My 6 Favourite Second Hand Fashion Buys

Why waste your money on disposable fashion when there's charity shops out there filled with beautiful garms just waiting to be bought?
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Why waste your money on disposable fashion when there's charity shops out there filled with beautiful garms just waiting to be bought?

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Donegal tweed tie

There’s something I find especially charming about Donegal tweed, more so than Harris. The Irish landscape resonates through the colours traditionally used in the weave: the mossy greens, reds, and earthy browns. Picked this tie up in a local charity shop for the princely sum of a pound. They're fairly easy to pick up on eBay, a simple piece but gets a lot of attention. Best matched with a flatcap - Racing Post chic.

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Three-button check blazer

After opening a factory with three sewing machines in an old bomb making factory, Alfons Muller became one of Germany's leading post-war tailors. His hard wearing wool suits were built to last, which fortunately for me means this fitted three button, high lapel, blazer still looks as good today as it did then. The matching strides didn't make the journey to the Islington charity shop where I found this, but a plain charcoal grey wool pair do the job instead. This came with the previous owner's shopping list folded up in the inside pocket: "butter, brot, milch."

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Ruby tie pin

This was originally my Great Nan’s engagement present to my Great Granddad and was recently handed down to me. Nobody in my family can remember the exact date, but we’re guessing late 1920s, early '30s. The gold outer encases a small red stone (possibly a ruby but my Nan can't remember that either) in the centre which catches the light beautifully. I've yet to find occasion to wear it.

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Houndstooth jacket

Nabbed this in a Paris flea market and it cost me less than a packet of duty free fags. US made, one button, houndstooth jacket with a brown suede collar. Garish, brash, it's got 'Tupelo used car salesman' all over it. A few telling alteration scars on the inside show that this started life as a longer, probably ¾ length coat, but the original owner, probably a shortarse like myself, decided to take it up to blazer length. I had it nipped in at the back to give it a more modern sillouhette, still keeping a looser fit overall which allows for a thick winter jumper to sit comfortably underneath.

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Ducker & Son's shoes

Oxford’s Ducker and Son’s: shoemakers to Evelyn Waugh, JRR Tolken, Baron Von Richthofen, and now me, in a roundabout way. With over 100 years of history, they're currently the only traditional shoemakers left in the city which gives the lace-panelled style its name. When I bought these they looked like they'd only been worn indoors, less crease lines than your average Essex girl's forehead, even so, they’d been freshly fitted with a pair of Mack James soles. Dandy to say the least.

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Leather doctor's bag

Picked this up from Le Braderie de Lille, a flea market which takes place every September in the northern French city. It’s probably my favourite thing I own, unfortunately it’s taken a bit of a battering since bringing it back to Blighty and the leather is splitting down the sides. I've been stopped more times in the street and asked about this bag than I can remember - one chap followed me down the length of Old Compton St shouting at me to "name my price". Imagine how that must've looked to someone with the wrong end of the stick.