Wednesday, 6 October 2010

shop 'til you drop.

Shopping review for my university newspaper, Fresher's edition.

Helen Turnbull gives us the heads up on where to shop in York.

Embarking on your university career can be a daunting time to say the least. A whole host of questions surface.. Will I fit in? Will I make friends? Bla bla. But if you're anything like me, you'll also be contemplating; "what array of beautiful boutiques await me and my precious loan pounds?" So here it is; a guide to shopping in York for the Rah, the Hipster, the Indie Kid and everything in between.

Firstly; the Rah. Arguably this is pointless as any established sloane is well acquainted with the means that manifest their sterotype, in their native Southern counties. But for anyone from further north than York, Jack Wills is very ‘public school’ and ‘preppy’ -esque and comes as a standard for York university. The collections are marketed as classically ‘British’ in style, inspired by traditional British heritage and country pursuits. Think polo shirts in every colour under the sun and too much tweed. You pay good money for the 'fabulously British' quality of their collections. If you don't make the Uni rowing team cut then you can always pay a £69 plus, one-off fee for a lifetime membership to the J.W.R.C; in the form of a hoody.

For the budding fashionistas: a high-end, high street equivalent to Topshop; Sarah Coggles. What started out as a quirky York Market stall has amalgamated itself into a modern boutique store. The store collaborates with the best new designers and established fashion houses. Boasting over 200 collections from Cheap Monday to Vivienne Westwood you have to be willing to dig a little deeper to fork out on oh-so beautiful investment pieces. Men's and women's are separated into neighbouring located on Low Petergate.

If you still can't resist the pearly gates of Topshop/Topman however, then here's one final reminder that their annual 20% student discount, lock-in event is taking place from 6.30-9pm next Tuesday and Wednesday. Just remember the student card, they can be arsey when they want to be so I'd say it's worth investing in an NUS.

For those of you who are keen on your ethical issues here is one I'm not familliar with myself but stumbled across on researching this piece; One: Responsibly Gorgeous. The exclusive boutique prides itself on the fact that its York's only ethical fashion thrift store. The boutique offers fashion that is made using organic, recycled, vintage and eco fibres coupled with fair trade manufacturing their collections are unarguably, responsibly produced. Their pieces are luxurious with fabrics including cashmeres, alpaca and merino wool, 100% organic pima cotton, hemp and pure silks. So if world peace and tree hugging are your scene, be sure to check out this place. As the boutique is a niche, prices tip the scale at the higher end but its all for a good cause (saving the environment and all that) and there is the odd bargain to be had. Visit the store at 1 Grape Lane, located in the heart of York city centre.

For the hipsters and indie Cindys look no further than the travelling Affordable Vintage Fair. You must have been resting under a rock if you are oblivious to Judy and her team's vintage fashion and homeware extravaganza that has swept the UK in recent years. York's next is scheduled for 17th October at the Hospitium, Museum Gardens. Simply turn up on the day with a bit of cash, pay a measley £2 entry fee and let stall after stall of vintage delights greet you. With stalls selling an eclectic mix of both affordable and collectable vintage items dating back to 1900 there is something to tickle everyone's fancy.

However, if you feel overwhelmed with the assortment of alternative choice then there's always Mr.Jack Wills who's gilet you can throw over anything and with a strong clique of dedicated followers you'll have no trouble finding a hoards of fellow fans.