Fashion | Thrift Faves

Us Leeds university students are known to make a statement with our attire. Whilst there’s a distinct ‘dressed down’ look to our universal dress code, keeping up with our ‘edgy’ rep is as important as ever, with Nike trainers, oversized jackets and tartan scarves as just a few of the typical items referenced daily on campus. Owing to this, it’s no surprise that the city centre has a good range of Vintage clothes stores that are popular with students. Whilst high street chains such as Urban Outfitters offer their own vintage lines,the constant demand for the grunge look makes some items out of the student budget but with some research we’re now giving you the heads up on the best second-hand clothes shops in town sorting the vintage gems from the castoffs.

The Leeds Corn Exchange is a fantastic place to start. Upstairs you will find two boutique style vintage shops. Alice Found Treasure lends itself to the vintage tea party look. Well stocked with pretty pastel jumpers and flowing floral skirts, this shop is perfect for girly garments. To accompany these elegant outfits is a range of leather satchels and a collection of charming, bespoke jewellery pieces at affordable prices. Top finds include a beautiful mink fur jacket at just £80. This shop is ideal for girly girls looking for handsome vintage as opposed to the grunge look. Directly opposite and still on the upper floor of the Corn Exchange is Mad Elizabeth, a small shop crammed with distinctive ‘Leeds wardrobe’ essentials. If bringing back the nineties is your style then this shop is your place. The clothes in here are less Mad Hatters Tea Party and more likely to be seen on students who frequent Beaverworks on a Friday night. If you are looking for baggy denim jackets or colourful sweatshirts you won’t leave empty handed.

Slightly off the retail beaten track but still in the same end of town is Bird’s Yard (83 Kirkgate, LS2 7DJ). This place is one of Leeds’ more understated shopping experiences and is definitely worth a visit. After enjoying coffee and a cupcake in the downstairs café, head up to the top floor (the signs tell you to follow the painted swallows) where you will find an abundance of glittery objects and dresses reminiscent of 1920’s America. This is an inspiring place to go to if you are stuck for fancy dress ideas. Their outstanding range of ensembles will have you prepared for any party theme, no matter how obscure it may be!

However, at the top of our recommendations list is Pop Boutique (Central Road, LS1 6DE). Methodically laid out with a wide assortment of clothes from leather jackets to bobble hats, this establishment has the best array of individual vintage items. For a look that is more interesting than the typical grunge fashion of today, come and explore these varied rails of sixties, seventies and eighties trend statements. There is also a far larger collection for men than in the other shops. Pop Boutique is ideally located next to the wonderfully eclectic Mrs Atha’s. This is a café that I could only describe as vintage kitsch with its succulent cakes and mismatched tea sets, definitely a place to chill out at after a successful day of retail!

Alice Burns

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