Top Tips For Student Shopping
An obligatory part of being a student is being broke around 90% of the time and if you’re not, then you’re probably doing it wrong. To try and solve this problem, in recent years, there has been a surge of students swarming to charity shops with the hope of being able to pick up an exclusive vintage garment for just a fraction of the price they would pay in retail shops. However, for many, trawling through charity shops can be seen as a painful task that rarely ends up with finding anything remotely wearable. Luckily for you students, this guide will help keep motivation levels high so that you can find those hidden gems that your friends always seem to find before you.
1. Be adventurous
If you’re going to succeed in your charity shop adventure, you have to be prepared to go outside of your comfort zone. On rare occasions, you may find something that causes you to exclaim “wow this is so cute!" but more often than not it will trigger the reaction “hm this is extremely weird". However, this extremely weird item, most probably donated by a 70 year old man, is likely to make you stand out from the crowd and may even end up becoming a staple piece in your wardrobe. If you always play it safe in charity shops then you’re never going to come out 100% satisfied. It probably only costs a few pounds anyway, so what is stopping you?
2. Don’t stick to your respective gender
It’s ridiculous that clothes are gendered anyway, but that’s a different argument. The great thing about charity shops is that no-one is going to judge you for shopping in the opposite sex’s section. From experience, I find the men's section is often better than the women's—it’s especially better for finding oversized, comfy t-shirts and jumpers which can often be ruined by flowers and frills in the women’s section. Likewise if you’re a guy, there’s nothing to stop you from letting your feminine side be free!
3. Location is everything
Although there is a larger quantity of charity shops in big cities, they are usually not of a high quality as they are in the busiest areas, and so stylish items get snapped up straight away. Instead, I would advise checking them out in small towns as these have the least visitors and are also have more space to look around, reducing the risk of feeling claustrophobic and stressed. Rather than wandering around aimlessly until falling upon a charity shop, this website helps you find charity shops within your area straight away so you can save time.
4. Visit frequently
The key is not to be disheartened if you can’t find anything first time. The great thing about charity shops is that they are restocked frequently and from a range of different people with different styles. If nothing takes your fancy, wait a few weeks and re-visit - you could have a totally different experience! Some charity shops have too much stock to get through in one visit anyway and it’s often wise to have multiple visits.
5. Take a friend
Charity shops are often difficult alone, especially if you are indecisive. Having a friend at hand to give you encouragement to get a garment that is a bit ‘out there’ or to advise you against terrible decisions is always comforting. You can start at different ends of the shop and point out items to each other— something that they may at first pick up for themselves may end up suiting you better, and vice-versa! However, if there is something that you spot and like, don’t let them talk you out of buying it if your gut instinct is to purchase it. Friends are there to advise but ultimately you are the decision maker: after all, it’s you that will be wearing it.
By Mairead Nolan