January is a tough month; having spent way too much money over the festive season, now I’m left feeling less than jolly. And now this: a charity event. Why would anyone host a charity event in January? And invite me to be a special guest? I have to go even though I feel like I’m the one in need of charity! Besides being broke, I also don’t own a stitch of formal or fancy clothing.

At times like these I am grateful for my ability to think on my feet. And this problem calls for one solution. The thing that got me into this mess, will get me out: shopping. I’ll buy an outfit for a charity event from a charity shop! I live in Kalk Bay and love the Animal Rescue Organisation Charity Shop. There is always someone visiting Lesley, the women in charge of the little garage shop under the imposing China and Whatnot Shop. Lesley always lends a hand and is ready with advice. “No, I don’t like that top on you – it’s too puffy!”

An hour later I gladly pay R240 for a winning outfit (Outfit 1) – including all accessories. On top of that I feel good about supporting such a great cause.

A bit of advice for first time charity shop shoppers:

– Pick an item that catches your eye, like a colourful bangle and find clothes that match, compliment or contrast it to suit your personal style.
– Pick items that you’ll be able to wear with items already in your wardrobe.
– Take a friend along and make it a fun outing whilst also having a second opinion on hand.
– Negotiate. Get to know the staff and become a regular. They will be very helpful in keeping things aside for you or even be on the lookout for things you might like.

Explore your area and find out where to shop. Here’s a handy website listing some of the charity shops in South Africa – www.charitysa.co.za/charity-shops

Outfit 1:

Outfit 1 option 1

Skirt – R30
Jacket – R50
Bangles – R30
Necklace – R50
Handbag – R30
Shoes – R50
TOTAL = R 240

Outfit 2:

Outfit 2

Dress – R80
Handbag – R30
Shoes – R50
TOTAL = R 160

Outfit 3:

Outfit 3

Tights – R30
Top – R50
Hat – R40
Bangle – R30
Necklace – R30
Shoes – R60
TOTAL = R 240

Outfit 4:

Outfit 4

Skirt – R40
Top – R30
Scarf – R10
Handbag – R30
Shoes – R50
TOTAL = R 160

So if you’re starting work or school and your wardrobe needs some shaking up, then shop cheaply. Share with us where you do your inexpensive shopping.

Written by Sonja Kruse


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