I love nothing more than a good rummage in a charity shop so was super excited when Myton Hospices invited me to do a style challenge in their latest store, vintage fashion focused Myton Fargo, Coventry.
Myton Hospices is a charity based in and around Coventry, near to where I live in Warwickshire – right in the centre of England. For the last thirty-five years, their three hospices have provided palliative, end-of-life care to local people. In the UK, although hospices provide vital support to the NHS (National Health Service), they don’t receive any government money. They therefore rely on fundraising to cover all their costs.
Along with events, charity shops (also known as thrift stores, op shops and Goodwill elsewhere in the world) are a central to these fundraising efforts. In 2016, Myton Hospices raised £8.8 million to ensure their essential work could continue (that’s $11.9 million, €9.96 million, ¥1.325 million, AED 43.8 million).
Vintage fashion focus in Myton Fargo
They have twenty-one charity shops around the Coventry and Warwickshire area, and Myton Fargo is the latest, having only opened three weeks ago. For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you may remember my delight and despair on the launch day: delight at the amazing stock, despair at the Carvela loafers that weren’t in my size!
Myton Fargo takes its name from its location on Far Gosford Street. This is the heart of Coventry’s new creative quarter. The shop is directly opposite FarGo Village, a collection of independent businesses including vintage stores, a second hand bookshop, a sustainable clothing manufacturer ethical eateries and a micro-brewery (I’ve previously written about tenants Heaven Vintage and Positive Clothing).
The area’s vibe continues in the Myton Fargo store. The shop is specifically focused on vintage fashion and retro goods, although there some excellent new and nearly new items on the racks and shelves too. Manager Angela had her own vintage fashion business so has an eye for what to stock and every item is hand selected, much of it from the charity’s central storage facility.
The charity shop shopping adventure
My brief to style one outfit with a budget of £20.00 ($27.00, €23.00, ¥3,000, AED 100.00) went out the window within minutes of arriving at Myton Fargo on Saturday morning. There was so much treasure in there that I wanted to showcase more than just one ensemble!
Instead I put together eight looks that I’m featuring on Instagram and Twitter every day this week. Head over and take a look! I’m asking people to guess how much they think each outfit costs and would love to hear your estimates.
And because these eight outfits *still* weren’t enough to do Myton Fargo justice, below are some other examples of their awesome stock.
I want to highlight the range of clothing available in charity shops / thrift stores / op shops. You don’t have to be into vintage to love them! They’re a great place to experiment with new styles, whether vintage or otherwise. You can also pick up pieces that nail current trends without turning to the high street and fast fashion. Plus as you’ll see, workwear and special occasions are catered for as well!
At this risk of stating the obvious, it’s worth reiterating the sustainable element to charity shop shopping too. By buying second hand, you’re keeping textiles out of landfill and recycling perfectly good materials while putting much needed coppers in the pockets of the charity in question.
If you live near to the English Midlands, I’d encourage you to find your nearest Myton Hospices shop and check them out for yourself. Wherever you live, pay your local charity shop a visit and support a good cause while securing a bit of loveliness for yourself!
Your favourite charity shops
Where are your favourite charity shops, thrift stores and op shops? I’m always looking for recommendations so comment below or on social media to share your suggestions. I’d also love to hear about your experiences of charity shopping. What’s been your best bargain? What little gem have you snapped up?
What I found in Myton Fargo charity shop…
This season’s trends
What really stood out for me during my five hours in the Myton Fargo charity shop (yes really – five hours!) was the amount of stock that ticked this season’s fashion boxes. Here are some of my favourite examples!
Two of the big colours at the moment are red and pink, both of which have a reputation as being difficult to wear. Uncertain as to whether they are for you? Buy something suitably hued from a charity shop and you have a great cheap way to play.
Colour without commitment!
Patterned midi dress? Yes please! Totally on trend, totally a bargain! Size XXL but vintage clothing usually comes up small, plus this could be belted. Cost: £15.00!
I’m normally a bit reluctant to feature Primark clothing in my discussions of second hand clothing, partly because I think even buying used supports fast throwaway fashion, partly because the quality isn’t there. However I couldn’t resist giving this beautiful beaded collar a shout out! It’s an easy way to get on board with the fashion world’s newly rediscovered love of pearls.
Primark cardigan, size fourteen, cost £3.00 ($4.00, €3.5, ¥450, AED 15.00).
The selection of accessories in Myton Fargo was as lust inducing as the clothing, with a whole range of tastes catered for too. I’m again having not-buying-shoes regret but I was so preoccupied with what I could you show you lovely people that I didn’t have the brain space to consider charity shop shopping for myself!
From the accessories, I put together an edit of items that I think are particularly awesome. These are pictured in the grid below and I’ll be offering them to my mailing list in the September newsletter. Of course you can always be in with a chance of getting your hands on them by signing up 😉
Even if we don’t work in an office with a dress code, sometimes we all need an outfit that’s a little bit smarter. Charity shops can help us achieve that without having to spend full price – but still snapping up some reputable brands. Here are Myton Fargo highlights!
Top to bottom:
Vintage tunic style shirt, size fourteen, £3.00 ($4.00, €3.50, ¥450, AED 15.00).
Whistles dress, size twelve, £5.00 ($4.00, €6.00, ¥750, AED 25.00).
The Kooples ombre shirt, size small, £7.00 ($9.50, €8.00, ¥1050, AED 35.00).
Marks and Spencer Autograph retro style dress, size fourteen, £8.00 ($11.00, €9.00, ¥1200, AED 40.00).
Yes, the C-word in September! But there’s less than one hundred days to go now and I believe that it’s never too early to begin planning for it – especially if it helps avoid a last-minute panic that results in over-spending on something itchy and ill-fitting that you only wear once.
Myton Fargo stocked plenty that would be perfect for a Christmas party or a more formal event. There will be more about this on Instagram and Twitter this week, but for now here’s just one example: never has the Mrs Santa look been so retro fabulous (nor demure!).
Cost for this size small, unlabelled vintage dress: £15.00 ($20.00, €17.00, ¥2.260, AED75.00)
Best of the rest vintage
Top left to bottom right:
1980s denim overall style dress, size medium, £12.00 ($16.00, €13.50, ¥1800, AED 60.00).
1990s velvet waistcoat, forgot to note the details – oops!
1980s Mary Quant velvet dress (yes! Mary Quant!), size twelve, £25.00 ($34.00, €28.00, ¥3775, AED 125.00).
Windsmoor houndstooth check jacket, size eight, £12.00 ($16.00, €13.50, ¥1800, AED 60.00).
Classic vintage pattern cotton skirt, size medium, £6.00 ($8.00, €6.75, ¥900, AED 30.00).
1940s style orange lightweight knit cardigan, size medium, £5.00 ($4.00, €6.00, ¥750, AED 25.00).
Sailor style black and white dress, size sixteen, £7.00 ($9.50, €8.00, ¥1050, AED 35.00).
1960s dress coat with matching shift dress*, sold as a set, size medium, £10.00 ($13.50, €11.00, ¥1500, AED 50.00).
Blue and white silky dress, size extra large, £6.00 ($8.00, €6.75, ¥900, AED 30.00).
* Lightly stained but no doubt dry cleaning would sort this.