Choosing to go to university in London and deciding to move there can be an exciting and nervous experience for any new student.

However, sometimes the thought of budgeting and ‘being an full adult’ can be daunting, since the average student in London will spend about £80 – £160 on food, around £700 (depending on which student accommodation you are with) on rent and about £60 on travel per month, leaving the rest of their student loan on other luxuries such as a gym membership, eating out and the big one, clothes.

With London being one of the biggest fashion capitals in world, it’s hard not to be creative and experiment especially with the plethora of shops that London has to offer. Although saying that, the many sales and offers that clothes shops present to tempt potential customers in can be a trap for a London student! As before you know it, you have spent more than your budget for the month and you’re then limited on what you can buy whilst on your food shop.

There is no one that would ever say that a commendable sale, offer, or discount that we as consumers cherish, is one hundred percent is a terrible concept. However these sales can be damaging to your bank balance, but don’t sweat! If you still want to look and be apart of London’s fashion manifestation (especially if you study a fashion course) – at a reasonable and affordable price, then I have two words for you fashion lovers – CHARITY SHOPS!

Photo by Sara Hebil-Motie

It’s so simple and you’re always destined to find an item of clothing or accessories at a feasible price. If you head to the more ‘posher’ places in london, such as Chelsea, you can find designer brands from Channel to Vivienne Westwood to Tom Ford that you can add to your collection.  Regardless of where you go, don’t forget about your local charity shop as they might have some incredible finds for you too! One of the best parts about shopping at a charity shop is that not only do you manage to save a fortune from the original retail price but you’re also giving back to a good or local cause and therefore your fabulous styles becomes a bit more than just fashion. As charity shop worker, Matthew agrees!

A great example of a bargain found by a student from the London College of Fashion was a pair of 875 Moc Leather Booths (Red Wing Shoes) which at retail price at Mr Porter or John Lewis costs £240  and he found the same pair at a Oxfam Charity shop on Marylebone high street for an astonishing £50!

  Photos by Sara Hebil-Motie


With London’s array of clothing shops, there’s bound to be a place for you with your style in mind. From West Hampstead to Shoreditch, you can find some of the best buys that might just make your wardrobe! There are several articles online that give you a list of London’s best charity shops and vintage shops that you should give a visit.

For more information on how you can grab a bargain and look  you can visit the Save The Student website or check out the University College London ‘guide to charity shop bargains’.


By Sara Hebil-Motie
University of Westminster
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