Cheap chic at our charity shops

May 28 2014

WHETHER it's for a Buckingham Palace garden party or the local church fete, many of us love an excuse to don a pretty summer frock.

WHETHER it's for a Buckingham Palace garden party or the local church fete, many of us love an excuse to don a pretty summer frock.

And if we're jetting off for two weeks in the Med, or even braving the M5 traffic for a couple of days in Devon, we simply can't do it without a new pair of flip flops and some livelier beachwear, can we?

The trouble is that freshening up our wardrobes with summer brights (or pastels, or whites if that's your preference) does not come cheap.

But there is an alternative to busting the credit card limit or grabbing the last thing in your size in the supermarket's latest 25 per cent off bonanza – and you'll be doing some good at the same time.

Bristol's 47 St Peter's Hospice shops, including those in Downend and Staple Hill, are increasingly proving to be a source of seasonal chic on a budget.

And the money you spend goes to support Bristol's only adult hospice, which cares for more than 2,670 patients each year as well as supporting family members.

Sue White, manager of the shop in Downend said: “We constantly renew our stock so we have a good mix of womenswear, menswear, kidswear and accessories in store for customers to browse. I’m always amazed at the quality of the items that people give to us and always look forward to opening up a new bag of goodies to find the hidden gems! I would really encourage people to pop in and see what they can find.”

Hospice shops often stock pre-loved items from labels such as French Connection, Topshop, Phase Eight and Christian Dior.

St Peter's staged a fashion shoot to show some of the looks available from its shops. Stocks are constantly changing – so it's worth keeping a regular lookout.

Janet Loud, head of shops for St Peter’s Hospice, said: “With blossom on the trees and a few warmer days, many of us are starting to dig out our summer clothes. Keeping up with the latest styles can be expensive so we’re encouraging people to visit St Peter’s Hospice shops where we’ve got a fantastic range of spring and summer wear at amazing prices.

“It’s great to be able to add some colour to outfits with a bright jacket or a stunning pair of shoes. There are some wonderful prints around and we have loads of menswear too.

“With a wide selection of beautiful dresses and elegant heels, it’s easy to get a stylish look for a wedding or summer party for less than £20.

“We appreciate all the wonderful donations of items that we receive and all the clothes we put out on our rails are great quality. Many are top high street brands or designer labels some of which still have tags. So, if you’re sorting out your wardrobe, please do remember to drop your pre-loved items at one of our shops.

“Updating your wardrobe at St Peter’s Hospice makes great sense – you’ll have a fab new look, more money in your purse and you’ll be supporting Bristol’s only adult hospice at the same time.”

St Peter’s Hospice provides its services are provided free of charge but this care costs around £18,000 a day. For around £14,000 of that, the hospice relies on gifts in wills, kind donations and funds generated by the hospice shops.

To find your nearest St Peter’s Hospice shop visit