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Come and find the best recycled clothing boutiques South London!

January 14, 2024

You’re looking for a party dress but feel guilty that you’ll probably only wear it once or twice? I think you’ve done the right thing in thinking about investigating recycled clothing boutiques South London. Of course, a recycled clothing shop could be a charity shop, secondhand shops, vintage shopping, designer vintage clothes shop, or high street vintage clothing.


Recycling clothing is an environmentally sound choice and you will have something new to you, and stunning. In fact, you might find something for your budget which is much more high end than you can usually get new. Look for either designer pieces, or designer-style pieces. My friend is a fashion historian who scours the charity shops for his collection. He finds designer names like Mary Quant, and Missoni sometimes – he even owns a Schiaparelli jacket from the 1940s. He does not were his finds, but that doesn’t mean you can’t! (I mean, you can’t wear his charity shop discoveries, find your own and wear them!)


Ok, so what kind of party dress can you expect to find? Just about anything you can imagine! Do you want something elegant? Maybe look to the 70s with something fluid and drapey, in the style of Roy Halston. Do you remember that hooded jumpsuit that Kylie Minogue wore for the Can’t get you out of my Head video in 2001? That’s very Halstonesque. You may not want something slit from here to here, but a little jersey hood maybe… Like Grace Jones, who has always loved a striking hood.

Recycled Clothing Boutiques South London – The Queen of Party Dresses

Vivienne Westwood was obviously the queen of party dresses, and if you find something by her you’re in great luck. The best are her corseted dresses which make hourglass figures look amazing. They are much beloved by celebrities on the red carpet. They are completely different from a flowing jersey Halston style dress, as they are completely constructed. Nothing’s left to chance here. Any swags and draping is firmly sewn in place here. Magnificent.


You know what else is good if you should happen to want something with construction? A Roland Mouret-style bandage dress. These look like nothing at all on the hanger, but when worn they look amazing. Dating from the 2000s, this look spawned a million copies when Carol Voderman first sparked the trend. They are made from very firm elastic and are extremely flattering. A true classic.


You’ll find a treasure trove of pre loved clothes and accessories, in recycled clothing boutiques South London including designer pieces, in Covent Garden, Brick Lane, East London, Serotonin Vintage, Paper Dress vintage, and West London too.

What sort of Dress Should I go for?

Cyndi Lauper's dress at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Cyndi Lauper’s dress at the Hard Rock Cafe. Photo credit: Image via Flickr, user Eduardo Francisco Vazquez. licensed under CC-BY.


I think that party dresses from the 1980s are some of the most fun to wear. They are not so old that they feel precious, and they can be pretty over the top! It was a time of wide shoulders and big skirts, bright colours and sparkly bits. Not just that, of course, but it’s easy to put together a party look with an 80s dress. Then you have a choice: either style it like the 80s, or give it a more contemporary look with more up to date shoes and accessories.


Personally I think that the first option is such fun. Even though all night people will ask you if you’re off to a fancy dress party, they will also tell you that you look amazing and that you stand out from the crown of boring black. One caveat: you’re not going to be looking chic this way. It was possible to be chic in the 1980s, of course it was. But follow my advice and you won’t be. I’m thinking Cyndi Lauper at her peak – and all years are Lauper’s peak. do go with pretty dresses and amped up hair, get out the hair dye and colour your hair canary yellow or flame orange, or both. Wear lots of bracelets, lots of earrings, and jump around – a lot.

Recycled Clothing Boutiques South London – Puffball dresses and Sweetheart Necklines

In fact, though they are silly and fun, 80s party dresses are also flattering. A sweetheart neckline was universally adored, and it looks good! Volume in the shape of puffball skirts adds swish and interest, or tiers of ra-ra skirts. Aw, I’m getting quite nostalgic and also hatching a plan to go shopping myself – right away!


But listen, if volume is not your thing, have you considered a straighter dress from the 1970s? You could go for a maxi dress to the ground but not a gathered one – a simple bell shape, with fluted sleeves. But in an amazing print! Or perhaps a glittery fabric. You know, don’t be shy. They often have nice scooped necklines, to show a hint of bust. It’s a great background for any statement necklaces you might have.


You can also choose a gathered maxi skirt, if you feel like being swishy. They keep you warm and you can wear tights underneath.

recycled clothing boutiques South London! What about the 1960s?

If you don’t feel like hiding your legs, you’ve picked the right decade. For most people miniskirts in the 60s were about knee length. Or just above the knee. This is because most women still wore stockings and suspenders and not tights – tights were quite rare! So you didn’t want to show off the stocking tops and underwear. So if you are looking for genuine 1960s mini skirts, don’t be surprised if they are a bit longer than expected.


But now we do have tights, and in all different colours. So you can also wear any really short minis you find happily – or hot pants. Another way to style the mini is bare legs and knee length boots, or flat shoes and ankle socks. That reveals a lot of leg! Or you can choose interesting knee socks too. These were all popular styles in the 60s. Or a more 90s way to do it is far less feminine – wear combat boots or Doc Martens.