Second hand dress from Europe
In the months since writing this, I have discovered that there are a few more charity stores in Joburg that I didn't know about. I've done a little exploring and have come up with three additional second hand stores that are worth visiting.
As I always say, I have a passion for fashion and dress-up and it is from these stores that I find my unique and vintage clothing from. I also hit the charity stores when I have a cosplay or dress-up event to attend and am usually able to find base items that I can then alter to be more fitting to the theme as I did with the Moonrise Kingdom outfits I made.
The thing about charity stores is that you can go on some days and find no stock at all, and then return a week later and find the mother-load. Their stock turnover is always random because they generally rely on donations, meaning that literally every single day, there will be something different and unexpected. For this reason, I suggest visiting these store regularly and on different days. Because as Forrest Gump once said; "You never know what you gonna get!"
So here you have it - the UPDATED guide to the best second hand shops around.
1. Hospice Wits Parkhurst Legacy Shop
This store does blend in ato its surrounding and I only stumbled upon it by accident but it is there, tucked between the buildings in Parkhurst. Honestly this store has some of the most beautiful items I have encountered. A large number of vintage dressed and outfits and of course this incredible wedding dress that I had to have. The best part? It was only R100!!!
Wedding dress I got from the Parkhurst Hospice shop
2. The Olde Charity Shoppe
I nearly missed out on this one entirely because it is slightly hidden behind a coffee shop in Juskei Park. It would have been a shame because this store is incredible! Comprised of four individual shops next to one another, I'm surprised I was able to leave at all. The first store contains mostly kids clothing, books and toys which didn't appeal to me. I moved onto the second and third which were overflowing with clothing, glassware, vintage items and jewelry. Finally the fourth store was full of books. How they do it is that you shop in each store and leave your items at the counter, then they ring them up in the different store fronts and you take your items and till slips to the third store and pay all in one go (if you are using a card that is). With cash, you can just pay at each one.
Stunning dress from The Olde Charity Shoppe
3. Hospice Wits Shop in Benmore
A wise friend recommended this store to me which is in a posh area meaning that they had some very interesting pieces. Their clothes are a little pricey but their glassware is incredibly affordable. It is a little smaller in size but sure to contain some sort of treasure for any who venture inside .
Vintage Bolero jacket from the Benmore Hospice Shop
4. Bounty Hunters in Melville.
Melville has that whole hipster, shabby chic vibe going on so there are a number of charity stores to be found and Bounty Hunters is the best one by far. Their collection is enormous and lain out pretty comprehensively. Their clothes are reasonably priced and I adore the novelty finds there ranging from nurses outfits and doctor’s scrubs to a ski jumpsuit and literal 1980’s Matric dance dresses. Hell, there are even some bridal gowns for sale. Their book collection is mostly ordered which makes it easy to navigate through. One can also take time out of the shopping session to pet the various strays that have strewn themselves across the bric a brac that is for sale. Be prepared to get your hands a little dirty as you rifle through old belongings in search of the feeling of accomplishment when you find something unique.
Pink dress I wish I had bought
Dress from Bounty Hunters - I cut the hem
5. Junkie Charity Store in Melville
Just a block up from Bounty Hunters, Junkies often hosts sales. Generally their clothes are a little pricey for second hand so the 50% off all clothing makes it worth an amble by. The books also often get marked down to R5 each. So if you are on a second hand store hunt, give this one a quick visit to see if you can find any gems, particularly when a sale is on.
Dress I bought and shortened
6. Reminiscene in Melville
Reminiscene is for those looking for real vintage pieces. They are not a charity store but a second hand clothing store dealing in legit vintage items of clothing meaning that the prices are a little steep but you have to bear in mind what you are paying for. One foot through the door takes you back in time as you are surrounded by items from forgotten eras. It was a time warp back to when women wore hats and fur stoles pinned by bejewelled brooches. This store is perfect for anyone with a love for the olden days as we used to say when we were little.
7. Hope Charity Store in Melville
Hope Charity store is closer to Auckland Park as it is on the outskirts of Melville. It is a teeny tiny store situated on a corner road. Despite its minuscule size, nothing is ordered so it means that you will spend way longer than expected rifling through items and books. There is only one full rail of clothing and a lot of glassware for sale. I managed to find a rare copy of a fantasy series there which is why it is on my list. It only cost R10 but with the additional fee of digging through box after box of old titles.
Awesome 80's dress
8. SAINTs Animal Charity Shop in Olivedale
Quite a ways out, this store is on a large shopping centre premises. They have a large collection of pre-owned animal goodies from beds to bowls, food and harnesses for the four-legged companions along with clothes, jewels and bric a brac for their humans. A little Wendy house next door houses even more wares to select from. Their proceeds all go to various Animal Welfare organisations and drive in South Africa. They also offer online shopping/bidding on certain items which you can do after liking their Facebook page. Animals are their passion and I support them wholeheartedly.
Dress that I cut and made into a nurse's outfit
9. Rags and Lace on Jan Smuts Avenue
Again, more of a vintage store than a simple charity store. Rags and Lace offers the opportunity to buy real designer clothing at a fraction of the price. All pre-loved of course but gently used. Gucci, DKNY, Yves Saint Laurent all line the shelves and the best part? When the items have been there for too long, they are marked down making them only more desirable. Do remember their one quirk though– only women are allowed in the shop, so guys will have to head across the street to Warm and Glad for a coffee while their lady's shop for upmarket brands. Some of the most unique pieces I have ever seen are in this store and for anyone who is a lover of fashion I would recommend stopping in here.
10. Hospice Wits Shop near Cresta
There are a number of these scattered around Joburg. The one nearest to me is opposite Heathway Centre. This shop can be hit and miss sometimes, but when they do have stock worth rummaging through, more often than not, you can find some really gorgeous items. I personally have some sewing and alteration skills so when I come across a vintage piece that is in need of a little work, all I have to do is bring out my sewing machine or unpicker. Sometimes and item requires minimal alterations but the difference is astounding.
Vintage dress that needed a minor alteration
Stunning dress that needed a little sewing
11. Curiosity Shop in Northcliff
This is a relatively new one situated in a little centre just off Beyers Naude, opposite Steve’s Spar. It is a small and dark one that also offers various things from bedding to clothes and kitchen items. Parking is very easy and their clothes are often very reasonably priced. On one of my visits there happened to be a sale where I was able to purchase a kimono made in Japan for just R5. They have put in a lot of work into making it neat and managable and Laura who manages the store and their Facebook page, makes an active effort to keep new stock on the shelves AND is an absolute delight to talk to. One of my favourite stores in Joburg.
My cheap Japanese Kimono
12. Charity Box in Wilro Park
This is a small store that is quite a distance out, more for if you happen to be in the area. I popped in briefly and found some oddities but the piece I was most pleased with was a 2m length of fabric that I paid way too little for. I then cut up the fabric and sewed it into a cape that I will most likely be using at a later stage for cosplaying purposes. They also had some lovely wool, perfect for knitting in the winter months.
Cape that I made with bought fabric
13. St Vincent's Charity Store in Blairgowrie
St Vincent's has quite an array of clothing along with all of the items that you will buy and never use again. Run by a group of elderly people who I love talking to, it's important to note that they only accept cash, no cards at all. Their book collection is one of my favourites in the city. I have gotten anything from Chaucer to Enid Blyton and then some. Well worth a visit but do remember cash.
Lovely dress I did an audition as a bride in
These are simply a few of the stores selling clothes all looking for new homes where they will be loved again. My pre-owned endeavours are not limited to South Africa alone. When I travel abroad, I often take the time to find thrift stores around my vicinity and have never been disappointed at my international finds. Second hand is a way of life but is well worth it when you look like a superstar at a cost of next to nothing.
Dress from charity store in Limpopo
Top from a second hand store in Venice
Alice dress from a thrift store in Portland
Dress from a thrift store in Seattle