The Stingy Shopper Rides Again: Finding 'Free' 'New' Clothes At Home

You know I love a bargain, and what better bargain could there possibly be than finding FREE new (old) clothes in the attic?
Publish date:
August 5, 2013

By which I mean 'home-home', as in the house I grew up in, not the flat that I live in 99% of the time and have a mortgage on. In my teenage bedroom there’s a chest of drawers, a wardrobe, a drawer-thing under the bed and an entire attic full of clothes from the ‘90s, belonging to both me and my mum.

Every time I come home I end up rummaging around and pulling out some long-forgotten, mega-rad (‘90s clothes require ‘90s terminology) garment in which I can surf the nostalgia wave in smug style. Things I have found include:

This Naf Naf red and white spotted t-shirt

I was obsessed, obsessed I tell you, with Naf Naf from the age of about 10 to 14. I found this tee in a surf shop in Cornwall when I was about 11 and would wear it with white leggings and black Red or Dead pumps. Because it was so big and baggy, it still fits now and I like wearing it with high-waisted mom jeans.

A bias-cut grungy slip dress from The Gap

Am I the only person who calls it ‘The Gap’? Whatever. This was the closest a teenage girl living in suburban Surrey could get to replicating Winona’s grungy Reality Bites-era style. I also had a fluffy angora cardigan which looked like the one Kurt wore on Nirvana Unplugged which I wish I could find to wear it with. The lime green pleather clogs have thankfully vanished.

My little brother’s baseball jacket

My current style icon is Axel Foley from Beverly Hills Cop. This baseball jacket is tres Axel, especially if worn with stonewashed jeans and Converse hi-tops or other natty sneakers. You see when you're a hoarder like me, you need never spend money on 'vintage'!

Mum’s navy velvet Laura Ashley stirrup pants and silk shirt

In fact any of my mum’s early ‘90s Laura Ashley/Monsoon stuff – it’s all top quality and fits beautifully, although size inflation is a fascinating thing - a size 14 in 1990 would be a size 10 now. Incredible. I was wearing the jacket from her raw silk Monsoon skirt suit when I met P'trique at London Fashion Week...

Tank tops from The Gap

Again, indulging my teen movie fantasies - this one references Alicia Silverstone's Cher in Clueless. Worn with a preppy white shirt, mini kilt and knee socks back in the day and with a t-shirt and chinos now.

There’s plenty more to be plundered, but it’s all from the late ‘90s (remember those t-shirts that had your neighbourhood’s name spelled out in black felt letters? I’ve got ‘Stratford’ – cooool. Not.) so I’m going to wait a little longer before reviving those...

What's the coolest old garment you've rehabilitated back into your wardrobe?