We trawled Egham’s charity shops for some classic clobber

There was even a wedding dress


Let’s face it, charity shops get a lot of flak. We’ve all walked past them hundreds of times on our way to Tesco on Egham High Street but rarely does anyone go in them. Many people aren’t keen on the idea of buying second-hand clothes and steer clear of them, but you’ll be amazed at what you can find if you invest a bit of time to rummage through the rails.

Here are some of the hidden gems found among the bric-a-brac when we went for a tour of Egham’s finest charity shops.

Oxfam

The moment we walked through the door we spotted this vintage aviator jacket. The thermal lining makes it perfect for winter and at £6.99 I snatched it up quicker than you can say British Heart Foundation. Oxfam is also a great shop because they specialise in Fairtrade goods so when you’re at the till you can pick up some guilt-free chocolate.

We made our way to the dress rack and two little black dresses caught my eye. You can never have too many LBDs, easy to dress up or down and perfect to throw on for an SU night or formal. This sparkly little number cost £7.99. I love the side split and the plunging neckline adds an extra cheeky element to the outfit.

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If you want a more classic look then this ruffled French Connection dress is perfect. A lot more versatile and a great example of the high street labels you can find in your local charity shop for a fraction of the RRP.

Blue Cross

Upon entering Blue Cross, we were once again greeted by an amazing bargain. We found an amazing black embellished evening dress for £25 and couldn’t resist trying it on. This would be perfect for any Royal Holloway ball.

Across all the charity shops, there was an ongoing trend of shirt dresses which were often available for quite low prices.

We also stumbled upon an assortment of onesies. They’re literally the laziest Halloween costume ever but they work perfectly every time. This bumble bee one from BooHoo.com stole my heart, it was the bee sting and the wings on the back which made it.

Shaw Trust

We popped next door to Shaw Trust and browsed the men’s section. Charity shops are a great place to find checked shirts: this one from Marks & Spencer’s is actually a men’s pyjama top, but no one would know. I was pretty chuffed it matched my skirt.

British Heart Foundation

BHF have a “brand new” range of jewellery and bags so if you really don’t like second-hand items but still want to donate to a great cause then this is the shop for you. Many people also donate unwanted new clothes and gifts so you can find items which still have their original store tags on them, like these barely-worn heels.

We found this adorable vintage-inspired red dress.

Never one to turn down a mini skirt, I grabbed this metallic looking one from Topshop, another great high street brand.

Another reason charity shops are brilliant is you can try out brand new styles without breaking the bank. I’d never normally go for something like this but after trying it on, I loved it. It’s such an effortless look and was only £6.99.

Sue Ryder

I couldn’t resist trying this old wedding dress but I definitely discovered this style is not for me. I did not say yes to the dress.

If you can’t stand tight skinny jeans, these baggy green velvet trousers are perfect. If you’re running late for a lecture or have a full day ahead of you, chuck these on and you’re good to go.

So there you have it, plenty of quirky clothing and high street names. Next time you’re on your weekly Tesco run, pop in and check out the latest bargains.