Tag Archives: heart belts

Second-hand find: Love belts (plus a few words on &@^$#! charity shop make-overs)

You can never get too much ♥♥♥

So I quickly (meaning fast-as-lightning-quick as husband was parked outside) snapped up these two leather belts  in my favourite St. John’s Wood charity shop last week. They’re perfect for spreading some autumnal lovin’ and made by Stephen Collins, known for supplying good quality, mid-range belts to departments stores like House of Fraser.

The St. John’s Hospice shop had been closed for refurbishment but I almost dreaded the reunion. Ever since the utterly charismatic retail guru Mary Porta’s frenzied and well-documented make-over attack on a handful of British charity shops many other shop managers have jumped on the make-over wagon in the hope of increasing their profits.

While I’m all for making your shop more appetising, welcoming, better smelling and all that jazz it comes at a high price. Literally. After the face-lift most shops choose to focus on a smaller and more selective, hand-picked range of clothes, often high-end brands only. They’ll educate their staff on how to recognise the good names and tell them to price them accordingly.

The result is a visually pleasing shop with loads of space between the hangers and 1/3 of the stock they used to have. Prices will be doubled. Out the window goes the chance of digging out amazing finds from heaps  and piles and the accompanying treasure hunt thrill.

This shop has also been seriously decluttered and now has fewer items on display. But luckily they have chosen to keep the prices at the same level as before. Like these belts, which cost 3 pounds each. So I’ll definitely be back, despite the face-lift.

Read my second-hand guide to St. John’s Wood