Feeling fresh without financial stress

Keeping on top of fashion trends can be hard whilst you have a limited budget

Olivia Carter
21st September 2023
Image credit @the_bhf on Instagram
As a university student who is constantly surrounded by changing fashion and trending styles, it is so important for me that my personal style represents who I am whilst remaining relevant and trendy.

Personally, I don’t have one particular style, therefore, my wardrobe is expanding all the time with random pieces here and there as I impulse buy and strive to stay up to date. This can have its consequences, however, as I am forced to watch my bank account take hit after hit, leaving me with limited funds. As someone who cares about my personal fashion and has an interest in mixing my style up constantly, it is important for me to find ways to stay on top of it all whilst saving my pennies. 

Second hand fashion is the key; no, I’m not suggesting you buy a horribly overpriced, stained jumper from The Vintage Store. My go to this year has been Vinted, an online second hand fashion retailer that allows users to sell their old clothes and items that they don’t want anymore. Although rather similar to Depop, it has not yet been plagued with an incessant community of ‘Y2K’ sellers flogging new Primark as vintage. I have had many successes myself using this app, even selling a few of my old clothes to lovely and reliable buyers. As one sells, a balance can be built up as a part of your account that can either be drawn out as a profit or credited onto the app itself, creating a satisfying cycle of buying and selling. 

My go to this year has been Vinted

Charity shops are also a big win when it comes to finding hidden gems; having become more popular in recent years amongst our generation, prices are slowly rising with the demand, but not enough to cause any real competition between their department store neighbours. They are great as they take away the need for online shopping, keeping the high street in full swing, something that I have noticed is slowly dying out, particularly within the trade of clothing. There are so many charity options dotted around the city centre of Newcastle (and Jesmond); it is easy to find what you are looking for. My personal favourite is The British Heart Foundation and British Red Cross, both of which can be found at the back of Grainger Market. 

A recent party I attended gave me an excuse to buy a new outfit; with second hand in mind I tried my best to create an outfit built upon pre-loved clothes. Creating the base of the piece was most important, with both my top and skirt coming from Vinted and totalling £10.50 altogether (not including postage). I paired a simple silver necklace from Vinted for £1.50 with a silver shoulder bag from St Leonard's Hospice charity shop for £3.50 in order to accessorise effectively. Finally I tied the outfit together with a pair of practically unworn leather-look boots for £8, purchased from The British Heart Foundation. Altogether my outfit, whilst remaining fairly cheap, created a fun challenge in putting it altogether, whilst helping the planet in return and turning my back on fast fashion.

Image credit - @livcarterr__ on Instagram (pictured outfit described above)

Whilst The Vintage Store can be a great place to go for inspiration and a cheeky one-off purchase, other stores such as The Vintage Scene, located down Ridley Place, and The Yesterday Society Vintage Boutique, found within Grainger Market, are great alternatives with just as good attire and slightly less overbearing music. Whilst based slightly out of Newcastle, Durham Textiles is a great vintage unit sale that sells great second hand clothing for super affordable prices; they can be found on Facebook, taking part in car boot sales and opening up their unit to the public - with consistently great prices, I find it hard not to leave with a whole bin bag of ‘new’ clothing!

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