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How to Get a New Wardrobe on a Budget

Home > London > Shopping | Sales | Fashion | Cheap | Car Boot Sales | Lists
by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
Published January 25th 2013
Swap, Sell, Buy

When you are working on a budget, treating yourself to the latest fashions of the season is rarely going to be an option, but if you're smart, you can still get yourself a brand new wardrobe full of clothes, while at the same time making some money off your old goods.


My first port of call is always the end of season sales. You can get some fantastic bargains, with most shops reducing their prices by as much as 70%.

Charity Shops

Charity shops are also a great place. Don't be snooty about second hand clothes; I've found some real hidden gems in charity shops, including a sheep skin coat, and a red leather jacket for 10. You can also drop off any unwanted items while you're there, helping yourself, and those in need.

Car Boot Sales

Princess Mary School Car Boot Sale
Princess Mary School Car Boot Sale

One man's trash is another man's treasure. With car boot sales you cannot only find some good designer deals, but also sell your own clothes and accessories that you no longer want. At the Battersea Boot Sale you can find some serious second-hand dealers, or book your own pitch for 20-50. If you're feeling lucky, you could also turn up on the day and see if there are any vacancies for 10.

Capital Car Boot is the place to go for retro and kitsch fashions. Also because you are in central London, buyers are willing to spend more money on any quality items you may be selling. Booking a table is between 5-35.

The Princess Mary School Car Boot is a popular location for vintage items at knock-down prices. You have to queue on the day to order a pitch between 10-12.

Exchange Shops

Bang bang, clothing exchange
Bang Bang

You get what you give. Take in quality items and you could get a reasonable price for them. Bang Bang in Googe Street will pay you up to 30% of the original price, and Strut, 25%. The Dresser at Marble Arch will give you 50% of the sale on your item if it sells within eight weeks.

Swap Shops

grafton clothing exchange, pub
Grafton Pub

There are some neat swap shops around London where you can clean out your wardrobe and refill it all in one go. Mrs. Bear's Swap Shop, for example classifies its stock in two ways: red for high street, and blue for designer. You get red and blue stamps for whichever you bring in and can then spend them like vouchers. The Grafton Clothing Exchange is an informal swap party held at their Kentish Town Pub, monthly on Saturdays.
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