It takes a bit of practice but you can learn to identify cashmere by feel so that you can quickly go through shop rails and find those cashmere sweaters.

Don’t worry too much about bobbles – pure cashmere (or any fabric that’s not a mixed fibre) should brush up quite well using a bobble comb. As long as you’re not going to resell the item, it’s easy to fix snags and holes using a couple of stitches, they soon blend in.

Yesterday I bought:

  • Shirin Guild shirt
  • Max & Moi cardigan
  • AllSaints shirt
  • AllSaints top
  • RVCA bomber jacket
  • Pure Collection cashmere jumper
  • COS jumper
  • Mint Velvet top

Not every day will be a great day

Well I’ve certainly had a bit of a dry couple of days in the shops. Lots of nice items from my lovely private clients but not much I’ve found myself. If this happens to you, don’t get disheartened – you’ll suddenly have an amazing day and you’ll be back in love with thrifting.

Veja trainers

On quiet days it’s a good idea to go through your own wardrobe to see what you can sell. I never wear my Veja trainers because they hurt my feet! They seem more popular than ever so I’ll try to sell them for a decent price (UK 7 if anyone’s interested!).

The advantage of buying secondhand designer clothes is that you can nearly always find something in your own wardrobe to sell.

Today I did find a gorgeous Zadig & Voltaire foil top, an Icebreaker hiking top, and a Mint Velvet Lips print jumper. Not bad but I’ve become spoilt!

Don’t forget the sale rail!

Iris & Ink jumpsuit

Today I bought this Iris & Ink ‘Alexa’ jumpsuit for just £1.00!! Although sale rails can be a bit daunting, and there isn’t always much to be had, it’s always worth a look. Even if you find some Zara jeans or a Gap sweater, that’s not bad for £1.00 (or at least half price). I once found a Victoria Beckham dress on a sale rail.

I only managed to pop into one secondhand shop today but as well as the jumpsuit I found:

  • The White Company long cardigan
  • Joyce Ridings skirt
  • & Other Stories dress
  • Scotch & Soda shirt
  • Joules scarf

Stay seasonal

Although it’s tempting to buy unseasonal items, do so with caution. Some brands will always sell but in winter you’ll find it hard to shift vests, tees and shorts no made what the label is. If you have the space and the cash flow, keep items until the weather makes them more appealing.

Today I found a good range of items:

  • Luisa Spagnoli jumper
  • Icebreaker jumper
  • Hansel from Basel jumper
  • Hartford coat
  • Peruvian Connection cardigans x 2
  • Carven skirt
  • Elisa Cavaletti dress
  • Hanne Bloch tunic
  • La Bottega di Brunella top

Should you buy vintage?

By vintage I mean true vintage, not just secondhand. It’s a difficult question to answer but I generally find that items still need to be designer, even if they are vintage. You may have more luck on platforms such as Depop with high street vintage but I don’t think there’s that much money to be made.

With some care, you can do well from vintage Laura Ashley (the real ’80s stuff), and some Benetton styles are sought after too. Outdoor brands like Patagonia, Karrimor etc. can fetch a good price for their vintage items. As always, check sold prices on eBay before buying. I’ll try to write a longer piece on this topic at a later date.

Today I did pretty well and bought the following:

  • Eskandar dress (particularly thrilled with this, a bit of a secondhand holy grail!)
  • Joie jumper
  • OSKA jacket
  • Jaeger coat
  • Vintage Laura Ashley jumper
  • Vintage Macy’s cardigan
  • Zadig & Voltaire top
  • Max Mara skirt
  • Cath Kidston dress

Another first time find

Really pleased to find this &Daughter jumper on an otherwise not very successful day.

&Daughter wool jumper

In addition I found a Nicole Farhi belt, a Gudrun Sjoden shirt and some ISCHIKO knitted trousers.

Note that it’s always worth making time to have a rummage among the belts and scarves in charity shops because you can find some real treasures there, usually for just a couple of pounds.

Found something fantastic? Let me know!

High street finds

Some lovely high end high street finds today, nearly all from a single shop. Some of these things can fetch just as much as a designer garment so they’re worth buying. If you don’t want to sell them they can be great additions to your own wardrobe.

Today I found:

  • Whistles floral blouse
  • Anna Sui Anthropologie blouse
  • Mint Velvet sweater
  • & Other Stories dress
  • Whistles wool jacket
  • Mango suede jacket
  • Oliver Bonas top
  • Cafe du Cycliste t-shirts x 2
  • Orlebar Brown t-shirt
  • Desigual Christian Lacroix cardigan
  • Hush star jumper

Nothing really designer but but still really nice things and nearly all under £5 each.

More menswear (and know your labels!)

Not many finds today but I did discover a couple of great menswear items: This Missoni cardigan and a butter soft leather Farhi Harrington jacket.

I also found a The White Company long merino cardigan and a lovely vintage Ghost embroidered black blouse.

It’s worth familiarising yourself for the different tags used by brands through the years. Most will be more valuable the more recent the tag is.

There are some exceptions such as Ghost, where the brand used to be much more exclusive, and Issa. The older, original Issa dresses were nearly always silk and are still highly sought after. The newer versions that can be bought in House of Fraser are usually polyester and virtually worthless secondhand.

A great mix of high value items

I thoroughly enjoyed shopping today and came away with a really nice selection of high end items.

Today I found:

  • Harmont & Blaine trainers
  • Baum und Pferdgarten trousers
  • Band of Outsiders trousers
  • Icebreaker jacket
  • Finisterre jumper
  • ISCHIKO dress
  • Akris cardigan
  • Rochas top
  • AllSaints jumper (new)
  • Onjenu top

Really exciting to find the Rochas top as it’s a brand that I’ve never found in a charity shop before, however I expect the Icebreaker jacket will sell for more than any of the others – it’s hugely popular and it’s a great time of year to sell it. I’ll let you know if I’m right!

I did spot a Belstaff reefer jacket today and at £20 it looked like a bargain, but for me the lining was a bit tatty so I gave it a miss this time.

Early spring florals

I’ve found that patterns and prints nearly always sell better than plain garments. I think this is because they identify the brand subtly and to the knowing eye.

Florals show no sign of going out of favour – I picked up this Boden linen shirt and Paul Smith contrast cuff shirt today. There were no ‘Big hitter’ finds but I did get the following:

  • Boden floral shirt
  • Paul Smith floral shirt
  • Jack Murphy tweed skirt
  • Vintage leather jacket
  • Modern Rarity dress
  • Merrell plaid shirt

For any one who is interested, as well as their Ted Baker stock, Oxfam stores now also have some new Burberry items. Mainly black jeans, black trousers and plain shirts. All around the £20 mark.