We all know how it goes… at the start of every semester you’re thinking of all the ways you’re going to reinvent yourself. When fall or spring comes around, it’s a clean slate. In these 3 months, you’re finally going to nail that 4.0, hit the gym, make cool new friends and of course, look super stylish while doing it all. That is until syllabus week ends and you realize you’re too broke to even think about fashion.

No worries, I’m here to help you put your oversized sweatpants and yesterday’s t-shirts back in the closet. Between piling expenses and a dwindling budget, it can seem almost impossible to stay chic and trendy. However, a few simple tips can help you stay fashion-forward without trading in your tuition.

Stick to the Classics

You’ve probably heard about investing in the good ol’ classic wardrobe staples: a nice pair of jeans, a nice jacket, and a sturdy bag. While splurging on these pieces can be a good idea, you can get the same style without burning through your precious cash. Wearing classic, timeless pieces, no matter what the price point, can give off a chic simplistic vibe. The trick is sticking to affordable basics: blue jeans, buttons downs, and simple tees can all be spiced up with accessories or worn alone for a minimalistic look. Next time you’re tempted to buy that trendy item, go for the basic piece instead—it will never go out of style.

Photo courtesy of pinterest

Buy “Off Season”

We know how hard it is not to get sucked into the hype that comes with new releases. However, playing the waiting game can mean a huge break for your wallet. How many times have you bought something only to see it on the sale rack a month later? Because fashion operates a season ahead, sales can happen when you need them. For instance, fall markdowns occur in late November around black Friday and before the start of the holidays, when the temperatures have yet to drop for winter. You can snag great deals and get wear out of them immediately instead of buying ahead and having the pieces gather dust in your closet.

Photo coutesy of luellajune.com

Go Thrifting

Grab 10 bucks and head over to your nearest thrift store—you’ll be shocked at just how much you can find for cheap. It can be a bit daunting to sort through, but hidden gems lie everywhere from 50 cents (can you believe it!) to a few dollars. This way you can experiment with style freely, find higher quality pieces and support the community by shopping at places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army. Thanks Macklemore for shedding light on just how amazing thrift stores are, especially for us tight budgeters.

Gif courtesy of giphy

Maintain Your Wardrobe

Most importantly, maintain the pieces you currently own. Nothing will look stylish if it’s stained or wrinkled – so keep clothes clean and invest in a steamer (trust me, it’s worth it!) to always look fabulously polished. Tailoring your clothes – something as simple as getting your too-long pants hemmed or a jacket taken in for a few bucks at the dry cleaners makes them fit like a dream and look far more luxe. Shop with this in mind, “If you find a great piece that only needs to be altered to fit—get it! Anything can be adjusted look like it was made just for you.”  

Photo courtesy of Extra Petite

From run-down to runway get ready to turn your pennies into some dope gear with these tips.  Keep in mind that being fashionable is all about finding your unique expression and more importantly, feeling confident in your clothes. A great outfit you love can make you feel powerful enough to take on the world. Remember that no one can dress just like you can. Happy styling!


Written by Ashika 

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