City Buzz: Best festival looks come from Sheffield charity shops

Charity shop festival fashion at Age UK on Norfolk Row. Pictured is shop volunteer Sheila Mettam.
Charity shop festival fashion at Age UK on Norfolk Row. Pictured is shop volunteer Sheila Mettam.
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It’s festival season again, and as well as enjoying days of great music and (hopefully) sun, it’s also time to showcase some fabulous fashionable looks.

If you’re in need of some style inspiration, I recommend giving one of our local charity shops, Age UK, a try.

I was invited along to the newly revamped Age UK branch on Norfolk Row in the city centre earlier this week to see what clothes they have on offer and choose some top looks for this festival season.

Two things struck me when I walked in to the shop; the first was how bright and breezy it was after its recent refit, and the second was how much choice there was.

“I want it to feel like any other shop on the high street, and I also want people to be able to come in and quickly find what they want,” explained store manager Elaine.

“We offer clothes for people of all ages and sizes at fantastic prices. It’s fun fashion, and we have everything from high street brands like Primark, more high end brands like All Saints and even designers like Gucci sometimes.”

Elaine kindly offered to let me dress the two mannequins, and it took me at least half an hour to have a good look through all of the rails and make my choices.

Clothes are organised neatly, according firstly to item type and then by size. As I put my outfits together, I found this layout made my task effortless – although the amount of choice was proving challenging.

There are so many rows of clothes; one with jeans and trousers, one with shorts, one with skirts, one with vest tops, one with long-sleeved tops, one with jackets and blazers, one with coats, one with dresses.

I loved feeling like a stylist for the morning, (and I also learnt how to dress a mannequin), but I would recommend giving yourself plenty of time to choose your ideal festival outfit from the shop as I can guarantee you will be torn between a statement dress, a pretty patterned skirt and a pair of bright skinny jeans.

In the end, I opted for two classic festival looks – bright pink shorts, with a floaty cream vest top and a cute cropped jacket, and a sweet floral dress teamed with a black leather jacket to give it a rock-chick edge.

I also chose a pair of wedges and sandals to go with each these outfits respectively, and a small bag.

Each of the full outfits came in for under £20, so not only will you be supporting a great cause if you shop there, your purse will thank you too, (and you can easily justify buying a whole new outfit for each individual festival you go to this summer, or even each day of every one too), so enjoy your shopping spree.

The Age UK charity shop that I visited can be found at 8 Norfolk Row in the city centre. This shop is open from 9am till 5pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday. Donations of goods and volunteers to help in the shop are always welcome. Alternative branches can also be found at 211 Crookes and 463 Ecclesall Road.