I first discovered vintage shops when I came down to Brighton from Yorkshire, to the Art College.
In the early ’80s, 1950s clothing was hot and we’d buy our original Levis 501, dresses, skirts and suits in places like May’s Antique Clothing on Trafalgar Street. A few years later the first charity shop opened, and I became a fan for life.
Charity shops were the naffest thing on earth through the late ’80s, the ’90s and the first few years of the 200s, when big brands and designer bling took the fashion and interior decor stage. But I stuck to charity shops all the way through and never got into buying expensive clothes. It’s not that I’m tight, I just like unusual stuff.
I’ve had a lifelong passion for antiques too, from Art Nouveau and Deco furniture to 1950s pottery and 1950s-70s art. And I’ve found some outstanding pieces for next to nothing over the years, in charity shops and junk emporia from Brighton east to Rye and west as far as Bognor and Arundel.
What have I dug up so far this month, on my charity shop adventures?
- a beautiful 1950s suit, 100% silk, with a 3/4 sleeve cropped jacket and pencil skirt, for £25
- a pair of hugely expensive leather upper and sole cowboy boots for £8
- a pretty oak chair dating to about 1910 for £15 (pictured), which I re-covered
- three luscious crystal decanters for £4, £6 and £8
- a lovely Persian-style rug for a fiver (pictured)
It’s amazing what you can find if you take the time to rummage. Since the recession bit charity shops have become chic, and they’re a fantastic source of gorgeous goodies. If you haven’t given it a go yet, you’re in for a treat. The more wealthy the area, the better quality the bargains – see what you can find!
We’d love to hear about the bargains you’ve uncovered in charity and junk shops.