For bop costumes: Cowley Road charity shops

Now that Poundland has closed and Primark has become considerably smaller, students are lacking viable yet cost-effective ways of producing bop costumes. For many, this will be the chance to slack off and to come to a bop in a witty yet low-effort costume. Whilst decorating a t-shirt with cereal and fake-blood can make an amusing ‘Cereal Killer’ Halloween costume, sometimes more effort is needed. Without our go-to shops this term, you could head to Cowley Road and scout out the charity shops there. They are useful for buying a lot of costume jewellery, purchasing disposable shirts to cut up and decorating or finding hilarious accessories like secondhand top hats. Not to mention you’ll be helping charities and reducing waste by purchasing recycled products.

Where: Cowley Road
When: Opening times vary

For vintage: Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair

Lou Lou’s is not just a place to buy vintage clothing, it’s an event. The fair visits Oxford several times throughout the year with fashion trends from the 1940s through to the 1990s. As well as getting an outfit from the past, you can change your face and hair to match it with a vintage beauty salon travelling with the fair. Once you’re done wandering through the Town Hall, you can even have a vintage tea party (maybe dressed and made-up to match the food), whist listening to live music performances.

Where: Oxford Town Hall
When: Saturday of 4th Week

For sporty stuff: Eau de Vie

Oxford is an incredibly sporty place. Perhaps because it’s full of students who
have had these hobbies their whole lives. More likely though, these students need some kind of outlet to come to terms with their workload. Or maybe they’re procrastinating. Either way, you can’t take a stroll around the meadows without being accompanied of several runners, nor can you go to the river without seeing a rowing team out on the water and you can’t walk along Iffley Road without seeing students carrying rackets, bats or yoga mats. Eau de Vie is the answer to those who need athletic wear that is both practical and beautiful. It is a treatment centre and yoga studio in addition to being a boutique shop. Not only do they sell tness leggings, the leggings sparkle. You can get everything you need to get sweaty and then to relax afterwards with the shop stocking sportswear on one side and skin care and massage oils on the other side.

Where: 34 Cowley Road
When: Monday-Saturday, 9:30am-8:30pm

For formalwear: Aspire Style

Entering Aspire Style is like entering the dressing room you wished you had. They stock clothing, accessories, gifts and jewellery, most of which is vintage inspired without the price tag of some vintage shops. Their formal dresses are the most coveted products inside, coming in a range of styles and patterns. Some of the pieces are so whimsical you’ll feel a little silly just looking at them; formally fitted dresses with prints resembling flamingos or even sailing boats. Whatever special occasion you need an outfit for, Aspire Style should be able to provide. Their gifts are also perfect for friends who like the just-slightly-odd kind of decorations or are avid tea-drinkers or travellers. Copious, excellently slogan-ed mugs: ‘Tea makes everything better’ being a perhaps not entirely true but certainly an optimistic choice. And for travellers, there are things like wallets for passports and plane tickets, and money boxes for you to turn pennies into places to visit. And if none of this convinces you, who doesn’t want a lamp shaped like an origami fox, after all?

Where: 21 High Street
When: Monday-Saturday, 10.00am-6.00pm, Sunday and Bank Holidays, 11.30am-5.00pm