Buy now or regret later: vintage dresses

The best vintage dresses from York’s very own charity shops

Knee-length cream dress with lace insert – size 12, £70, Oxfam, Goodramgate, York

Whether you are attending dinner or drinks, a work do or a date, this grown-up number will ensure whoever you’re with takes you seriously. Combine this sophisticated ivory number with a pair of killer heels for ultimate power-dressing. The body-con shape of the dress and delicate lace panelling will ensure you look fierce but feminine at the same time, meaning you’re sure make an impact whilst simultaneously retaining a softer, more sensual, edge.

Green floral summer gown – size 10, £9.75, MIND charity shop, Goodramgate, York

Worn under a shawl, this gorgeous green gown would make for a perfect alternative to more formal evening attire if you’ve a dinner date, or are having social drinks with friends. It would also be an ideal day dress in the summer months when the sun’s out (yes, we are optimistic), thus making it an absolute steal as a highly-wearable, long-term investment.

Elegant red carpet-style cream gown with trail – size 10, £100, Oxfam, Goodramgate, York

More ideal for a big formal event where you really want to leave a lasting impression. This elegant gown, complete with trail, will guarantee everyone’s heads are on you alone as you glide into the room. With some high-school prom dresses costing teens around £200-£300, this refined red-carpet style gown is much cheaper than you will ultimately look. Pack away your mini-skirt and trustworthy Topshop heels, tonight you shall go to the ball. After all, what Cinderella doesn’t deserve to feel like a princess once in a while.

Intricate button-down cream gown with lace detail – size 10, £150, Oxfam, Goodramgate, York

A slightly more eccentric option, this suit-style one piece will ensure you’re at no risk of turning up in the same dress as anybody else; a potential nightmare scenario sure to keep any true fashionista turning in their bed at night.

Deep green Grecian-esque gown – size 14, £14.99, Oxfam, Goodramgate, York

The key to true elegance and style is often simplicity, so whilst this dress may seem unassuming at first glance, its potential as the main component of a killer look should not be underestimated. Team this Grecian-style gown with statement gold jewellery, a sophisticated plaited up-do (plaited hair being the hairstyle trend emerging from LFW14), and cherry-red lips (also a key beauty staple for this year), and you’ll have all the boys wanting a kiss from the Grecian goddess.


  1. “Elegance without the price tag”? Not in a million years would any (sane) student consider spending the likes of £150 on a dress from a charity shop. Pretty disappointing article considering the abundance of quality charity shops in York.

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