Kaliko, and even a touch of vintage in the form of faux fur coats from the 1950s and 60s.
I was tasked with putting together an outfit that I would wear on the theme ‘Walking in a Winter Brumderland’. looking at pieces that would work for a day or night in Birmingham, enjoying some shopping, taking in Mulled Wine on the German Market, and generally being warm and stylish too.
The first dress I chose was a Missoni style striped number that proved to be too short for me, although it would’ve been fine with leggings. I then hit paydirt with an amazing (and brand new) M&S swing coat in my favourite shade of mustard. This was size 14, but it did fit, although maybe not as ‘swingy’ as it should be. I loved the fabric (pure new wool) and the gorgeous colour – this was definitely something I would wear. I teamed it with a gorgeous fluffy jumper from New Look – again, with tags and unworn, and my favourite bargain piece, a Gok Wan skirt that was priced at just £5 and fitted like a dream. I also found an Elvi hat, a little bit Downton Abbey but great for a cold night on the market, and a pair of leather Clarks ankle boots – hardly worn and priced at £10.
I was really happy with my picks, which I think were classic and wearable, and could be mixed and matched with lots of other pieces in my wardrobe. The whole outfit would come to around £65, which isn’t the cheapest in terms of charity shops, but in terms of quality and condition (brand new pieces, leather boots and pure new wool) is both good and for a such good cause too.
If you want to find out more about the work of the Birmingham St Mary’s hospice and the work it does, click here to visit their website.
You can also follow on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/brumshospice/