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Thrift shopping: your university essentials

By StudentLiving 15 Aug 2023

Save money, be eco-friendly and look good all at the same time.

Creating a cool and one-of-a-kind wardrobe for your university days doesn't need to cost a fortune. Thrift shopping presents a fun and eco-friendly avenue to discover stylish items that match your individual taste and don't strain your finances. Here are some tips and tricks to help you smoothly navigate thrift stores and put together a fashionable and budget-conscious wardrobe.

What's in your area

Check out the map below to discover some of the thrift shops and charity shops in your local area:

How to thrift shop like a pro

Follow these tips and tricks to make the most out of your thrift shopping experience:

  • Stay open-minded -  Thrift shopping demands an open-minded approach and a dash of adventure. Be ready to rummage through racks, try new styles and don't expect the unexpected.
  • Know what you're looking for - Before hitting thrift stores, have a clear sense of your personal style and the types of clothing you're seeking. Consider your favourite colours, patterns, and cuts to guide your choices. It's best to know what exactly you're looking for beforehand to save yourself from spending hours aimlessly looking for clothes you're not sure you even want.
  • Patience is essential - Thrift shopping is all about exploring and uncovering treasures, but this does take time. Be patient and visit stores frequently as they receive new items all the time.
  • Check for quality - Prior to purchasing anything, give it a careful inspection for signs of wear, stains, or damage. Check zippers, buttons, and seams to make sure everything is in good shape. If the store permits, don't hesitate to try things on as well as that will help reveal any major issues.
a group of people in a store window
  • Mix and match - One of the best things about thrift shopping is being able to combine different textures, patterns, and styles to create distinctive outfits. Feel free to accessorise with scarves, belts, hats, or bold jewellery for that extra oomph.
  • Repurposing and upcycling - If you spot something with potential but its just not quite right, think about repurposing or upcycling. Convert jeans into shorts, turn oversized shirts into crop tops, or add unique embellishments to put your personal touch. If you come across a piece that fits well but needs minor adjustments, consider investing in alterations. Simple changes like hemming, taking in or letting out seams can transform a thrifted find into a perfectly tailored piece.
  • Make the most of deals - Keep an eye out for special discounts, seasonal sales, or discount days at thrift stores. These opportunities can stretch your budget and help you snag fantastic deals. 
  • Give back and donate - A important part of thrift shopping is keeping the cycle alive. As your style evolves or you no longer need certain items, consider donating them back to thrift stores. This not only declutters your wardrobe but also gives others a chance to find their own treasures.

With these tips and tricks in mind, you'll be ready to embrace the thrill of thrift shopping and enjoy the satisfaction of finding one-of-a-kind pieces, while keeping your budget intact. Happy thrifting!