Idea #16: Charity shop challenge

The perfect Christmas day outfit is always at the top of my winter shopping list. I don’t know about you but I’m always in a mad rush to find ‘the one’ and I always spend far too much on a dress I will only ever wear once! This yearly saga got me thinking, how could we do Christmas different for 2013, how could I take all the pressure (and the cost!) out of our Christmas outfit dilemmas. The answer was simple…charity shops!

I decided to put all our names into a hat, we each chose someone to buy for and we had a budget of £5 to buy a full Christmas day outfit for that person. The results were quite extraordinary; sequins, glitz and festive novelties galore – it’s amazing what you can find for £5!!!

Charity shop challenge

What’s the idea: A charity shop Christmas outfit challenge
Who for: This idea is one for the whole family to embrace
Cost: You can set your own budget but we found £5 got you more than you could ever wish for in an outfit!

TIG’s review
Out of all the Christmas presents we had piled high under the tree, the one we couldn’t wait to open was the ‘charity shop challenge’. We took it in turns to unwrap the very weird and ‘wonderful’ shaped gifts and it soon became apparent this was going to be quite the variation on the usual Christmas dinner dress code!

TIG bought for TIG’s boyfriend
From Help the Aged I bought Jamie a full santa suit with beard for £3.50. For my remaining £1.50 I accessorised the outfit with dinosaur claw gloves that even made a sound.

TIG’s mum bought for TIG
From Age Concern mum bought me two outfits (she couldn’t decide!). The first outfit was an all in one black outfit with a corset style top covered in sequins. The outfit was completed with a red sequinned cowboy hat – yeee-ha! The second outfit was a full snow white costume (quite the bargain for £5!)

TIG’s boyfriend bought for TIG’s dad
This draw was never going to end well! TIG’s boyfriend bought a full Hawaiian costume including grass skirt, coconut bra and garland. The outfit was topped off with a very girly pink cowboy hat.

TIG’s dad bought for TIG’s mum
Debra was the charity shop of choice for TIG’s dad (the first one he went in to!). He purchased a very glitzy figure hugging number with a dazzling leaf embossed necklace. All finished off with a rather unique looking hat!

Little did we know that the opening of the presents was just the start of the entertainment! Some of us had issues sitting down, difficulty picking up a knife and fork (especially with dinosaur claws on), not to mention coconuts in precarious positions! This challenge gave us so many laughs and memories that will last with us for a lifetime. This was so much more than just a Christmas outfit, it was a family affair that brought us all together, saved us money and it was certainly £20 well spent, all going to such deserving charities.

Any bad points?
I must have been in at least 10 charity shops to find an outfit for Jamie – the men’s outfits were much harder to find! For women, there were shoulder pads, full-length sequin numbers and showstopper party dresses. Whereas, the men’s sections were full of bland v-neck jumpers, waistcoats and brown trousers. I probably ended up looking for Jamie’s outfit longer than I would have finding myself the perfect LBD!

Would we do it again?
The charities benefit, we save money and it’s a lot more fun than the usual posh attire! I would definitely do this again.

Why not give it a go this Christmas?

I would love to hear about your Christmas charity shop challenges!

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Author: TIG

Anna is ‘That Ideas Girl’ or TIG for short! Hailing from the small thriving village of Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, she is a graduate of the London College of Fashion with 6 years online and offline marketing experience. Anna is overflowing with ideas that she just can’t wait to share with the world!

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