Thrifty Fifty: How to bag yourself designer clothes at bargain prices

Dreading the price of Christmas? Well, welcome to 50Sense’s Thrifty 50 – fifty thrifty ways to save money on everything from clothes to cosmetics. Each post will bring you ten ways to cut down the cost, sometimes to absolute zero. After all, being fit, fun and fabulous doesn’t need to cost the earth…

Covid-19 may mean we have to dampen down the Christmas celebrations, but there’s no excuse not to dress up. We all know the effect fast fashion is having on the planet (read my top sustainable labels here), so for a truly eco-friendly wardrobe, check out your local charity shop for some incredible savings.

Forget thoughts of sloppy seconds. Many fashion labels and stores donate unwanted stock, which means you can often find a brand new piece still with its tags on (aka “BNWT”. Also, “new without tags” generally means the charity shop removed the tag to stop people returning the item to the original store.)

How to get your Thrifty Fifty style on

Oxfam is a veritable Aladdin’s cave of delights and its online store features donations from all over the country. Yup, you can find the designer wonders of Kensington and Chelsea even if you live in Kelso or Cleethorpes.

Of course, as well as looking good, you’ll be spreading the spirit of Christmas. Oxfam has had to close 500 stores across the UK because of Covid-19, which means it’s losing £1.5 MILLION of income per week. That’s enough to support 150,000 people with clean water, handwashing facilities and health supplies.

So, without further ado, here are the Thrifty 50 top-ten pieces to make you sparkle this Christmas…

Thifty Fifty guide to fashion with the LBD

A LBD always works. This Adrianna Papell dress is £50. You’d usually expect to pay a couple of hundred.

If black isn’t your thing, this Calvin Klein dark brown number is a steal at £49.99.

Or be pretty in pink Fiorucci, available in a variety of sizes (and black versions, too) for £39.99.

Put your best foot forward with these adorable Irregular Choice pumps. At £70, theyre not mega-cheap, but you’re saving around £50.

While this gorgeous pair of Rachel Simpson heels come in at £49.99. Prices start at around £200 on her site.

If Reiss is good enough for Kate Middleton, then Thrifty Fifty loves it! Add a bit of shimmer to your outfit for £36.

And you’ll definitely ruffle some feathers with this stunning Laura Ashley bag, down from £46 to £24.99.

Accessories are the easiest way to jazz up a Christmas outfit. I’d wear this choker with the Adrianna Papell dress. It’s only Next, but at £7.99, it was too Thrifty Fifty to leave out.

Or go Boho-Chic with Les Nereides of Paris, 11 separate strands for only £39.99 instead of £85.

And finally, this Ronald Smith pendant will make your pals green with envy when they learn you paid a mere £19.99. Each one is an original.

And there you have it, the Thrifty Fifty guide to looking good at Christmas without breaking the bank (and not breaking the bank). What do you think? Where do you shop for bargains? And what would you like to see next on the Thrifty Fifty list? Leave me a comment below.

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