The chicest car boot sale is coming to Selfridges this weekend
Car boot sales are an indisputable British pastime, one that conjures up images of muddy fields, sub-zero temperatures and 5am wake-up calls. Despite the conditions, the allure is simple: everyone loves a bargain — especially after foraging through mounds of stuff to find it.
But imagine getting to thumb through your favourite fashion insider’s wardrobe instead of someone’s dusty attic clearout. Better yet, you get to do so from the comfort of Selfridges car park, where every piece is up to 70 per cent off and all the proceeds go to Women for Women International, an incredible organisation that has helped more than 530,000 women across 14 conflict-affected countries.
This is what Alex Eagle has built with her annual #SheInspiresMe car boot, which has garnered a reputation among the style set as the “chicest car boot sale ever”. Taking place on Saturday, May 20, the event sells past-season, vintage and pre-loved designer goods at a fraction of their RRP. Think £150 Jimmy Choo shoes, £400 for Loewe Mini Gate Crossbody bags and £250 for Molly Goddard frocks.
“Normally, with transactional things, especially in terms of shopping, there’s guilt. But here there’s none,” says Eagle, who is the brains behind Alex Eagle Studio and The Store X. “It’s only a win-win. You either get to see your beloved clothes going to good homes, or you get to support a worthwhile charity sustainably.”
The style guru founded the event in 2016 as the antithesis of elitist charity fundraisers. “Why do we need to have fancy galas which only the super, super rich people are able to buy tickets to? It just felt a bit old-fashioned and not that fun,” says Eagle, on her decision to host this particular kind of format. “With this car boot sale there’s such a good feeling of circularity that’s accessible to everyone.”
For Eagle it was especially important that everyone who wanted to be involved could be. “You can buy coffee and you’ve supported. You could buy a five quid T-shirt and you’ve supported. There shouldn’t be a price limit on being involved and caring about a charity,” she explains.
“Some people donate clothes, then some people come and support on the day. There’s loads of ways of being involved in the event.”
Over the years it’s become a mythical date in the fashion calendar, with celebrities such as Helen Mirren previously donating her Bafta dress and supermodel Kate Moss emptying her wardrobe out for the cause. However, 2023’s iteration promises to be the highest calibre offering yet. As part of Worn Again, a season of experimental and circular shopping experiences at Selfridges, so far more than 100 brands and VIPs have donated items, including: Vogue deputy editor Sarah Harris, Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner (who has pledged a Louis Vuitton) and cult-favourite occasionwear label RIXO.
There’s also a dedicated beauty station filled with 111 Skin, Charlotte Tilbury and Founded Beauty for those wanting to stock up their bathroom cabinets with top products, too.
“I am so happy that we can play a part in this special event with Women for Women International,” says Sandra Choi, creative director of Jimmy Choo, who regularly donates several stalls worth of shoes each year. “It’s inspiring to see the positive results of people coming together with a simple idea that becomes a life-changing force for the women who need it the most.”
Currently they’ve raised nearly £1 million for Women For Women International, and this year they hope to surpass this milestone within the first two hours. In a time of excessive consumption and fast fashion, the #SheInspiresMe car boot sale stands out as the ultimate feelgood, guilt-free shopping extravaganza. So as Eagle says: “Don’t overthink it and just have fun!”
A limited number of tickets for #SheInspiresMe Car Boot Sale will be made available aon the day at 10am on May 20 at womenforwomen.org.uk/sheinspiresme-car-boot-sale-2023.
Alex Eagle’s five best tips for a successful car boot outing
1. Follow your gut. If you see something that sparks joy, go for it.
2. Go with a budget in mind and save up beforehand.
3. Don’t be afraid of missing bargains as people replenish throughout the whole day (and prices drop even more right at the end of the day).
4. Bear other people in mind as this is a really good place to stock up on gifts.
5. Know your uniform and what you like, and get fresh versions of that. If you love black blazers and high waisted jeans just go for that.