I have been labelled as ‘The Snob’ of the family for quite some time now. This is due to my sometimes-sharp tongue, my dislike of children’s sticky fingers and snotty noses, of not buying food that’s been open to the elements for any period of time, and my general like of things to be new.

So when my sister came to stay and brought with her a present for me from my mum, it took all my self-reasoning to accept it. At first I was touched; my mum had found and bought a dress for me that she thought I would like (always a difficult thing with me – I’m picky at the best of times) and let’s face it, there’s a strict window of time in which we let our mums buy our clothes, so this was going to be interesting. I took out the dress from the bag and my initial reaction was “hmm, not sure but I’ll try it on”, that was until the label fell out.

“Er, did mum actually buy me a dress from a charity shop??” Was my question to my sister.

“Oops, I don’t think mum was meant to leave the tag on.” Was my sister’s answer.

A second hand dress…I borrow clothes from people I know, but I sure don’t buy clothes from places that I don’t know who would have worn it before me. I folded the dress up and put it back in the bag for my sister to take home again. Normally that would be the end of that, I wouldn’t give it another thought…but for some reason it continued to play on my mind. And boy did I begin to feel shitty and ungrateful.

A couple of hours later and I thought, perhaps I should at least try it on, after all, mum did take the time to lovingly think of me and buy me something she thought I’d appreciate.

So I tried it on. Still being completely honest it’s not a dress I would’ve picked for myself as I’m not sure about all the straps but generally I don’t think it looks too bad, and it will be good for my upcoming holiday. As the saying goes “mum knows best”. I think the fact that my mum got it for me and that it doesn’t actually look like it’s been worn, has let me see past the label.


Label dress Label Dress


Does this mean I will now begin to rummage through charity shops for hidden clothing gems? No. But perhaps I won’t be so quick to pass judgement on gifts. I suppose it’s no different to shopping for vintage clothing, but then again I don’t think I’d do that either. Vintage items for around the home though, now that’s a different matter altogether.

What about you guys, I’d love to hear how you feel about clothes shopping in charity shops. Would you? Do you?


Until next time.


18 thoughts on “Seeing past the label

  1. I love op-shopping. So much cheaper than buying clothes brand new, and I’ve never found anything I’ve been dissatisfied with. If you ever went I think you would be truly surprised at the quality of clothes you can get. I’m not sure if this happens anywhere else, but down here in Aus, a lot of charity shops have a “brand” section for clothes with well-known brands.

    • The cheaper factor is true, the dress my mum got me was £1. You can’t get anything that cheap anymore yet my mum finds a whole dress! I used to go to charity shops with my nan a lot when I was little and they were just filled with horrible looking rags then but maybe times have moved on, a “brand” section would be awesome if they were good condition too!

  2. I love a bargain, but I don’t care for “treasure hunting”. That’s what thrift stores are like in my opinion. I’ve been, I’ve bought a few things I loved,but just not motivated to do it regularly.

  3. Maybe I would now that I’m an adult. There’s always a bit of apprehension though at the back of the mind, probably instilled by secondary school kids you studied with. I think I’d be looking over my shoulder to see if any of them could see me lol. The dress looks lovely though 🙂

  4. I used to shop in thrift shops all the time, since that’s what my family did when I was younger.

    I must admit though, I don’t shop at them nearly as much now that I’m grown. I enjoy buying myself new clothes and consider shopping for them a bit of a rare treat, anyway.

  5. I love thrift shopping !! I’ve been doing it since I was young but now in Cali it’s very “in”. Like people will brag about how they got something at the thrift store. Funny isn’t it ? Haha

    • Yes it is funny how different places have different ideas on exactly the same thing. I do think it’s kinda going that way here too (slowly) but I’ve not caught up with it yet.

  6. It’s the thought of who wore it before! I know they’re washing but even so, it’s a little worrying. Regardless of where it’s from, it looks lovely on you – very flattering and the colour suits you too.

  7. I think the key is to not feel obligated to buy something. If there is nothing that meets your fancy, it’s time to move on. But every once in awhile there can be a gem that seems exactly meant to be.

  8. While I would appreciate the gesture, I’m not sure if I would wear it. I don’t mind buying other things from shops like that, but wearing something someone else has worn is a little different. I guess it depends…?

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