5 Top Tips for Charity Shopping from Preloved Style Expert Paloma in Disguise

I have done a few charity shop outfit round-up’s over on my blog, Paloma In Disguise, throughout the years but I have never done an Oxfam round-up over here, on the Oxfam Fashion Blog. I thought it was about time since many, many of my photographed blog outfits over the years have consisted of a lotta, lotta Oxfam. 

Combined with a few tips to ensure you get the most out of second-hand shopping I thought I would go through a few of my favourite Oxfam purchases.


Tip 1: Visit Often

My number one tip to ensure you get the most out of charity shopping is to visit often. Whether it’s a fleeting visit as you have a few minutes to spare, a scroll on Oxfam Online Shop or you have decided to spend the afternoon browsing the charity shops. Due to the nature of charity shops, you never know when someone your size, with your style and a beautiful wardrobe has dropped of a whole load of loveliness. The more you visit, the more likely you are to find things, from the quirky vintage dress you didn’t know you needed (which was
the case with my paisley pink, full length shirt) or the jumper in the style and colour you had been after for bloomin’ ages. By going fairly often (read: a lot!) I have found a heavily embellished top for New Years Eve, a black midi dress convenient for every single day of my life and a glitterball of a jumper that dresses up even the most casual of outfits! The term ‘right place, right time’ was invented for charity shopping – I’m sure!

Boots, belts and bags
Tip 2: Don’t forget the Accessorise

I should listen to my own advice here. I’m first to the rail of dresses in all charity shops. It’s like I’m on a mission – and that mission is to rummage through every single dress. Then before I know it, it’s time to leave and I walk straight out past the basket FULL of bargain belts. I have found some amazing belts, necklaces and bags over the years that really are a fraction of their original high-street/designer price. Charity shop bargains at their absolute best.

Tip 3: With a little DIY…

Sometimes charity shopping can be daunting in that it’s unlikely you are going to find exactly what you’re after. However, that doesn’t stop you buying something similar and adapting it a little. After a specific slogan T-Shirt? Chances are your local charity shop will sell plain t-shirt’s that, with a few iron on letters from the ol’ internet, can lead to exactly the slogan t-shirt you were after. I shared my own how-to with Oxfam Fashion and created my own lil’ slogan top here. Hems
can be taken up and waistbands can be taken in. One of my most worn Oxfam dresses was my denim button front dress which was originally so long in the length that I would have had a denim train had I left it long. After cutting the hem of to suit short ol’ me better, it is still is the dress I go to for a little effortless, comfortable dressing.


Tip 4: Be open minded

Another thing I am a repeat offender of. Someone will tell me that they picked something up from Oxfam. Next time I’m in there I will be not-so-unconsciously scouting out for that particular item and chances are, I won’t leave with it because it won’t be there!  By looking for specific items, you can miss the things that, with a little thought, can be slotted into your wardrobe perfectly. On the hanger, the check blue shorts weren’t something I thought would work well with the tops and shoes already in my wardrobe. I went ahead and bought these anyway and they
became my absolute favourite outfit when paired with a white shirt and sandals. This was also the case with the check green and red skirt in the autumn before. Worn with thick black tights and either a leather or faux fur jacket, this became my favourite autumnal outfit of 2015. By trying on a few pieces you wouldn’t normally choose, and thinking up a few outfits to incorporate the item into, you can find new favourites you could have missed.


Tip 5: Go with a friend

This tip goes with Tip 4. I find that by going with a friend I am more open to trying things I wouldn’t have tried had I been mooching around by myself. By discussing items I am unsure of, my friends can often provide outfit combinations I wouldn’t have thought of or prompt me to try on clothes I may have dismissed. It’s usually these things I end up loving that little bit more.

And that’s it! Five charity shopping tricks I always use to ensure I don’t miss any second-hand bargains. I wish you good luck as you scour the shops for those hidden gems!


Enjoyed Hannah’s tips? Put them into practise, head to your local Oxfam or Oxfam Online Shop now. 

Shop With Oxfam Online

Three Ways To Style A Second Hand Shirt

My most recent Oxfam buy is a fab, red-white patterned shirt. I can’t quite make out what the pattern is; could be needles, could be teardrops, could be tiny fish. My guess is as good as yours.


Despite its quirky pattern, this £3 silky shirt is highly versatile. So far I’ve managed to fashion 3 outfits from it, and I’m sure the possibilities are endless.

Paired with blue skinnies, this shirt is apt for the bemusing dress code that is smart-casual. I opted for some Chelsea boots in the footwear department. My look isn’t gospel though; ankle boots or pumps would look great too.

 This second outfit yells summer shopping trip, but doubles as night-at-the-bar get up.  Any black, blue or brown a-line skirt will match well, I was lucky; I snagged this one at a clothes swap. Heeled boots keep it glam, a mini satchel keeps it practical.

It’s easy to make a second hand shirt look casual. Don a pair of high-waisted mom jeans, roll up your sleeves, undo a button, and there you go. It’s that “oh, this? It’s just something I had lying around…” look. I’m wearing it with boot heels, but slip on trainers, sandles, or pumps would work well too.

 Why not forage through your local Oxfam and bag a versatile shirt? Plain or patterned, shirts are abundant in charity shops. They’re the purchase that keeps on giving – shirts are great for several occasions!

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop

WOMAD Street Style

Shop festival fashion

WOMAD Festival is full to the brim with creativity, excitement and love. The crowds here have gathered in their hundreds to celebrate the best in music, arts and performance, with acts from across the world coming together to celebrate the wonder in creative arts.

One thing that never fails to impress is the style of the WOMAD festival-goers, with glitter, sequins, hippie trends and festival essentials all coming together in one very fashionable combination!

Team Fash went to select the best dressed from the site at WOMAD and bring it to you guys at home, giving you a taste of the festival for yourselves…

Fashion sense runs in the family for this flowery bunch.

Millie looked great in these colourful hippy trousers and some cute toenail art.

This beaded waistcoat was snapped up in the Oxfam Festival Shop at WOMAD!

Victoria made this unique head chain herself and it topped off her bohemian style perfectly.

This cute cut out dress went perfectly with these on trend metallic creepers.

Elizabeth and Hami channeled a sophisticated, bohemian vie whilst enjoying the day’s music and show how key accessorising is.

We loved Monica’s unique, cloud print parasol which complimented her colourful look.

To get the festival look like these fab fashionistas, check out our edit on the Oxfam Online Shop. To see more of our wonderful WOMAD experiences follow the Oxfam Shops Instagram and @OxfamFashion Twitter .

Latitude Festival: Style Spotting

Shop festival fashion

Latitude Festival is a very trendy when it comes to fashion with a mixture of young and old plus lads and ladies expressing their individuality and super style sense. We saw lots of our predicted festival trends out in full force including fantastic florals, sequins and bright colours. 

Team fash were on site, with eyes peeled and camera ready, to snap some of Latitude’s most fabulously dressed…

What do you think of their festival style? To shop the look, visit the Oxfam Online Shop festival fashion edit.

Festival Fashion Trend Watch: Perfect Prints

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There is a range of trends stemming from festival fashion for summer. We’ve already seen the rise of denim, the reappearance of bright 80’s inspired pop colours, but my favourite of them all is print.

Animal, Aztec, stripes, spots, dots and anything in between! The ability to play around with print is endless and clashing print becomes so wrong, it’s a right.

Dress it up by wearing bright and contrasting prints or keep it casual with a plain top or bottoms, prints are everywhere and this year and they are bold.


These beauties are clashing so bright- they shine! With the bright rainbow colours and the tie-dye inspired dress, they stand out for all the right reasons. The colours are highlighted with the bright floral head garland and the white tee keeps the look classic and understated, yet beautifully chic.

These lovely ladies are another two that stood out amongst the crowd. With her matching crop top and skirt, the 80’s are making a welcome come-back and the use of pastel colours keep her look statement but classy. We love the bright tie-dye top, teamed with the loose black shorts too! Comfy to wear and yet bang on trend- tye-dye is here to stay!

To see how you could customise your clothes and home with a tye-dye effect, head to one of our earlier DIY posts, here

Festival Fashion Trend Watch: Glastonbury Grunge!

The sun may be out, and summer may be here- but you cannot escape the dark. Black- a classic colour that won’t be going anywhere in the fashion world any time soon, made a prominent appearance at Glastonbury 2013.

Layers of dark elegant garments were paired with tanned skin and wellies to bring a casual yet sophisticated look to the fields at Worthy Farm.

Lightening up with a cropped tye-dye tee, these leather look shorts and cap are tokens of an androgynous undertone, teamed with her purchase from the Oxfam Festival Shop, she adds a sparkle of femininity to a masculine ensemble.

Shop festival fashion

These two look ready to rock. Grunge is all about effortlessness so denim and lightweight t-shirts are perfect for the look. We love this vampy, loose knit, long sleeved sweater too. We’ve got a range of fantastic festival essentials on the Oxfam Online Shop, get the look here and look fabulous for your next festival.

With that checked shirt, and short shorts, we love this juxtaposition of androgyny. Counteracting her laid back femininity with a hint of that boyfriend-shirt charm, we love how her red lipstick pops out against her outfit, with the rolled back fringe adding a hint of vintage glamour.

Heading to a festival yourself this summer? The Oxfam Festival Shop will be at Latitude WOMAD, Kendal Calling, Leeds and Bestival this summer- so keep an eye out and bag yourself a festival bargain! Have a look over out summer festival coverage here.

Glastonbury 2013: festival fashion style spotting

As the sun shone brightly, the clothes got more colourful at Glastonbury 2013 and team fash were out in force to style spot the festival goers.

This year we noticed a rise in punk style looks and of course we saw a fair few pairs of dungarees – the trend of the summer. But don’t worry the usual flowers and glitter were still out in force!

Take a look through of what the fashionable festival goers were wearing in and around the Oxfam Glastonbury shop.

Glastonbury fashion style spot

Shop festival fashion

Glastonbury fashion style spot

Glastonbury fashion style spot

Shop festival fashion

Glastonbury fashion style spot

Glastonbury fashion style spot

Shop festival fashion

Glastonbury fashion style spot

Glastonbury fashion style spot

Shop festival fashion

Glastonbury fashion style spot

Glastonbury fashion style spot

Shop festival fashion

Glastonbury fashion style spot

You  can shop your festival look in our high street shops or on the Oxfam Online Shop festival fashion page

Day Three: Style Spotting at the Isle Of Wight Festival

It’s day three at the Isle of Wight Festival and we’re on the hunt for the most stylish and cutting edge outfits on the isle. From charity shop thrift style to bright colours and monochrome ensembles- we snapped them all!

One of our lovely style spots was Beth from Southampton. With a blend of boho chic and middle-eastern tones, Beth looked fantastic.  She had a range of cute accessories, including a fabulous adjoining ring and bracelet that is something we’ll be seeing a lot of this summer. She also wore a fab golden necklace. She said: “I chose this outfit in the hope the sun would come out today.”

Daisy Flood is one that stood out to us – her awesome denim dress was teamed with cool lace-up wellies and a knitted cardigan. She bought her sunglasses whilst at the festival – aren’t they fab? Her mixture of understated essentials and a twist of colour made her festival style stand out from the crowd.  

Shop festival fashion

With a great mixture of prints and contrasting colours, Liz Mellor was also one our faves. With a monochrome dress and cool blue knit cardie, Liz was rocking a fun yet practical look. She topped this off with bright and colourful accessories – a great way to jazz up a festival outfit.

Isle of Wight local, Megan looked sweet in her cream crochet top and denim shorts. Light colours such as pastels, whites and creams are a huge trend on the catwalk for this season- making Megan bang on trend with her gorgeous ensemble.

Our next spot was Prudence from Bedfordshire. She wore a 60s style jacket and an open neck white shirt . She teamed this with a simple silver necklace and floral head band. She said: “I won’t travel to any festival without my headband and hunter wellies.”

Shop festival fashion

Lianne from London hit all the right notes with her festival style. How amazing is her patterned coat?  She knew how to keep warm but still be on trend.

We’ve had such a great time at the Isle of Wight Festival – meeting some amazing people and helping to spread the word of Oxfam Fashion. The Oxfam Festival Shop is travelling to festivals all over the UK this summer including Glastonbury, Latitude, Womad, Kendal Calling, Leeds and Bestival. If you will be joining us at any of the festivals, be sure to come and say hello and treat yourself to some bargains at the same time!

In the meantime, check out our festival edit on the Oxfam Online Shop, for any last minute essentials!

Oxfam Fashion at Hay Festival 2013

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I was lucky enough to be sent down to Hay Festival, a 10 day literature and arts festival in Hay-on-Wye, Wales, to act as the resident style reporter and to attend some sustainable fashion talks. 

Hay Festivals take place all over the world with two festivals taking place in Hay-on-Wye each year; a Spring/Summer festival and a Winter weekend festival. I was welcomed with beaming May sunshine and soaring temperatures when I arrived but was also blessed with the ambience of a music festival from the mud caused by rainfall earlier on in the week. Luckily, I had packed my wellies.

I attended the Hay Festival on the 30th and 31st May and stayed in a beautiful French-meets-British-Victoriana style home. I sat in on a couple of the fashion talks including the Lily Cole and WWF Amazon Adventure and Alannah Weston talks to Dylan Jones Business Breakfast which lasted about an hour each. All talks are extremely affordable at an average of £6 each. 

The Amazon Adventure explored the world of fashion sustainability in the Amazon where Lily learns about extracting rubber from trees (yes, I know – I thought all rubber was artificially made too!) and the Business Breakfast delved into the world of Selfridges, covering the TV series Mr Selfridge and the future of Selfridges.

The festival has a range of talks and workshops across the two weeks from Philosophy to Fashion. There is an eclectic mix of shops, charities, restaurants, bars, outdoor activities, famous figures and book signings. It’s great for all ages, all minds (I’m not a literature/arts buff) and is a refreshing change from music festivals, not to mention a lot cheaper. It exercises and inspires the mind and would make a great day out for as little as £0. 

Vintage store owners Kelli and Jo come together for Hay Festival and run Hay Does Vintage which sells vintage clothing, accessories and homeware. I had my eye on a vintage typewriter and a leather suitcase which I was torn about buying. 

The festival hosts both brain and beauty and proof is in these glamorous Hay Festival goers who were style spotted over the two days… 

  • Bring wellies
  • There is a shuttle from Hay-on-Wyre to the festival that’s £1 and is valid for the entire day
  • Visit the beautiful Hay-on-Wye village itself
  • Bargain hunt, some books in the bookshop can be expensive so take a look in the Oxfam bookshop first.