We Went to FARA

Dear Ellie, please don’t hurt me for wearing your clothes.

Yep, my first hardcore haul blog. 

Not to insult Bristol as a whole but its vintage shops are a bit problematic. Yeah, they contribute to your entire student aesthetic and solidify your place at the Uni more than your UCAS form, but they are also extortionately overpriced. I mean, my dad has boxes and boxes of 70s oversized jumpers, and he doesn’t make me pay £60 to wear one. Then again, he has not called his striped shirts ‘repurposed’ or ‘upcycled’ so do they even count as wearable?

FARA Shelf aesthetic on point. 

I’ve managed to last a year in Bristol without buying anything from a second hand shop or a vintage shop, but I think people may start noticing my chunky knits are from Marks & Spencer rather than ‘ sometime in the 70s-90s.’ Also, it has recently come to my attention (eg. Dina told me) that SOME SECOND HAND SHOPS ARE REALLY CHEAP. Which is kind of a big deal for some nearing the dreaded negative numbers on their bank balance.

It looks way classier than your average charity shop 

With this in mind, Dina and I ventured off to FARA. We were highly keen and went not only to the branch in Pimlico but then also to the branch in Angel. FARA are a chain of charity shops that sell affordable second-hand and vintage clothes and have cool bric-a-brac  which contribute to the overall eclectic décor. Also (obvs more important than the edgy décor,) they are a charity that provides support for Romania’s neglected children. So in a nutshell: good clothes, good deeds.

I mean look at those jazzy boots hanging from the ceiling 

Sidenote: we stuck our head into their Retromania branch in Victoria and, even though it’s very cool and retro and vintage etc etc, it is very much not within our budget (aka the clothes are over £10), so if you too are looking for cheaper options, stick with their normal second-hand-type shops.

This is what I got and a bonus bit of analysis…

Cropped farmer (get it) 
1.     Cropped Plaid Shirt. Cost: £3. Pretty self explanatory. What do you do when you have 4 plaid shirts already? Buy a cropped one. Where would I wear this? Either to be a cropped farmer, or, alternatively, all the time as casual wear.

Haha, teaches you to call tails and not heads. 

2.     Doodle Shirt. Cost: £9.80. One of the pricier of my haul, but come on how adorable are the hot air balloons!?  Dina actually wanted this too, so we tossed a coin for it. The look in her eyes at the moment I got it has made me concerned for my life, so I actually wrote this whole blog as public evidence in case I go missing. Where would I wear this? I would either wear this as Dina tries to take it off my cold dead bones, or to look particularly adorable on the daily, or to fly away on a hot air balloon one day and be matching with the sky.

I would wear this in a hot air balloon and match the sky. 
Just me noticing I'm wearing a jacket. 

3.     Reversible bomber. Cost: £24. Ignore that it is over £10 which was my budget per item, because money doesn’t count when it is reversible and silky and embroidered and amazing (if Mr Santander is reading this, I respect money, please can I have a bigger overdraft). Where would I wear this? For when we inevitably don’t get into Lola Lo’s next term, and we have to change our outfits to go in disguise.

What? No, I did not know certain members of the crew were banned from this club?  

My face as we sneak past the Lola's bouncers with my disguise. 

4. White lace. Cost: £6. Where would I wear this? If grandparents/ parents are reading, I would only wear this as underwear. Aka, will wear on nights out and hope people can differentiate between my transparent skin and the lace. 


5. Black body. Cost: £2. Where would I wear this? If I want to pretend to cover my midriff for once on a night out. I have just noticed that the label has the name ‘Ellie’ written on it in red, and literally looks like the writing in a horror film. Dear Ellie, please don’t hurt me for wearing your clothes.

Please don't hunt me down. 

I really hope you grew out of this rather than died in it
6.     Mesh top. Cost: £3. Because would any Desperately-Trying-to-Be-Edgy clothing haul be complete without this? Where would I wear this? When I’m trying to look like oranges that have become emo.

Seriously don't know why mesh is a thing but I like it. 

The shopping experience was probably a 6/10, with 1 being pulling knickers out of the student laundrette and contemplating stealing them (something I have indeed done) and 10 being going to Westfield when it first opened and realising there is a heaven made for shoppers. Here are the reasons why it was not a 10/10…

Firstly, I wanted to get something off the mannequin and the shop assistant asked me ‘will you buy it or just try it?’ which is pretty much the stupidest question to ask someone when they have not tried it on. A second shop assistant then told me ‘It’s a size 4’ very pointedly looking at my waist. Ok, I am not a size 4, so fair enough, but no one has the right to tell me that, as I may feel like a size 4 in my soul. Needless to say, I did not ask her to take it off the mannequin and the size 4 top lived to see another day.

Secondly, there were only two changing rooms, which made it quite an ordeal having to wait for the room to become free whilst also juggling a billion different plaid shirts.

Thirdly, in the Angel branch, there was some pretty questionable music. The verses sounded like someone playing a panflute with their nostril. The choruses seemed to be a man yodelling quite badly. However, as I stood waiting for the changing room, balancing my clothes with every limb, it actually started to grow on me. I kind of think it’s the future of music. So I’ll add on a point for that. Shopping experience: 7/10.

We've all been thinking it. 

Total dolla spent: £47.80

However. As we have covered, it doesn’t count if it’s two items mooshed together, because it isn’t a piece of clothing, it is a scientific phenomenon. And if it has doodles on it, is it even a shirt, or is it an artistic investment? Also the universe will pay me back for going to a charity shop and giving money to children. So by my calculations, I’m actually owed money. 

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