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Chazzing- the urban way to shop!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Chazzing - as defined by

"The act of browsing charity shops one after another for a sustained length of time, possibly following a pre-planned route. An all round good day out. "

We all love a bargain- but few of us every really think of thrift/charity stores as an option. It's usually high street sales etc that give us that butterfly feeling in our tummies! The art of thrift & charity shop browsing has become super trendy since the recession - but is it suited to everyone? Today we show how there are super style solutions for you whether you're 16 or 60 on the thrift shop circuit.

Although the recession has had Ireland in its grips for some time now, we haven't quite lost the shopping gene. Whilst there are admittedly fewer disposable euros floating around in our handbags, we still like the idea of bagging ourselves a bargain.

Rather than be tempted by fashion- lust on the high street, the guiltless alternative is to chazz your way round town and feel like you're doing your bit for charity while indulging your need for new (to you) clobber.

AnnMarie O'Connor-Stylist & fashion blogger:-


"I've been a style writer for more years than is fashionable to mention. Suffice to say I have worked with the likes of The Irish Examiner, RTE, Dazed and Confused, Elle, Trace, Image, IF, The Dubliner, The Irish Independent, Prudence, and interviewing designers, chasing trends, styling, profiling and lying about my spiralling shoe habit. My mantra - burn the tracksuit honey and learn to walk in a pair of damn heels. Life's too short not to look tall and fabulous. Mwah! Lovin' your work. Xxx"

Annmarie is a freelance fashion writer, blogger and personal stylist. Her credits include The Irish Examiner, Elle, Dazed and Confused, Image, Trace, IF, The Irish Independent, and

Over the past 8 years she has interviewed the likes of Terry de Havilland, Zandra Rhodes and Ben de Lisi, and has gained a cult following with her blog: I Blog Fashion which is being made into a book. She is also the organiser of the monthly Fashion Bloggers' Brunch events in Dublin.

Annmarie gives us her top tips on getting bargains on how to get the most out of charity/thrift/pre-loved shopping!"

5 ways to maximize your charity/thrift store shopping experiences:-

1. Decide on a route
- e.g. Dublin's main chazzing drag runs from Camden Street to Sth Great George's Street.
Click on for a list of charity shops in your area.

2. Schedule a full day in your diary.
- Chazzing takes time and patience. Bigger charity shops colour-block clothing to ensure easy browsing. Smaller venues require more rummaging but often harbour diamonds in the rough.

3. Keep a keen eye.
- Look out for high-quality natural fibres like silk, wool, linen and cashmere in good condition; don't overlook leather gloves, bags and belts.

4. Be open-minded -
a removable stain or a small rip can be mended at home at no extra cost.

5. Avoid season syndrome
- Clothes are normally donated during season clean-outs. Great winter coats can be found in spring/summer; as can sunglasses and lighter items in winter. If it's a classic - buy it!

Annmarie's Chazzing Route:-

Lucy's Lounge - Fownes Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
Oxfam - Sth Great George's Street, Dublin 2
Enable Ireland - 8 South Great Georges Street, Dublin 2
Age Action Ireland - 30-31 Lower Camden Street, Dublin 2
Dublin Simon Community - 7 Lower Camden Street, Dublin 2
Irish Cancer Society - 69 Lower Camden Street, Dublin 2

AnnMarie's advice:-

Chazzing takes time and patience but with a little nous, can be time well spent.

. Although charity shops get daily donations, some get weekly vintage 'drops' or end of season surplus stock from boutiques. Find out when is best to shop and save yourself a lot of rummaging time.

. Pay attention to window displays. Many charity shops put their best frock forward to entice customers in store; and will sell it at an appointed time and date to create a 'first come first serve' buying buzz.

. Looking for the latest stock? Check the price tags which are often marked with the date the donation was received.

. Best bargains? Look out for coats, dresses, hats, scarves and bags. Shoes - which wear quickest in a wardrobe - are rarely a bargain unless they are brand new. Likewise, jersey tops and tees rarely hold value.

. Small size? Opt for charity shops with a vintage section where smaller sizes are more common.

Age 16- Quirky
Denim dress, Oxfam George's Street €12.50
30s style dance shoes with leatherette laces, Oxfam €30
G Guccini Paris scarf, Irish Cancer Society Capel Street €2
Top, Penneys €7*
Argyle socks, stylist's own*

Age 30- Vintage Designer
Vintage green frill top, Oxfam George's Street €30
Leigh wool trousers, Oxfam €40 (from Costume - would normally retail around €300)
Shoes, Penneys €21*

Age 60- Everyday
Mexx faux sheepskin coat, Vincent's Aungier Street €15
Dorothy Perkins jeans, Vincent's Rathmines €5
Silence + Noise top, Irish Cancer Society Rathmines €7
Boots, Penneys €23*

Annmarie's €20 Bargain Basket
Gold lame capri trousers €20
Floral print dress €19
Equestrian top €15
Authentic silk Japanese kimono top €10
Wool blend waistcoat €8
Vintage-inspired scarf €1.50

Whilst AnnMarie is based in Dublin, there are lots & lots of fabulous charity/thrift/pre-loved stores all around the country. To check out some charity shops near you see:-
Irish charity shops association:-