Student’s Guide To Charity Shops by Natalie Deyes

With high-street prices rising more and more every day, the student purse strings aren’t getting any bigger. Even vintage shops are becoming expensive and lets face it, they are pretty much exactly the same as our beloved charity shops.

Now charity shops are like marmite. You ever love them, hate them or try them and realise that it’s never going to take your fancy. Some people can’t bring themselves to wear something worn by someone else. There’s always that fear that someone may have died in them.

But realistically, charity shops are highly recommended. They are great for not only our wallets and purses, but also for the environment as well as being able to find a one-of-a kind garment. The potential of setting a new trend and coming home with a bag full of goodies for a fraction of price that you would pay on the high street is simply too much excitement.

For those of you who are completely new to the magical world of charity shops and second hand treasures, there is crucial charity shop etiquette that you must follow!

Explore your options…

80% of the time you are not going to find what you are looking for but there will be times when you do. Don’t necessarily go in with a plan of action. If you go in thinking ‘I need a yellow jumper with green spots’…it’s highly unlikely you will get one. Go for something completely different.

Mix and Match…

Mix and match the weirdest color combinations and patterns. Try different styles together. You never know, you could set a new trend.

Don’t be put off that it’s second hand…

Yes someone else has worn it, just make sure you wash it again yourself! Isn’t there something magical about passing something down through generations. It’s all about being vintage darling.

Keep looking…

Don’t stop. Visit a few times a week or even once a week. Charity shops put out new stock every single day and you don’t want to miss out.

Make sure you hand in your unwanted good’s too!

It’s great buying and having a good ol’ root but if you have clothes or nik-naks that you don’t want anymore, give them to a charity shop. Not only is it great for the charity, its good for the environment and makes you feel a hell of a lot better.

Don’t be afraid to rummage…

A lot of the time, there will be clothes in a bundle in a box. The good items will be hidden or right at the back of the rail. Don’t hesitate to have a good root through it all. Get into every nook and cranny to get a hidden gem.

Be frugal…

Just because you are getting a great deal on some unwanted items, does not mean you can stretch your student loan to the point where you cant afford essentials. It’s fantastic that your treating yourself, but there is treating yourself and going a bit overboard.

Finally enjoy it….

Charity shop shopping is fun. Embrace it. Tell people about it. Take a group of friends and hold competitions. Have each of you take in £10 and see how much you can buy. Find your student fancy dress nights costumes. Or simply get some nik naks for your flat. Whatever the reason you go into a charity shop for, make sure you make the most of it. You never know what you might find.

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