The Charity Shop Guide to Revamping Your Wardrobe

Is your wardrobe looking a little tired? Do you feel like it’s time to reinvent yourself now that you’re all setup in your new student apartment and starting university life away from home?  

It’s actually quite easy and fun to revamp your wardrobe, even if you don’t have much cash to splash. This charity shop guide is a good starting point to help you get out there and find a whole new wardrobe – without it costing you the earth! 

Charity Shop guide

1. Make A List

The first part of this charity shop guide is to sit down and make a list. You never want to head into a charity shop blind, as you’re more likely to get flustered or end up buying loads of things you don’t necessarily want or need.  

It is also important that you have things that match with your wardrobe. Think about the styles you’d like to find, specific clothing items (do you desperately need some new skirts, new tops, a winter coat, or jeans?), and colours. 

Make a list

2. Look At Different Areas 

Finding charity shops in different parts of town might be a really good way to get to know your new home. Going to different parts of a town or city and finding different charity shops works could also help you find different types of clothing to revamp your wardrobe. 

You might get lucky, in some fancier areas of the place you’re living you could find some designer gear, clothing that would usually be out of your price range, but in a charity shop you’ll get yourself a real bargain!  

In more rural areas you might be lucky to find vintage clothing with fewer people around competing to buy it at charity shop prices, whilst all charity shopping provides you with the chance to find a broad range of clothes and it’s always exciting when you find a surprise purchase in a normal ‘student’ area. 

Look at different areas

3. Get Excited About Vintage Finds 

You won’t walk right into your local Oxfam and discover they’ve just had a pile of the latest designer clothing dropped off that morning.  

It’s unrealistic to think that you’ll find loads of modern clothes and styles, but what you can find in charity shops is that there is some amazing vintage clothing of really high quality.  

If you’re prepared to put the time in after reading this charity shop guide, you’ll be rewarded with timeless items of forever fashion.  

Vintage finds

4. Dig Deep To Find Hidden Gems 

Sometimes, you’ll come across a big pile of old clothes, shoes, bags, and other accessories in a charity shop. All you can do in these circumstances is to dig deep, get right into it and see what you can discover the further into the pile you go.  

The same can be said of when you come across racks and racks of clothing. Be prepared to spend the time carefully going through each item to make sure you haven’t missed anything. 

Hidden gems

5. Check For Quality Before You Buy 

The last thing you want is to leave the charity shop with a big smile on your face only to return home and find that what you bought has a stain on it, a small rip, or a zip that doesn’t work properly.  

In the vast majority of cases, each item in a charity shop will have gone through a quality check by the staff before they are placed for sale on the shop floor, but things can be missed. Double check everything before you pay and head home. 

Check for clothes quality

6. Keep On Playing The Game 

It is unlikely that you’ll find everything that you want in one go when out shopping. A big part of any charity shop guide is about persistence and regularly heading out to go around the same charity shops that you’ve worked out are the best ones.  

You just never know what you’ll find, and with new stock coming in all the time, the next visit could be when you find that absolute showstopper of a new dress! 

Keep on playing the game

7. Go At Quiet Times During The Week 

As a student there is a good chance that you’ll have some flexibility as to when you can go out shopping. Charity shops are naturally busier on the weekends, and for most people who are regulars in the charity shop game they’ll have better results when they visit during the week.  

It gives you a bit more space and time to browse and have a good look at everything in the store without the pressure of other shoppers. The longer you have to spend searching for what you want and making sure there are no problems, the further your money will go. 

Charity shop quiet

8. Donate Your Own Clothes 

It’s only right that you pay back into the thing that you love. Your favourite charity shops only exist because of the kind donations of others.

If you are reinventing your wardrobe and looking for a whole new look, why not donate your current wardrobe and clothes you’re no longer going to wear? It will help the charity shops to survive and help you clear that space in the wardrobe for your cherished charity shop buys. 

Donate clothes

This charity shop guide with 8 tips is a fantastic starting point for you if you are starting university and want to find a frugal way to revamp your wardrobe. In every town and city, you’ll find interesting and quirky charity shops, fancy areas of town where you’ll discover high-quality designer clothes and vintage items if you’re lucky.  

Put in the hard work, be prepared to dig through piles of clothes, to scan every rack and check through every item you pick up for any potential faults, rips, stains and more before you pay.  

There is an art and a skill to charity shopping, but once you get into it, you’ll have lots of fun and it is easy to get hooked! 

For you to read next: Keeping Fit In Your Student Accommodation | Tips, Tricks and Hacks. 

If you haven’t found your perfect study and living environment yet, then look at our property pages to find your ideal student accommodation.