Over the past couple of weeks I have begun a very expensive, yet highly fun hobby – charity shopping and vintage clothing shopping. Shopping in these shops is so enjoyable, and – unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it – the moral argument to spend money in there is so strong. I feel my brain telling me: ‘Do not buy these items, you’re a student, you don’t have the money’. However, there is an immediate reply: ‘It’s fine to spend money here, you’re basically donating to charity or supporting new local businesses, spend away!’ So, consequently I have been making various purchases, much to the chagrin of my bank account.
There is a vaulting excitement upon entering one of these shops, an element of mystery that makes the shopping experience all the more exciting. If I were to go into a high street shop, I know for certain that there will be what I want, but quite frankly that’s just dull. The excitement of the charity and vintage shops is the mystery; you can scour the hanging rails of numerous shops, finding nothing of interest whatsoever. But then, in the fifth, sixth, or maybe even seventh shop you have visited, you find a paradise, a beacon of happiness, the clothes or books or item you have been avidly searching for. The long awaited search has come to a thrilling end, but the fat lady hasn’t sung yet. Your hand – trembling with anticipation – fumbles rapidly for the price tag. Your fingers find the tag, and turn it around in a swift motion, revealing the best thing of all about this kind of shopping, the price. You see the price and feel like you want to throw your fist in the air, this item would be at least double the price if you were to buy it brand new! The fat lady finally sings. You have found your bargain for the day.
Now the paragraph above is a slight dramatisation of the charity/vintage shopping experience, but nevertheless it is highly enjoyable. I have had so much fun engaging in this kind shopping, and, for reasons mentioned earlier, do not have to feel nearly as much guilt for spending away my student loan in these shops!
If you are based in and around York, as I am, Chinese Laundry is my personal favourite vintage clothing shop. They have a great selection and are based in Goodramgate. Here’s a link to their website: www.chinese-laundry.co.uk
Dog and Bone is also another great shop in York, especially for vintage shirts. They are based in Castlegate.
But, whatever you do, do not forget to visit all the charity shops, that is where purchases are needed the most, and, at whatever charity shop you make a purchase, you are supporting a much needed cause. My personal favourites in York are the Oxfam and British Heart Foundation, both situated near Chinese Laundry on Goodramgate.
Do go and visit the charity and vintage shops around you, it is great fun, and you may just find a new you in the old clothes there.