Charity Shop Checks

A couple of mornings a week, I volunteer in one of the Cancer Research shops in Belfast. I used to call into this particular shop regularly as it’s renowned for having good quality stock so when the girls started nursery, I decided to start working there. If you’ve ever thought about doing this, I urge you to give it a go. The other girls who work there are so friendly and there’s a real satisfaction in knowing you’re helping a great cause.
Oh, and you get first dibs on anything nice that comes in…like today’s coat! Perk of the job..

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Coat – Charity Shop
Jeans – Gok for TU @ Sainsburys
Boots – Mango
Necklace – Promod
Handbag – Fossil c/o Menarys
White Vest – M&S

It’s a checked asymmetrical hem wool coat from Savida at Dunnes. Not an expensive brand but I loved the quirkiness of it. It’s a distinctive style and not one that I would normally go for - therefore not a coat I would want to pay a lot of money for. But I loved the grey colour way and the neckline and for £10, you couldn’t go wrong. It went through the wool wash in my machine and came out perfect….couldn’t resist a wee twirl to show it off…

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 The colours in this coat were perfect to wear with another Christmas present – this time from my friend Colette who came to stay with us just before Christmas. Loving this statement necklace from Promodit’s the perfect colour for my wardrobe..

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Underneath, I had another charity shop find – one I’ve shared before on this blog. It’s a cashmere All Saints long line v-neck number in charcoal, which I picked up for £4.50. 

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Moral of the story – don’t write off a charity shop for picking up quality items at a fraction of the price. Sure, there’s a fair amount of tat but that makes finding a wee gem even more satisfying! And if you don’t what to shop in one, why not volunteer for a few hours a week? Most are desperate for helpers and mums with a few hours free in the morning make perfect volunteers, especially if like me, you’re hoping to re-join the workforce in the near future. This kind of practical volunteering work is very useful to fill gaps in employment  - my gap is almost 5 years….how fast that went in! 
I’ll leave you with a funny photo one of the twins wanted me to take. I think she has blogging aspirations – totally rocking her Girls’ Brigade uniform, Boden hoody and mummy’s Fossil Bag!

Charity+CHeck6 Charity Shop Checks


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  1. ASH Reply

    Wow Avril – both finds are wonderful. Love the shape of the coat – and All Saints cashmere (and such a useful colour and shape) for £4.50? – I wish we had charity shops with that kind of stock near me! x

    • Thanks Anna – it’s a bit hit and miss I have to confess. About 2 visits in 5, I find something worth buying and of course, sizing is always a challenge! But yes, the All Saint’s jumper will remain my best ever find! xx

  2. ClaireH Reply

    Coat is tres Westwood darling!

  3. Carol Li Reply

    Well done for finding such bargains in the charity shops. I tend to find that charity shops in more affluent areas have much better selection and quality clothes to choose from so they are worth visiting.

    The other alternative to charity shops is dress agencies and ebay :-)

  4. The Flaky Fashionista Reply

    Love the twirling pics, lol! My MIL volunteers at an Oxfam shop and I know she really enjoys having first pick on stock that comes in and has picked up some incredible bargains in the past. Clearly the future of School Gate Style is in good hands with the twins!!

  5. MyStyle Reply

    Hi Avril! Oh yes, it’s great to see your wonderful charity shop finds and you are so right in that perfectly gorgeous items can be found this way at a fraction of the original cost. Not just that it is a great way to donate-it can be addictive though, lol! Your coat looks lovely and your daughter is such a cutie! Thanks for stopping by and it’s great to meet a like minded lady-I’ve added you to my blogroll as I’ll be visiting regularly! Sharon x

  6. PoppysStyle Reply

    The coat is gorgeous – I have it on my list to visit Goodwill here soon – I’ve heard of some great designers finds.

    • Thanks Joanna – I’ve heard that US thrift shops are great and actually Thrift or Goodwill is a much nicer word to describe them I think. ‘Charity shop’ can sound a bit tragic…something for Cancer Research to consider perhaps..Avril x

  7. I echo Claire on this one – very Westwood and for £10 – how fab! That’s a rocking pic of your little one – does she get it from Mom? I can’t say I’ve seen you pulling this pose yet (facial expression included)?

  8. Sara Victoria Reply

    what lovely finds! Which cancer research shop is it? I am from Ni too and I always look for stuff in charity shops and i am rarely successful. So envious of all the people who find complete outfits from second hand stores.

    great post

    sara x

    • Thanks Sara – have left a comment on your blog…loving those shoes you’re giving away! The shop I work in is the Lisburn Road one. Tuesdays and Fridays – call in if you’re in the area! Avril x

  9. lorn195 Reply

    Lovely coat, I have bought myself some lovely coats from charity shops. They are well worth a browse.

  10. Treasuresnpleasures Reply

    Great finds Avril, Savida have some great pieces and I think their quality is very good too, I miss working beside the Forestside one it def the best one. Can’t believe you got that jumper there too, I’ve a big bag of stuff sitting for the charity shop, hope someone finds something they love in it too.

  11. Great coat. I love charity shop shopping.Last year i got a Hobbs skirt, Toast coat,Boden shirt and Joe Brown’s dress -all new or very nearly new.

  12. Stephanie Lam Reply

    Such a cute outfit!! Love the plaid coat!!

    PS. I’d love it if you could visit my blog and follow me if you like it!! :)


  13. I remember that coat as I almost bought it instore when it first came out at Dunnes! Lovely on you x

  14. Style At Every Age Reply

    What a great buy! The coat looks gorgeous on you! I wish the charity shops in my area were better but they are utter rubbish and we have a high street full of them!

  15. *sigh* fab coat- what a find! Is there much in a size 16 turns up? Must pop in soonx

  16. this coat is such a great find – I am so unlucky in charity shops…


  17. Great coat, love it!! off to look around my charity shops now :) Arr you little model is so sweet and stylish, has she been watching mummy pose? my daughter always say this pose mum? wait this one ha:)