The Lazy Girl’s Guide To…

Posted in Second Hand Shopping.

If you hadn’t already noticed, I’m a bit of a lazy girl. I choose reclining over exercising, travel on four wheels rather than two feet and never make my own Yorkshire Puddings (thanks, Aunt Bessie!). So my new blog feature shouldn’t come as much of a surprise…
I want to make The Lazy Girl’s Guide To… a regular feature of A Little Bird. Every month, I’ll share my lazy girl secrets to a whole host of seemingly complex and time consuming projects. If you’re currently thinking ‘maaaan, I don’t know if I can be bothered to read this EVERY MONTH!!’, you’re a lazy girl. Welcome along, put your feet up and perserve.
The Lazy Girl’s Guide To… Thrifting
No longer the pastime of the elderly and those with a basic monetary need, ‘thrifting’ (or second hand shopping) has become a popular pursuit amongst the flash, the famous and the fashionable. Sometimes cleverly designed as ‘vintage’ (Yes, that Sweater Shop jumper technically IS vintage now), other times toted as a chic way to help the community and the wider world, thrifting has cemented itself in our fashion conscious and our wardrobes, and no amount of Febreeze will get rid of its musty odour.
Now, fellow lazy girls, I know what you’re thinking. All that rummaging, rifling and rooting sounds like hard work. But worry not! The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Thrifting shows you how to get your thrift on without breaking a sweat or a perfectly painted nail.
It’s no good admiring vintage style from afar – you’ve gotta get out there and get your share. But how do you find that oh-so special faux fur coat, the 60s dress that fits like a glove or the kitsch kitchenware that makes you smile every time you look at it? Admittedly, finding thrifted treasure requires a little bit of work. You may have to lift a finger or two. But I promise, when you’re flaunting your vintage wares about town, you’ll thank me for this.
– Charity shops
Pretty obvious, right? Well… no, actually. It may sound simple, but if you’ve ever tried to find something special while rifling through rails of old tat and your grandmother’s blouses, you’ll know it’s not as easy as it sounds. So many charity shops are jam packed full of old Primark cast-offs, you need sharp eyes and even sharper elbows to source second hand gems.
  • Find the perfect place. When you come across a charity shop that’s really something special, visit it often. Get to know the volunteers, the layout of the shop, what kind of things they stock. When you’ve built up a relationship, you can bat your eyelids, flash your sweetest smile and ask if they’d mind keeping an eye out for those illusive leather brogues you’ve been searching for. The staff in my local charity shop call me Retro Girl because I love 50s silhouettes! Check out The Association of Charity Shops and use their handy locator to find your nearest potential gold mine.
– Vintage fairs
Vintage fairs can be very hit and miss (do I really want to spend a Sunday morning in a draughty church hall looking at Lycra cycling shorts?), but if you find a good one, they’re an amazing source of vintage fashion – both on and off the stalls.
  • The Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair travels up and down the UK and has vintage bags, bangles and bargains galore. Find one near you and put the dates in your Little Black Book.
– Car boot sales
If you can bear to dirty up your Monolo wellies and brave the mud, you might just discover a secret style stash. Great for homewares, branded clothing, makeup and a tasty bacon sandwich when you’re done.
  • Don’t like the sound of a 6am wake up call? Look for afternoon boot sales. Use Car Boot Junction to find one near you and you’ll have time to straighten your hair first.
– eBay
The ultimate in Lazy Girl Thrifting, eBay is a sofa surfing style dream. Before you hit the high street, check eBay first. A quick tap of the keys and a whole world of second hand shopping will materialise before your very eyes. Suddenly, America’s Next Top Model isn’t so interesting.
  • What are you searching for? A maxi dress, some Topshop shoes or a leather bag that slouches just right? Have you looked in an odd category or tried misspelling your search? Goofbay is the ultimate eBay tool for hunting down hidden haute couture. And if you’re too busy sipping Cosmos to keep an eye on your listings, their sniper tool is really rather useful.
-Blog sales
Where better to find fashionable favourites than on beautiful blogs? Lots of lovely ladies are clearing out their wardrobes and giving fortunate followers the chance to restock theirs by holding blog sales.
  • Fancy some free fashion? Why not ask for a swap instead of a sale? If you’ve got clothes needing a new home, suggest a blogger style swap and rock a whole new look without emptying your purse.
So, lazy girls. Finding thrifty fashion doesn’t have to take all your time and effort. You’ll need that for gossiping, painting your nails and flipping through InStyle. Take a look at some of the second hand style lurking around my home… all found at a leisurely pace, I promise.


Photobucket Photobucket

Floral print skirt, The Fashion Teller’s blog sale, sequin waistcoat and faux fur leopard print jacket, eBay, pearl and gold chain necklaces, vintage fair, brown leather belt, vintage shop, grey suede bag, straw tote and bone china teacup, charity shops, vintage phone and glass vase, car boot sale.



Fabulous idea for a blog post, looking forward to the lazy girls guide to getting rich 😉

Love the telephone it’s beautiful. I saw lots of those styles of teacups at the carboot this morning but every time I saw one (or a set) OH pulled me away 🙁


a great post – truely a girl after my own heart, nothing makes me happier than finding a bargin online or in a charity shop 🙂


Love this idea!
And love the inspirational ‘look what you could have found!’ photos.
Thanks for the car boot link, early bird starts are not for me.
X x

Patricia Snook

I love this post so much. Write a book. Please. It would the most read and re read thing on my shelf. I love spending my mornings thrifting like a homeless person!



Ahhh I love this post Jen!!
I must admit my first love is charity shops, but everything you’ve mentioned here are real treasure troves!

I have my ebay tendecies…I must admit! Sometimes I think i’m searched out but then something else pops into my head.
I also like the look of the grey suede bag too! 🙂

The Fashion Teller

Fab post hun! You have great style and an indivdual look which I heart 🙂 I am glad you like the skirt and bet it looks gorge on you! Please do an OOTD with it xoxo


Thanks for the tip Vix – shall add that in now! Forgot to say above – please add your own tips for lazy girl thrifting here in the comments. I’d love to read them!


Brilliant… it’s a great idea for a blog post. I love your lazy girl tips to thrifting. And great tip about the Goofbay.

And you even bought a rotary phone? Hahaha! That’s so awesome.

Have a great day Jen! xoxo


i am totally a lazy thrifter! i have next to 0 patients looking for something i’m not even sure i’m looking for in a place that is sometimes unpleasant to be in!! it has nothing to do with second hand clothing, because i have a lot of it – but i am a poor thrifter. 🙁

teach me your ways!!!


Great thrifting tips, now if only I can find some thrift shops here lol! I’ll definitely visit those charity shops when I go to UK in June:)



Haha! I Love this post. It’s so genius. I should totally do this, but for the “Cheap Girl” haha. For some reason, this post definitely related to my thrifty needs.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Love your Tips for lazy girls idea, Jen! I’m sooo lazy I haven’t even started conquering ebay yet, but with the help of Goofbay there are even chances for me. The other ideas are brilliant, too. Thank you!!!


Great idea. I’ve been pondering why I never have any success at my local charity shops and wonder if it’s because the good stuff goes straight away. There’s a charity shop right opposite my office so I think I’m going to start spying and try and work out when the new stuff goes out. Sounds like a lot of effort though so I doubt I’ll bother to keep it up.

How about a lazy girls guide to makeup? I’m really lazy when it comes to make up and always slap on the same stuff day after day .

Roo Paprika

Wow, I thought I was a ‘thrifting’ pro but there are some tips in here I’d never thought of and new links to explore. Thanks very much xx

Polished Sense

I really love what you’ve done for this post. I am also loving all of your fabulous outfits below 😀 Keep up the great work, I look looking at them, so inspirational 😀 Thanks.



Brilliant idea for a blog series! Looking forward to reading more!

Really enjoyed reading this- if I lived in London I would always be visiting the charity shops in the rich areas- I’ve heard you can pick up amazing designer goods for pennies!x

Anna Jane

LOVE the vintage phone!
This post is actually very useful, I plan to start my first round of vintage shopping/thrifting in the summer in Camden Town and Brick Lane, so I feel a little less novice about doing it now! I’m always envious of the amazing things people seem to find in such places. I actually bought an outfit for a geek night out the other week in a local charity shop, and came away with the most gorgeous floral braces which look amazing with shorts!

– Anna Jane xxx

Kyla Roma

Love these, great tips! It always strikes me as being so odd that people have a hard time going out on the hunt! I just can’t fathom buying clothes at the mall anymore, you can have anything!! They come in all sizes!!

I’ve been ruined by thrifting lol


A brilliant blog post! I love knowing which charity shops always have lovely items in 🙂 I find ebay very hard to find what you’re looking for sometimes though, especially with vintage clothing! I much prefer the rummaging 🙂

claire eloise

this is fabulous advice! i used to trawl ebay for stuff, but i lack the drive now but i’m determined to get back into it. as like you i’m no longer shopping in high street shops but charity shops! do you have any favourite charity shops or car boot sales in leeds?


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