My Life, Half Price

In today’s doom and gloom of that certain two worded economic cliché beginning with C that I cannot quite bring myself to say, we are constantly bombarded with media hyperbole on the financial mess the world has got itself into. Although as marginally penniless I haven’t felt personally hit by all of this crunching of credit, it is generally preferred in my line of ‘work’ as firstly a student, secondly of fashion, to obtain clothes / shoes / bags / general accessories for AS CHEAP AS POSSIBLE! Therefore what will follow is my attempt to buy not only clothes and such like adornments of the body for pence, by means of any discount, haggling, swindling and general blagging of offers, but attempt to live life half price buying and using things only for free or on offer.

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Week One: A Rummage in the Jumble
Rising a tad earlier than normal for a Sunday I rocked up to the church hall preparing myself for a spot of mustiness and a handful of people, slightly preoccupied by the array of candyfloss rinses of the old biddies waiting to get in. What was this? A queue? They clearly knew something I didn’t.
I duly paid my 20p entrance fee and bustled in to be met with a formation of tables akin to a boxing ring. Piled high with heaps of clothes, a few poor Girl Guides in the middle promptly were bombarded by the blue rinse brigade stuffing clothes into bin-bags. “Everything is 20p!” was the exclamation from beside me. Everything? I began to burrow.

It’s ideal to have a good idea of what you’re looking for before you start to delve into the mountainous depths of clothes. Check for moth-holes, broken linings, shrunken fits, holes and snags before parting with your pence. Designer names are often found mixed in with the mundane so perseverance is the key here; in fact I found a Christian Dior men’s shirt circa 1980 and a 1984 retro Adidas track top, both for 20p each! Checked shirts were in abundance, with a few patterned jackets thrown in for good measure, one in silk. Chunky knits were grabbed, a high-waisted purple tartan skirt, and I even got my hands on a glittery retro-tastic leopard-print, shoulder padded eighties throwback - for the pure fun of it of course.

After tiring of being bustled around the tables turning the mounds over whilst trying to avoid elbowing ladies in the face, I headed over to - what can only be described as - the accessories ‘department’. I quickly grabbed an anchor patterned silk scarf, one similar seen recently for £39 in Urban Outfitters. Fools. A leather clutch bag or two; a furry faux fur trim hat; a hooded parka coat; deer shaped brooch; and two leather waist-belts later I was just about shopped out. I tallied my spends to a grand total of £3.80 – pretty damn sweet for a bin bag full of stuff, plus a hamster cage and ball thrown in for good measure (come on it was only a £1!) Now that’s the best satisfaction I’ve had on a Sunday morning for a while and all without breaking the piggy bank.

For listings of jumble sale in and around the Manchester area go to:

Grace Cowlard