I am a firm Charity Shop fan. I think with a bit of imagination and a change in your attitudes to shopping you can find some amazing bargains and create a style that’s yours, rather than borrowed from the plastic dummies in New Look. But I don’t very often talk about DONATING to Charity Shops.
Whenever I have a wardrobe clear out I take bags of stuff round to my local Charity Shop, where hopefully they can find a new home and do some good in the process. However, apparently, commercial roadside collections have meant charities like BHF have seen a dip in donations of about a third recently. That’s obviously worth a lot of money to a Charity!
I firmly believe that the charities have to be proactive about donations. I can’t stand shops with snotty signs telling you not to leave stuff outside. Charity shops are often only open 10-4 and offer no other options for people who are at work all day to donate. Well the BHF *are* being pro active and are running their Big Donate campaign this September. They have collection points in shopping centres and are running roadside collections themselves.
As part of the campaign they have asked me and several other bloggers to pop along and style a window in their local shop using donations. The idea being to help publicise the Big Donate campaign and show people what you can find in Charity Shops.
I went along last Friday with the intention of creating an autumnal day and evening window. I wanted tweeds and stout walking brogues for day and something glamourously eveningy. I spent the entire of the night before cutting out black and white leaves to stick on the window (black for the night-time side and white for day, see!)
On arrival my first snag was that there was only one female dummy, so my daytime look is actually on a not at all cunningly disguised cross dressing male dummy called Adam. I also wasn’t dealing with a big modern glass picture window like many BHF shops. Oh no, this is Norwich, and the BHF is housed in very old building with many tall and winding stairs and a panelled exterior, so my working space was a little squished and you can’t see all the way to my dummies “feet”.
I have attempted to photograph my finished window. It is very difficult to photograph windows! It’s like a magic eye picture, you have to refocus till you can’t see the reflection of the building opposite….
On the left is a Frank Usher navy blue evening dress donated by me. It’s full length with a small train as well. Terribly glamorous! I also donated the faux fur stole (I now need another one!) The evening look also has a diamante choker and black shoes which are buried under the ye olde worlde panelled windows!
On the right, my day time tweedy look. Might not be to everyone’s tastes, but I love it! A vintage wool tweed skirt (charity shops are a GREAT place to hunt for these, I found 5!) a green jumper, tweedy Planet jacket with a brown velvet trim and a flat cap. Teamed, of course, with a string of pearls. Those stout walking brogues are again hidden by the window sill, but personally I was very pleased with my tweedy autumn look, even if my dummy is a cross dresser!
Between the dummys I created little co ordinating lifestyle type displays.
For evening, a cocktail shaker and glass, some diamante jewellery and a string of pearls.
And for day time some autumnal shades with a copper pot, slightly deco style ornament, tea cup and scarf.
Now APPARENTLY, at the end of the month these windows are going to be voted for on the BHF Facebook page, I didn’t actually know that at the time, but I’ll be sure to badger you to death to vote for me when it happens.
What do you think at my attempts at window dressing?