If you don’t know me, hi! I’m Bianca and I like fashion. But I am also a student and as you may know most of us, students, live on our parents’ money from which we have to pay rent, food, maintenance and we don’t have that much money for spending on as many clothes as we would want to. Especially if you are a fashion addict person like me, I bet you want to do a different outfit everyday.
So that being said, I came up with some ideas for being stylish on a budget. Every week I go to at least 3 vintage or second hand shops to search for “treasures” as I call them. When telling my friends about this, I hear them saying the same thing ” I never find anything when I go to such shops and I’m not patient enough to go through all that stuff.”. And they really went just once in a year. The key is to be patient and come back if you didn’t find anything that one time you went.
I love this shop because it has the most friendly and nicest people I ever met in a shop, especially in a vintage one. I even interviewed Adelina Serafim, the owner of the shop for my licence paper and she responded immediately. She told me when to go there to find her and talked to me for an hour about everything she did even before opening the shop. I felt like talking to a friend and I also got to know the others who are working there because they used to always talk to me and laugh, they are all students.
Now about the shops and products! They have three shops: one vintage shop, with a cool design of the shop where you can find vintage and second hand pieces and two others, which are display shops. What is a display shop? A cool and unique concept for recycling in Bucharest! Anyone can take their clothes there, pay 10 lei/piece if it is under 100 lei or more depending on the set price for it and leave it there for a month. At the end of the month, you go there and take the money for the clothes that were sold and take the remaining clothes back. For the vintage shop, the prices range depending on the quality and brand of the piece of clothing. For example I bought the jeans below for about 75 lei, the denim jacket for 75 lei, another pair of pants for 30 lei and a vintage dress for 60 lei.
2. Check Vintage&More
This shop is amazing in terms of finding brand clothes and accessories at good prices in the easiest way. In terms of denim this shop and the one presented before are the best. Last time I was there, meaning last week, I bought a pair of Calvin Klein jeans for 90 lei, which is awesome. And is more awesome for me as I have the smallest size so it is a challenge for me to find pants in such shops. I also bought for 100 lei a Tommy Hilfiger leather baguette which I absolutely love and wear. If I would’ve bought a baguette from a mass market shop at the mall it would’ve been the same price for less quality so, good bargain again!
3. Resale Shop
This is the first second hand shop in Bucharest that I’ve heard of being so popular and making recycling “a thing”. Shockingly, it started in a garage near Universitate, a very small one but the owner knew very well how to promote it. She posted pictures with different outfits made with that clothes, made them look nice and interesting, invited influencers and celebrities to come pick some clothes from there, the girls from TV shows kept coming and so buying second hand from a garage suddenly became cool. The sales increased so much that the shop was moved right near ASE building in Romana Square. That positioning meant even more sales because all students in their breaks would go there to have a look. The prices range, depending on the products. Usually they are between 5 and 60 lei for usual clothes and prices are higher for brand clothes, for example in the picture below a Burberry trench coat costs 350 lei.
Monda is a key chain second hand shop, having 9 shops in Bucharest. They are really amazing sometimes because you can even find new clothes with their tag on or big brands very cheap. The prices are per kg, everything you take is weighted and the resulted price is the cheapest possible. I paid 8 lei for a knitted pulover that was new and another time I paid 28 lei for a pair of adidas shorts, a Polo Ralph Lauren shirt and a t-shirt.
When I think about this second hand shop the first words that come to my mind are “help the environment, help the people”. Why? Because this is what they do. Humana was opened in 2006 in Brasov, Romania and since then, it became a key chain of second hand shops, the same as Monda. What is different is that Humana has much more shops throughout Romania and also they have other organisations members in Europe, SUA, Africa, Asia and Latin America. They have different projects for helping less developed countries all over the world. The projects are related to education, health, agriculture, environment protection, rural development. Now, after you found this out, how about going there and supporting them?
6. Bine Boutique
Right from the start when we see this name, “Bine” meaning “Good”, we’ll know something’s up with this shop. Indeed, the shop is a branch of the Red Cross created with the purpose of raising more money for their social projects. This is the first and the only shop in Romania dedicated only to socials projects and not made for profit at all. They have only clothes collected from different clothing collection points in Romania and also new clothes donated directly from the shops we find in the mall like bershka, zara, stradivarius, lc waikiki etc. These shops donate what is left from their old collections if they have only one or two pieces remained, so you can find there clothes with the tags on them, untouched.
This is also the only shop that personally takes care of the products, meaning the Red Cross volunteers sort all the received clothes, choose only the best ones to go in the shop and they recycle the other ones in different ways. The clothes selected to go in the shop are then send to the laundry and arrive clean and ready to wear as in any other normal shop. On top of that, don’t forget that if you buy from there you help doing good to others. All the money are used for helping the ones in need! None goes in their personal pockets.
7. The SH in your neighbourhood
No matter if you live in a big city or a small town, for sure you have at least one second hand shop that is close to you so don’t hesitate to go inside and search for “treasures”. In my neighbourhood I have 2 shops that I visit every week, one has all the clothes brought from England, UK and has a little bit higher prices for a second hand shop but very good quality, e.g. a blouse is 15 lei, pants 30 lei, blazer 30 lei, winter jacket 60 lei. The other SH in my neighbourhood has prices per kg and is cheap like a normal SH but what I like the most there are the belts and bags. Why paying 30-60 lei for a belt from h&m, stradivarius, zara etc., when you can pay 5 lei for the same belt but bought from a different kind of shop? One belt I bought is actually from h&m brand new and the other one is bigger but also looks like it was never worn.
If you wonder what my biggest discovery was, a FURLA bag!! Yes, a medium size black leather FURLA bag brand new, looking amazing. I actually paid for it 75 lei because someone told the lady the bag costs a lot in the original shop so she raised the price before I got there and she was surprised I told her I will take it no matter the price. Since then, that is my everyday “go-to” bag.