Hey Macklemore, can we go thrift shopping?

Join The Tab as we scour Oxford’s charity shops in search of a good bargain


I have always been completely clueless when it comes to thrift shopping – being 5ft 2″, anything outside of Topshop’s petite range terrifies me. So, when given the challenge of putting together outfits from local charity shops, I was a little worried of the outcome.

My aim was to find a couple of Spring/Summer outfits that could be seen in the average high street shop, but for a lot cheaper. I headed to Cowley Road with the help of two friends who, thankfully, are a lot better at charity shopping than I am.

The first couple of shops were unsuccessful (people donate some really weird stuff), but we were determined not to give up.

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Don’t think I could pass this off as Topshop

Despite the slow start, our perseverance soon began to pay off. We managed to find a floral skater dress for £7.50 and tan wedges for £6.50. The outfit would be appropriate for a variety of events, from a Summer wedding to a lunch date – both pieces were versatile and could be dressed up or down.

ASOS do a similar dress for £30 and tan wedges on the high street would normally be around £45, which is a huge difference compared to our charity shop discoveries!

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Outfit price: £14

Another piece we found and loved was a tie-up shirt for £15. American Apparel also sell them, but for £40. The shorts were £10 from H&M and although they weren’t a charity shop find, they’re still a great price and summer staple.

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Outfit price: £25

Overall, my first thrift shopping experience was a real eye-opener and a lot of fun – it felt great to find items that looked like they were from my favourite high street shops, but for a lot cheaper – perfect for students!

If you are new to thrift shopping like I was, then the following tips should help you get started:

  1. Be patient. It takes a while to sort through rails, but it’s worth it!
  2. Try it on. Trying clothes on is a must with charity shopping – it can be quite difficult to find clothes that fit correctly, so you need to try before you buy.
  3. Keep going! If you can’t find clothes you love at first, don’t give up! You could be one shop away from a great find.

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