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Shop Around the Block: London - Westbourne Grove Oxfam Boutique

Posted by Teresa Collenette Oxfam Fashion blogger and stylist

21st Mar 2013

As all savvy shoppers know, the beauty of charity shopping is the unique eclecticism of every individual charity shop.  Each Oxfam shop has a distinct character inspired by its neighborhood; the local community who donate so generously; the variety of customers who pass through its doors; the style and vibe of the surrounding shops and, last but definitely not least, its team of volunteers - the backbone of the shop.   All these factors contribute to the special atmosphere of each and every Oxfam shop.  

In the spirit of exploring and enjoying the diversity of the Oxfam shops in my home city of London, I have set myself the task - and the pleasure - of visiting Oxfam shops all over town, from leafy Chiswick to ultra hip Dalston, to see what amazing things I can share with you.

My first stop - after all it is my local - is the Westbourne Grove Boutique, situated on the uber-fashionable Westbourne Grove. Opposite a fabulous florist and surrounded by a host of stylish shops, the shop is also only a brief stroll away from the vibrant bustle of the world famous Portobello Market.  On Fridays and Saturdays the area is throbbing with crowds visiting this popular area.When you step inside the Boutique it is difficult to know where to look first as you are immediately presented with a dazzling array of designer bargains, vintage treasures and high street must-haves. 

If accessories are your bag (as it were!) then this is definitely the place for you.  Belts, bags, scarves, jewellery and shoes, and lots of them, are a big feature of the Boutique. Thanks to some amazing donations, the Westbourne Grove Boutique also seems to enjoy a regular influx of incredible designer shoes and we are talking Louboutins, girls, not to mention Jimmy Choos, Miu Miu, Prada… the list goes on!

When I dropped in last week for a visit, it did not take me long (actually about a nanosecond!) to find several items that grabbed my attention.  A delicate, cobweb knit Isabel Marant sweater and some Stella McCartney knit shorts were two of the first items to leap out at me as well as a gorgeously soft, leather Maud Frizon bag and the palest of pink Miu Miu t-bar shoes. After an enjoyable perusal of the rails, the following outfits/items are the ones I've chose as my personal favourites.

First in, a snappy monochrome outfit created from separate items I found in the shop. Monochrome is a big trend everywhere at the moment and suits everyone with its crisp urban simplicity.  The faux leather skirt (£25) and striped jacket (£25) are from Zara and the poodle print top (£7) is from River Island.   

Next up is this luxurious cashmere electric blue retro sweater from Gieves, Savile Row (£39). The colour is amazing and the button detail adds some extra chic. This sweater would also look great with some skinny trousers and heels.  

My third choice is this preppy pinafore dress (£25).  It combines two of my favourite things, tartan and patchwork!  It looks so colourful and warm and I could easily imagine wearing it over a crisp white shirt or with a sweater for extra warmth.

Now for the accessories.  The metallic bag is from Topshop (£10) and I really liked the slightly 20's look, very Great Gatsby. I was irresistibly drawn to these dandy-esque Kenneth Cole shoes (£39) which would look great worn with some brocade trousers. Finally, I could not resist this Tartan bag (£6). 

My final item is this beautiful 1940's bead collar necklace. Although dating from a good many decades ago, this statement piece still looks modern. It would look brilliant worn with a variety of pieces from an elegant black dress to a plain white T-shirt.

The Westbourne Grove Boutique has a fast turnover so there are always new goodies to be had but be warned, if you see something that takes your fancy buy it there and then before someone else does! 

Blog post written by Teresa Collenette

Oxfam Fashion blogger and stylist

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