The Designer Charity Shopping Event of the Century

No, I don’t think that’s too bold a statement and here’s why:

Forget my recent post bemoaning the lack of charity shops in Singapore. This weekend bore witness to a second hand designer charity sale to rival all others,  even globally (think of a smart London charity shop in Chelsea that’s full of designer clothes but with the usual and sometimes expensive charity prices slashed by about 70%).

This Saturday and Sunday it was the annual UN Women’s charity sale ‘Buy to Save’ held at a Club 21 pop-up shop in ION.  Prices started from as little as $10 (the maximum you could manage to spend, per item, was $100).

All the clothes, some had never even been worn and still had tags in, were donated by the well groomed women (as well as a few men) of Singapore.  The haul was extra good this year due to the charity’s link up with Club 21, who have a database of clients with wardrobes to die for.   

I have to say, my expectations were not high and I squeezed in a 20 minute flying visit on my way to a baby shower over in Palais on Saturday.  I arrived at the shower sweating and in a state of extreme excitement having bagged a new-with-tag Max Mara black pencil skirt for $20:

and a Donna Karen white suit skirt ($40) with a matching boxy, Chanel-style jacket (also $40)…actually managing to find a matching suit was like playing pelmanism – the two components were hanging on different rails – but that just made it all the more fun. I  am not sure when I’ll wear it but that is really not the point. 

Here’s a rather unintelligible picture of my weekend haul (above). The red you can see on the chair back is a Calvin Klein dress ($60) and there is a black boucle jacket in the centre of the shot (DKNY and costing $60).  A pair of white Citizens of Humanity jeans are thrown over the back of the chair (tag still in and cost $20) and amidst the general pile lurk a pair of classic navy Ralph Lauren wool trousers – not that suitable for my no-air con house but WHO CARES!….and more.

As it’s extremely annoying to be told about things like this after the event, I DID actually post info on the sale on my Facebook page along with details of the rock bottom prices (designer sales at designer-ish prices do not interest me!).  So if you didn’t see it, you can ‘like’ Changmoh on FB here for future updates.

To bargain hunt for clothes successfully in a scrum sale like this, I have deduced that you need two things: the patience to hunt out treasure as well as to actually and truthfully know the size of your ass – there is no point staggering off to try everything on if half of it is not your size; by the time you get back to the rails to try again, the good stuff will probably have gone.

Everyone shopping on both days (after my Saturday success I couldn’t possibly not go back on Sunday when they replenish it all) was lovely and we all tried things on over our existing clothes – there was a fitting room but who is going to bother queuing? – and advised each other on what looked good and what didn’t as well as what could be successfully altered.

My most expensive buy was a long black sleeveless Issey Miyake ‘pleats please’ dress that I was told was too big for me by everyone who saw me in it but which I still couldn’t bring myself not to buy.  I will be wearing it regardless.

An incredibly good cause made shopping even easier and you also had the option of buying membership to the appeal (UN Women Singapore) which in turn gave you some money off your armfuls of goodies, depending on your level of contribution (I bought three years membership which was $125 and it gave me 20% off).

I will be back next year, possibly even volunteering, as I loved it thatmuch.