The Meadowhall Student Lock-In. A student’s shopping heaven/battle.

In this post, I am taking a break with vintage and moving on to clothes I actually wear and not just collect. High street apparel actually dominates my wardrobe.


Cat fights can be easily spotted in Next or River Island in Meadowhall during Boxing Day sales.

Women go crazy during Boxing Day sales and it usually ends in tears, especially when the price for a pair of Kurt Geiger shoes (that you had your eyes on for ages) gets slashed by half the price, then you walk towards it and reach for it and this horrible smug woman grabs them and runs to pay for them. #notme

To me, nothing sounds better than “student discount” and “sale”. They are the very few words that can easily get the attention of my ears, which I am sure is the same for many of you. I love walking into Topshop and getting my 10% off at the till.

I feel lucky that Sheffield is home to one of the biggest shopping centres in the UK, MeadowhallStudent privileges are the best thing ever in Sheffield if you love shopping because most of the shops in Meadowhall offer student discounts. Even in the shops which students don’t even go into. 

What’s even better than student discounts and sales in Meadowhall? The Meadowhall Student Lock-In! An event which is held a couple of times a year especially for students. The discounts are bigger as well so there’s no surprise that the queues are massive at this event. It literally fills up the entire car park and I am not exaggerating.


I have been to this event three times and you can never end up getting everything you want because you will find yourself queuing for a long time at the tills in every shop. The event is only for three hours which really is not enough for eager students wanting to take full advantage of their shopping spree.

I have always come out as a happy trooper, contained with the bargains I’ve got. I have become more experienced after each lock-in and know how to get the most out of my three hours and to get value for my money, so if you’re still reading, Here are my Top Three Tips on how to survive student lock-in events!

1) Pre-register, remember your Student Card and your confirmation email.

I know, it’s the most obvious thing to do, but people (me) tend to forget for some reason. I remember the last time I went to the lock-in, I completely forgot to bring my confirmation email so I had to register on the spot.

This meant that all the time I spent queuing was utterly pointless and the rest of the queue walked straight past me as they had their Student IDs and confirmation emails.

I felt so annoyed with myself because not only did I queue out in the cold, I felt like I was missing out and I had this paranoid feeling that the clothes I picked out were going to be sold out. Not to mention my boyfriend giving me the “I told you so” face. Not worth it.

2) Be prepared. Pick out what you want prior to the event.

It was a mad rush at my first lock-in. I spent so much time browsing through all the lovely clothes and getting giddy over how the dress I wanted was £60 and now its a tenner that I lost track of time and just managed to get through Topshop.

I was so gutted because there were so many other shops with bigger discounts. I definitely learnt my lesson from that. For some inspiration, how about learn from Monica from Friends in this video, which nearly replicates the situation you are likely to face if you find that one dress you really want and how to deal with it:

Make sure you know what you want by going to Meadowhall prior to the event ( I recommend the day before the lock-in) and pick out the things that you want. You need to know exactly where the location of whichever bag you want and if you’re desperate enough, take photos so you won’t forget.  I am not joking, it really works and you will get more out of your time. Okay now I really am starting to sound like Monica.

When you’re at the lock-in, go straight to what you picked out and pay for them without anymore browsing as you had plenty of time for that the previous day because the queues for tills are unbelievably long and a lot of time is spent just queuing to pay.

3) Go to the sale rails. Save your pennies.

The student lock-in events are for students to save their money on their shopping sprees. Most of the shops in Meadowhall extends their discounts to their sale items as well, so you need to think about whether you are really getting value for your money for what you are buying. Is it really that cheap or are you just buying it because it has been discounted?

I can say without shame, I love the student lock-ins because I can get 20% off a sale item in H&M and feel like I have saved a lot more money than I would have if I had bought a current season item.

Of course you can go ahead and buy non-sale items if you really had your eye on it, I had my eye on this gorgeous bag in Topshop which was in current season and got it at £20 instead of £25 thanks to the student lock-in.

Here is the damage caused at the April student lock-in at Meadowhall.

photo 1

I really wanted this Denim jacket with Faux Leather Sleeves by By Corpus from Urban Outfitters for months. Lucky me, it went from £60 to £10 and with a generous 20% discount it cost me £8. This is what I mean by hitting the sale rails instead where student discounts apply, it really does pay to wait.

photo 2

This is my loot from H&M. I got two skater dresses. The one with the birds was a current season one and it was £14.99 but it was £11.99 after discount. My Motley Crue top, Floral Skater dress and Zipper skirt were a fiver each with an additional 20% discount. Better than stealing really.

The queue at the H&M till was the longest one yet at the lock-in. My boyfriend and I came up with a genius plan. While one of us queues (most of the time it’s him to be fair), the other browses or gets what they want and then we swap. We were still no where near the till even with this technique but we would have been far at the back of the queue otherwise.

photo 4

These are the two tops which I got from All Saints. I didn’t expect them to be part of the lock-in at all with them being a high-end sort of clothing line but they joined the bandwagon and offered a 10% discount on everything. The tops in All Saints are made of soft and thin material which is very comfortable to wear and they look uniquely stylish too so I got the two tops above. The striped one is made of Angora and was £20 but cost £18 after the discount. The flag t-shirt is actually from the men’s range, but the women’s version was sold out so I bought the men’s one with the idea of tucking it in a pair of denim high waist shorts. Perfect for festivals! This was £28 but cost me £25.20 after the reduction.

photo 4

This pile is from Topshop while the Metallic Playsuit is from Miss Selfridge (£17 and it was £13.60 after discount) which was next door. Topshop and Miss Selfridge offered a 20% discount on everything during the lock-in. My Pink Playsuit was £40 to begin with and was a fiver at the sale so it cost me merely £4. My Black Hotpants with Studs was originally £24 but was £15 at the sale so it cost me £12. My Black Faux Fur Clutch bag also cost me £12. The Pink bag with White Bow and Gold Studs was what I mentioned before, it was a current season bag which was £25 so I only paid £20 for it.

Topshop had the second longest queue and the girls were manic  It was worst than the emotions running at the boxing day sales. Topshop is almost like a religion to many girls in  England. When my friends and I go shopping in a different city, when we see a Topshop our eyes light up and we shout “Topshop” like hungry school kids.

I know what you’re thinking, what happened to the vintage loving thrift shopper girl from the previous posts. Well I never said there was anything wrong with high street shops and Topshop never lets me down with their designs, which are almost often shortly followed by other brands, for example, their Geek crop tops. They really do set what makes and breaks fashion in England.

Back to the student lock-in, after all that shopping, you are bound to be hungry and your feet would be begging you for mercy, I know mine did, so make sure you head to the Oasis at about 9pm, just an hour before the event ends because the restaurants usually have ridiculous discounts to offer.

At the lock-in last year in September, I dined at Las Iguanas which offered a massive 40% off as well as 2-4-1 cocktails. This April, I had a Tapas meal at La Tasca which also offered 40% off the total bill. Its not often you get to wine and dine in such places as a student!

The student lock-in is also meant to be like one massive party so they have games throughout Meadowhall and many of the shops have DJs with free cocktails so spare a minute if you can to enjoy everything the lock-in has to offer. I went to the mini-party in Levi’s which had a DJ and I had a cheeky cocktail.

As for me, I simply cannot wait for the next Student Lock-In. Remember, treat my tips as bible!


A very happy cat after the lock-in! the heavier the bags, the better.




Style doesn’t always have to break the bank

pound rail

As students on a budget (a really tight budget), it can be really hard on our wallets when it comes to keeping up with the trends and updating our wardrobes with new clothes.

The big magazines tend to feature the most costly clothes that could wipe out the money you set aside for that week. It is only but a dream to us to have a wardrobe full of clothes that we can pick and choose from to wear to our lectures and never to wear the same piece of clothing again.

Here in Sheffield, there are plenty of charity shops that sell clothes of high street brands to top labels at extremely affordable prices which will make any student happy.

Most students are not fans of second hand clothes and thrift shopping, but it most definitely the smarter way of shopping for fashion lovers. Not only that, the cash saved and the abundance of clothes you end up with during your trips to the charity shops will leave you feeling like a million dollars.

You may have had an earful of misconceptions of second-hand clothes but there is absolutely nothing wrong with charity shops, you will be surprised with what you can actually find in these shops. They may not look like the trendiest of shops to get caught it, but dig deep and you will find the best items waiting to be found.

I ventured to Ecclesall road – which is lined with second-hand clothing shops – knowing that I will find a great deal of trendy apparel because I soon learnt that the stuff you find in charity shops are usually similar to the type of people that live in that area, so true enough, these shops are full of clothes donated by students that have a similar fashion sense. The shops were loaded with trendy clothes as well as fabulous vintage one-off pieces.

The one that really stood out was “The Big Green Bag”, a charity shop which is actually dedicated to fashion and recycling fashion. Anyone would have mistook this shop for a boutique.

jewelry from their fb Rails from their fb shopfront photo from their fb

Bags Purses Rails Rails (2)

Here are some of the gorgeous things I have picked out with the help of their friendly manager, Denisa.

Henley’s Lime Green Vintage Jumper, £3



Boden Fluffy Blue Fleece Jacket, £3



H&M Ballerina Shift Dress, £2



River Island Denim Biker Dress, £6



Jack Wills Cream Vest Top, £1(they have a rail full of clothes being sold at £1!)



Denisa also showed me some of the quirky things the volunteers have made to sell.

These gorgeous retro style rings are only £1.99 each!


£1.99 each.

The volunteers also recycled old vinyl records into these stylish clocks with a price tag of only £7.99

Vinyl Clocks

£7.99 each.

These are just a few of the many things you can find in The Big Green Bag as well as all the other charity shops in Sheffield and they are perfect destination for style conscious students who are on a budget.

As you can tell, style always doesn’t have to break the bank.

The Big Green Bag is at 474 Ecclesall Road, Sheffield.
Join their Facebook group, “The Big Green Bag”

Shop Front

A Fashion Treasure Hunt

I used to avoid going into charity shops because of the fact that they were second-hand, but the moment I discovered vintage fashion, I changed my mind completely.

I still wear high street clothes and love my boutique wear but collecting vintage clothes is more of a hobby.

It does feel like a treasure hunt whenever you enter charity shops, but all that hunting will be worth it when you find that gorgeous dress that retails at about £200 but you only got it for a fiver.

Or if you find that rare vintage 1960s Tootal scarf that costs more than £50 to buy online (I found one for a pound)

Here’s what I found in some of the charity shops in Sheffield City Centre to add to my collection.

Joseph Ribkoff is a Canadian designer who mainly makes Cruisewear. His designs are made for the glamorous. Now you probably cannot wear this on a night out round Sheffield, in fact, as a student there’s no where I can actually wear this to. I got this dress anyway because I just thought it was beautiful and it might come in handy one day.


Beautiful cruise dress by Jospeh Ribkoff, £5.
From Cancer Research UK, City Centre

This next dress is a Vintage 1970s satin dress I found, it is in such a great condition, the owner must have really looked after it.


Vintage 1970s Dress, £1
From Cancer Research UK, City Centre

I don’t tend to shop in vintage shops that charges drastic prices on something that I could have found on my own. I remember going into a vintage shop in York ( I rather not name it) and every item there was priced over £20 per piece. This included St Michael’s (Previous name for Marks & Spencer)  clothes. It is not hard at all to find a piece of vintage clothing so you could save some pennies if you went to look for a dress yourself instead of going into a specialist vintage boutique. There are cheap ones around like Cow in Sheffield.

It isn’t common to find a top notch designer dress in a charity shop, why would anyone want to give it away after splurging a few hundreds? so imagine my shock when I found an  Alexander Mcqueen dress in the Marie Curie charity shop in Eccessall road! I have an Alexander Mcqueen dress but I felt more excited buying this second-hand one because it felt lovely that I landed with such a bargain. This dress used to retail at £500 at Harvey Nicholls, so my eyes lit up the moment I spotted the label. Charitable or not, I will never understand why anyone would want to buy such an expensive dress and then donate it.

Alexander Mcqueen dress, £10. From the Marie Curie Charity shop, Eccessall Road.

Alexander Mcqueen dress, £10.
From the Marie Curie Charity shop, Eccessall Road.

I love quirky knitted jumpers with old knitwork, however, I only collect them as I know I would get quite a few raised eyebrows if I wore any of the jumpers in my collection. Here’s an example

Vintage 1970s Teddy Bear Knitted Jumper, £5. From Age UK, City  Centre.

Vintage 1970s Teddy Bear Knitted Jumper, £5.
From Age UK, City Centre.

Here’s yet another designer piece, a Paul Smith Waistcoat from the Black Label collection.  This retailed at £100, to find it in a charity shop is just pure luck.

Paul Smith Black Label Waistcoat, £5. From Age UK, City Centre.

Paul Smith Black Label Waistcoat, £5.
From Age UK, City Centre.

I could go on and on about the amount of clothes I end up with after a visit to a charity shop, but you would find yourself in the same situation if you did the same.

Have you found anything great at a charity shop recently?


Thrift shopping is not just for girls

I thought I’ll start off by featuring men’s thrift shopping before I move on to women’s.

My boyfriend- also a student- tags along with me whenever I go on my fashion treasure hunt – I do not force him to by the way.

For a male, he is stylish and loves clothes shopping but he dislikes second-hand shops. While he waits for me, he browses through the men’s rails to pass his time and usually cannot believe the clothes that he finds, the first thing he picked out was a Christian Dior Blazer with a price tag of only £6!

Here are a few other examples of what he found:

Vivienne Westwood Shirt ( New with Tags ), £10, from Age UK. Retails at £200 in Harvey Nichols.

Vivienne Westwood 3 Collar Shirt, . From Cancer Research UK, City Centre.

Vivienne Westwood 3 Collar Shirt, .
From Age UK, City Centre.

Hugo Boss Orange Label Shirt, £1, from Cancer Research UK, Retails at around £100.

Hugo Boss Red Label Shirt, £1. From Cancer Research UK,

Hugo Boss Red Label Shirt, £1.
From Cancer Research UK,

Jack Wills Shirt, £1, from Age UK, Retails at £50

Jack Wills Shirt, £1. From Age UK, City Centre.

Jack Wills Shirt, £1.
From Age UK, City Centre.

DKNY Shirt, £5, from Cancer Research UK, Retails at £60.

DKNY Shirt, £1. From Cancer Research UK, City Centre.

DKNY Shirt, £1.
From Cancer Research UK, City Centre.

Barbour Fleece Waistcoat, £6, from Marie Curie Charity Shop, Eccessall Road, Retails at £80.


Another Hugo Boss Shirt, from the Orange Label, £1, from Age UK.

Hugo Boss Orange Label Shirt, £1.
From Age UK, City Centre.

Men’s designer clothes at jaw dropping prices. I could not believe it at all when my boyfriend showed me what he found. He probably has a better eye at spotting bargains than me.

I’m assuming that the men’s section of charity shops bears more designer clothes because when men grow out of their clothes, they donate them to get rid of them to create more space in their wardrobes.

Whereas, women rather hoard their clothes, especially designer clothes, even if they cannot fit into them. I, for one, am a great example, I have too many clothes that still have tags on for my own good. I am sure many of you are the same.

As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, quite literally in thrift shopping.

Fashion in the Steel City

Whenever I mention Sheffield to my friends, the standard words that come out of their mouths are, Arctic Monkeys, Pulp, Rock music, Steel… I suppose that’s the impression that most people have of this city.

I love the music scene in Sheffield, but to me, Sheffield has more to offer than just music and epic clubbing night outs.

The fashion, culture and lifestyle here is amazing and I am not in any way being biased about it just because I live in South Yorkshire.

First of all, Sheffield is a student-filled city filled with both British and International students.

The style that every student brings to city actually influences the people around them.

There is a wide array of boutiques, vintage stores and quaint shops dotted around in many places and I am constantly landing in a different shop almost every week. There are many indie art exhibits all over and quirky independent cafes to relax in.

I love vintage clothes and I am a collector myself, so I do get rather giddy when I find a new vintage shop, especially when the clothes are sold at below a tenner.

I used to think that Leeds was the city for the vintage shopper but I was wrong, Sheffield definitely boasts more vintage shops than any other city I have been to.

Here you will find photos of my beautiful finds and where I ventured to in Sheffield for them. For example, I recently found an authentic Christian Dior Blazer for £6, which will appear in a later post on men’s fashion.

Being a student that commutes from Doncaster to university, I run out of things to do whenever I have two hour long gaps in between my lectures, so I sit in Starbucks with a large cup of coffee near the Winter Gardens and stare aimlessly out the window, this is when I end up people-watching.

photo 2

The lovely winter gardens at Sheffield. Perfect to chill out with friends for lunch!


I automatically look at what people are wearing and how they have styled their outfit of the day. It is something of an obsession.

I also spend my time wandering into the many trendy shops in Sheffield.

But for students on a budget, shopping for high end and high street clothes regularly is out of reach….

What I will show you is how great it really is to grab a bargain at a charity shop and will also feature the best vintage shops in Sheffield as well as high street shops and boutiques worth going into.

This will not be the kind of fashion blog where an ugly piece of clothing which makes out to be what seems like an old piece of carpet design, gets featured at a ridiculous price.

There are probably hundreds and hundreds of fashion blogs out there, many of which feature the most ridiculous clothes that costs a bomb.

Sometimes, I even wonder if these so-called high end fashion bloggers even purchase these clothes, or do they get hidden perks to feature them?

Well, this blog will have none of that. Here’s to raw and real fashion, from the steel city.