Second-Hand City: A Thrifting Guide to York


Eilidh Hide helps you uncover York's hidden gems with her guide to second-hand shopping.

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Image by Dustin Quasar

By Eilidh Hide

With ‘Climate-Change’ at the forefront of everyone's minds and summer budgets a distant memory, students are increasingly shunning fast-fashion in favour of second-hand. So, whether you're new to York or new to vintage, here’s a helping-hand.

Charity Shops
Where to go: The Charity Shops along Walmgate and the MS charity shop at the Hull Road junction all have lovely staff who will help you uncover some hidden treasures.
How to:
Visit regularly- When something good comes in it usually goes just as quickly so make sure you're visiting regularly to snap up any gems.
Get to know the staff- The volunteers know exactly when comes in and what leaves so if you build a good relationship with them, they can point you in the direction of anything they think you might like.
Shop Unisex- Not only are baggie hoodies and oversized check shirts infinitely more comfortable than tight t-shirts but Try it On- It might seem self-explanatory though it can be tempting to avoid the grimy-shower-curtain-esque changing rooms but it’s worth it. Given the lack of a returns policy, it’s worth making the effort- no-one wants an unworn New Look skirt lingering in the wardrobe for years.

Where to go: Chinese Laundry, Expressions, Headlock Vintage (Spark), Dog & Bone Vintage, Bowler Vintage Clothing
How to:
BargainBins- Look out for Discounted Items, Chinese Laundry has a great £5 bargain bin with everything from shell-jackets to shift dresses- so don’t be scared to have a rummage.
Get creative- be prepared to alter and repair items to fit your personal style. Even something as simple as the poor styling in a charity shop
Look beyond the labels- given the recent surge in people looking for vintage ‘garms’, there’s a real premium on labels. So, widen your horizons and venture away from the navy-blue vintage ‘ralphie’ to get more for your money.
Don’t bother with shoes- It’s really rare to find a decent pair of used shoes second-hand, let alone any that you’d actually want, so save that for your online browsing.

Where to go: Depop, eBay, ASOS Marketplace, Beyond Retro, Rokit
How to: Tailor your searches- Add ‘vintage’ to your search to bar if you’re looking for higher quality, unique pieces.
Don’t use the filters- this might seem counterintuitive but very few sellers categorize their products properly which means you might miss out on your new jacket.
Keep Searching-It takes commitment but have a thorough scour if you want to find a true diamond in the rough as many sites have a lot of dull stock.
Search for specific items- On a similar note, it’s worth looking up the exact make, size and colour you want before searching on a selling platform as it will save you filtering through hundreds of ‘not-quite-right’ Hilfiger Hoodies.
Take inspiration from others- It’s Depop specific but check out the ‘likes’ page of your friends and favourite influencers, it’s a great way of discovering new sellers and getting inspiration.