I’m gonna be honest, I’ve never really been into charity shop shopping. I used to pop into one or two every now and then but I could never find anything decent. I couldn’t be bothered to trawl through the rubbish to find the hidden gems that I’d heard so much about.
My friend Charlotte (from Discovering Charlotte and Shoestring Chic) absolutely loves charity shops. So a couple of weeks ago she introduced me and Kirstie (from Behind the Scent) to the world of charity shop shopping.
LOROS have 28 shops across Leicestershire and Rutland but Charlotte showed us round the store on Market Street in Leicester city centre. LOROS is a hospice charity and provide support for terminally ill people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. They care for over 2500 people every year and only receive a third of their funding from the NHS.
Charlotte told us that this particular LOROS shop is great for charity shop newbies because it’s not like your typical charity shop, and she was right. It’s spacious, organised and it doesn’t have that typical charity shop smell – you know the smell I’m talking about!
We were introduced to the manager, Abigail, as soon as we walked in. She was really friendly and assured us that if we had any questions we only had to let her know and she’d help us out. This instantly made me feel at ease as, to be honest, I didn’t really know what I was doing!
I was afraid that I wouldn’t find anything worthy of even trying on and the last thing I wanted to do was offend Charlotte or Abigail! But before long we all had armfuls of clothing to take into the fitting rooms.
I wasn’t looking for anything specific so I picked up a few dresses, a couple of tops and a pair of jeans. Surprisingly none of them were complete disasters, in fact there were actually a couple of gems in there!
I bought a grey shirt with buttons down the front and a tie in waist. It’s a fairly basic top, but it’s cute. The waist is really flattering and the neckline is perfect for me, which doesn’t happen very often. Please excuse it’s crinkled state! I think the material might be linen, if not then it’s very similar so you can see every single crease. It was only £6.50 so I couldn’t resist!
I also bought some adorable polka dot jeans. They’re a great length and there’s plenty of stretch in all the right places. They fit perfectly, which was a surprise as normally I struggle to find jeans to fit. Also, they were an absolute steal at only £5.50! I love them so much that I’m going to include them in an upcoming outfit of the day post, so be on the lookout.
My ultimate bargain was my floral Joules dress. It still has the original tag on and it fits like a glove. The length is great, the pattern is beautiful and it was only £20! Joules is one of my favourite brands but it’s quite expensive so when I found this I was over the moon! The material feels like such great quality. I know I’ll get loads of wear out of this dress.
LOROS stock high end brands and designer labels so the price point is naturally going to be higher than your typical charity shop. While I was there I saw a Calvin Klein dress, a Whistles silk top and Charlotte told us that they once had a bright pink Vivienne Westwood dress for sale!
The fact that LOROS is a charity shop does not make their stock any less valuable. They’re still high end and designer pieces. Some of them have never been worn! Why wouldn’t you pay a little more when it’s going towards a local and deserving charity?
They even have a bridal boutique hidden away at the back of the store! Now, I absolutely love Say Yes to the Dress so I couldn’t wait to see all of the beautiful gowns. They also had shoes, jewellery, headpieces and bridesmaids dresses too. Everything a bride could possibly need all in one place.
Some people don’t like second hand things, and that’s okay! LOROS understand that too, so they have a homeware range which is a great mix of second hand and brand new. They have all sorts of goodies including candles, trinket boxes (which I’ve got my eye on!) and quote plaques. If you’re looking for a gift for a friend or family member then LOROS would be a great place to look.
I never thought I’d say this, but I’ve been converted. I was never anti-charity shops, not at all. I just wasn’t shopping in the right ones and I didn’t have the right attitude.
You can tell from the way Abigail speaks about LOROS and the shop that it means something to her on a personal level. To be honest, that’s something, in my opinion, that we don’t see enough of. I find it hard to give to charities when I see them spending donations on big bosses’ salaries and glossy TV adverts. 91p of every £1 donated to LOROS goes into patient care and all money raised is spent in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. I don’t know about you, but that sounds good to me!
To find out more about LOROS and make a donation you can visit their website or follow them on Twitter. Charlotte is holding a frocktober frock swap event in aid of LOROS which you can get involved with too. You can find all the details and RSVP here. Plus, LOROS are holding a frock, swap and shop event at the hospice. You can find more information about that here.
Let me know in the comments, have you ever visited a LOROS shop? If you’re not from Leicestershire or Rutland what are your favourite charity shops? What’s the best thing you’ve ever bought from a charity shop?