Fresher’s Guide – Best Places to Shop in Cardiff

artwork @quenchmagcardiff

by Joshua Allen

As a fresher, shopping in Cardiff can be extremely overwhelming, with such a large option of high street shops, it becomes easy to succumb to some of the more well-known shops available in the city. What makes Cardiff’s shopping experience more interesting than others is the selection of independent vintage shops within the city, whether it is in one of the famous city arcades or in the shopping complex. There is plenty on offer for fresher’s looking to spend their student loan!

Hobo’s Vintage is probably the most well-known vintage store in the city, located at 26 High Street Arcade, Hobo’s store consists of two floors, the upstairs stocking their vintage t-shirts, trousers, accessories, American football and basketball shirts, and the downstairs stocking vintage sportswear. The close quarters shelving giving the shop a very cosy vibe that makes it incredibly welcoming, and perfect for those who feel intimidated by the larger shops in the centre of the city. In addition to its convenient size, its location also makes it a popular choice for people looking for vintage clothing within the city centre. They also have a large selection of accessories, from sunglasses, small bags, to shoes. To me, Hobo’s is an absolute must-visit for anyone looking to add some vintage flair to their wardrobe come fresher’s week!

Sobey’s Vintage is another one of the more well-known vintage shops in Cardiff, located at 31 Royal Arcade, another one of the arcades in the city centre, it focuses on authentic vintage and reworked vintage clothing. The store itself isn’t too large, however it has an incredibly large range of clothes that will more than satisfy your shopping urge! With everything from 60’s patterned shirts, reworked tote bags and Levi’s jeans. Sobey’s Vintage also carries a wide range of accessories, with scarves, jewellery, handbags, and shoes making Sobey’s selection incredibly impressive, providing you with a convenient one stop shop when looking to upgrade your wardrobe.

Flamingo’s provides a new and unique experience when it comes to shopping in Cardiff, found in the Capitol shopping centre on Queen’s Street, it brings a new way of shopping to the high street: You pay for your clothing based upon the weight, this makes shopping for vintage and stylish clothes even more affordable. Although certain brands have set prices! This unique shopping experience means that customers can get large quantities of clothing for reasonable prices, perfect for freshers looking to bolster their wardrobe head of fresher’s week! Flamingo’s, like the other vintage shops mentioned, carry a large range of accessories to help you really bring those outfits to the next level. Being located on Queen’s Street means that it’s just outside the buzz of the city, which means it’ll be perfect for those who are looking to get a quick shopping trip without having to go into the centre!

Over Sea’s Apparel is a relatively new addition to Cardiff’s shopping landscape, found at 34 Queens Arcade. The store itself is a very open space, with minimal décor that provides a very relaxed feeling when it comes to shopping, a rarity when shopping in the city centre. Over Sea’s Apparel is a sustainable brand who aims to make sustainable fashion affordable. They have multiple collections available, from Save The Wave to Voyage, with each one providing plenty of options available when it comes to choosing what additions you will be making to your wardrobe. From Puffer Jackets to Swim Shorts, OSA have you covered on all the essentials you will need for the months ahead! 

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These four shops will certainly be a good start for those freshers looking to find oddities and unique fashion within the city’s confines. What makes these shops even more impressive is that they’re all sustainable, buying second hand significantly reduces the amount of clothing sent to landfill and also cuts down on things like water usage and pollution from shipping, and buying from a shop like Over Seas Apparel which consistently uses eco-friendly materials and makes significant contributions towards environmental charities is a great way to ensure that your fashion is both stylish and sustainable.