Let’s face it, maintaining trendy fashion styles can be a bit tough when you’re on a college budget and have to depend on part-time jobs which don’t pay much compared to a degree job. Add on top of that the many other expenses a college student has to keep up with and you have all the ingredients for a stressful life before your career has even started.
Fortunately, when it comes to wardrobe, there are many ways to look trendy without spending so much. Whether you’re a college student shopping on a budget or the average everyday guy or gal who’s looking to save some cash during these financial times, here are four smart tips on creating a fun wardrobe on a college budget.
1. Shop Online for Discounts and Deals
The first tip you’ll benefit from this least is learning to shop online using discounts and deals. These two are the best ways to save money when you’re on a tight budget. Shopping online can also be fun because it provides endless choices, and with less stress and indecision, you’ll save time, and allows you to shop at your convenience without having to set apart time to go physically shopping.
Most eCommerce stores provide deals and discounts all around the year on different occasions. If you subscribe to the newsletters of your favorite online clothing stores, you’ll be regularly updated with discounts on clothes as well as accessories such as eyeglasses, belts, shoes, etc. Some of these deals run for entire seasons, so you don’t always have to immediately avail of the discount or deal if you’re strapped for cash at the moment.
Physical stores often don’t offer deals and offer so frequently, which makes online shopping the optimal option for people on a college budget. Unless, of course, you don’t mind wearing second-hand clothing as long as it fits, which brings us to our next tip- shopping from thrift stores.
2. Shop Thrift Stores for Affordable and Unique Pieces
Thrift stores have been around almost as long as human commerce, as the drive to save some money on a good deal is something mankind hasn’t been able to resist since the dawn of time. They still exist today, but their numbers have been greatly reduced, and you really need to know your way around your town or city to know where to find one.
Thrift stores primarily focus on second-hand products, clothes being very common among their hottest-selling items. While you don’t have the satisfaction of unpacking something brand new, you can end up spending half of what you usually have spent if shopping online or from a regular store. There’s also the added bonus of having more options.
When going thrift shopping, there are a couple of things you really need to keep in mind. First of all, never shop on an empty stomach. Secondly, shopping with friends as having a partner will help you evaluate your purchases or help you get a better deal if he or she has experience in thrift shopping. And lastly, store hopping if there are multiple thrift shops in your area to compare prices and check options.
3. Make the Most of Sales and Clearance Racks
Clearance sales are often offered around the end of the year, which makes it the perfect time to go on a shopping spree if you’re on a tight budget. When shopping clearance sales, always go in with a game plan. Plan an outfit and buy pieces of clothing and accessories that complement the outfit.
Also, don’t shop from places you don’t know; you might get ripped instead of getting a good deal.
Clearance sales have also increased in frequency since the ‘60s, with sellers and retailers offering multiple clearance sales throughout the year during different seasons. So keep track of seasons as well if you want the best deals more frequently.
4. Get Creative with DIY Projects and Refashioned Clothing Items
Whether you’re environmentally conscious or thrifty, going DIY with old clothes to refashion them into something else is always a great idea. While it used to be a niche idea before, upcycling clothes is very trendy these days. With little tailoring skills and some extra materials, you can transform an old dress or jacket into an entirely new one.
Pinterest is a great place to get some new ideas on how to upcycle clothes, but there are also some great blogs and forums dedicated to this topic. You can check Youtube videos for tutorials if you’re not confident in your fashion DIY skills.
5. Update Your Basics with Trendy Pieces
One of the best ways to create a fun wardrobe on a college budget is to update your basics with trendy pieces. Basics such as plain t-shirts, blouses and jeans are comfortable and versatile but can look a bit dull after a while. To spice up your look, invest in some statement pieces like patterned blazers or brightly colored skirts which will inject your wardrobe with an element of fun at minimal cost.
You don’t have to go shopping every time you need something new either; try repurposing old clothes or customizing existing items in creative ways; adding patches, buttons, lace or embroidery can instantly transform something simple into something trendier without costing too much.
Be Creative in Fashion Shopping
Shopping for clothes for cheap is always a good idea, even if you aren’t scraping for pennies. Following the tips and tricks above should be more than enough to save money on clothes in the long run if you make a habit of them.