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Image / Fashion

Blogger Sarah Hanrahan is proof that the best fashion finds are hiding in charity shops

by Freya Drohan
27th Jan 2020



While you’ll never catch some influencers wearing the same thing twice on Instagram, Dublin-based culture and lifestyle blogger Sarah Hanrahan endeavours for quality versus quantity, and doesn’t stray away from shopping second-hand

A few years ago, the former psychiatric nurse saw a niche for creating cultural content about the city’s happenings and quickly became the go-to woman for both comprehensive events guides and tried-and-tested recommendations.

Of course, the 33-year-old’s personal style has also helped her follower count grow immensely along the way, as she passionately waxed lyrical in her social media captions about her love for charity shops, vintage and sustainability.

Here, Hanrahan tells IMAGE about her shopping ethos, what she wears to walk her gorgeous pup Stanley and how a red lip is always the last word in accessorising.

What makes you excited about getting dressed in the morning?

I usually have late-night epiphanies about outfits I want to wear (what a wild life I live!) so the thought of an epic outfit coming together makes me excited.

What’s your failsafe, go-to look for a day when you’re lacking inspiration?

An all-black, mixed texture look with gold accessories (and I’ll add a red lip if I’m feeling feisty).

Last piece you bought?

Two unreal vintage leather jackets from Oxfam last week; one with some Aztec-style stitching (which reminded me of something Princess Diana might have worn to a music festival); the other is cropped and brown with the perfect amount of lived-in wear to it.

What’s a typical ‘off duty’ look for you?

If I’m working from home, it usually involves a walk with my dog at some stage, so most likely yoga pants and a hoodie to be honest.

First piece you saved all your pocket money for?

A pair of epic urban combats. There were buckles over the combat pockets that had red lights you could press to flash. Proper 90s rave gear! I would 100% wear them today. I also had a keen interest in Cyberdog clothes — they were next on my list.

Where do you shop usually?

I love to mix high street and charity shop pieces. I absolutely love the diversity that charity shops offer — they give you the chance to find what you like without telling you what to like, if that makes sense. I don’t shop often as I hate clutter in my house and I’m quite fussy; I don’t often see things I love. I would probably buy on average two new things a month.

If you have something big coming up, where do you look for a killer outfit?

I love Mango for dresses and suits; Topshop Boutique does great tailoring and ASOS is also great for occasion wear.

What do you do with your fashion purchases when you no longer need them?

I put things aside for friends who I think might like them. I give a bag of donations to charity at the end of each month or occasionally sell through Siopaella.

Last outfit you’d wear on earth?

Ohhh that’s tough! It very much depends on my mood. Either an ethereal vintage dress with a leather jacket and boho accessories or a perfectly-tailored suit with a navel cut top, finished with a bold lip.

Best ever bargain purchase?

My longline camel coat, which I picked up in a Camden St. charity shop for €15. I’ve had it for five years and still wear it and love it endlessly.

Favourite fashion memory?

Perhaps not favourite, but a funny fashion memory: I was obsessed with clothes as a child and would plan outfits weeks in advance if I was going somewhere exciting. I was going to see Michael Jackson one summer with my parents and saved my fave outfit, which included white pedal pushers for the big day. I was very pleased with my sartorial choices until I sat on a melted chocolate ice cream and had to present myself at the concert with an entirely brown stained bum. Not ideal.

Designer you’d wear all the time if you won the Lotto?

Vintage Versace.

Where do you seek style inspiration?

Mostly Pinterest and people I see on the street.

Trend you’d never be caught dead in?

Hairbands; they’re just really not my style!

Trend you’d wear ‘til the cows come home?

Monochrome or colour blocking (without the primary colours). I love a neutral base with fun accessories added… that’ll be my forever failsafe.

One thing that’s been on your wishlist forever?

I don’t really have one thing that comes to mind. Probably more vintage designer pieces. I bore of new age stuff quite quickly — you cannot beat vintage in my opinion.

Read more: Meet Audrey Hamilton, the artist with a closet as colourful as her eye-catching artwork

Read more: The fashion PR with a die-hard love for vintage

Read more: Stylish singer Mairead Carlin knows how to dress on and off stage

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