I’m sure I’m not the only woman out here who’s wages don’t match their fashion taste. That, alongside being a university student, means that at the end of the month there’s never really a lot left over for fashion. Having been a fashionista on a budget whilst studying – I’ve got some tips that I swear by when it comes to being stylish, with not many pennies.
It’s a fairly big misconception that being stylish is expensive – I mean this is probably due to every fashion magazine shoving the new Louis Vuitton or Gucci trends in our faces every month. Don’t get me wrong I love seeing these, but lets get real, there’s no way I’m going to be shopping in Gucci any time soon. This is mainly done to make us want to spend a bomb on all the new and expensive trends; after all magazines are just slightly more fancier advertisements, getting you to splash the cash. And, how often is it you see brands like Vouge chat about typical high street affordable stores, like Primark?! Which, may I add is an absolute god send for students wanting affordable fashion!
But, long and behold, being stylish doesn’t have to be expensive. Although it does require a bit of effort on our parts.
If your a student like myself, NUS is an absolute life saver. My NUS card comes with me everywhere, and I mean everywhere! It offers discounts in most high street stores ranging from 10-30%, but it’s always good to keep an eye out for higher student discounts as I know that occasionally places like Topshop and RI will offer 20% rather than 10%. It may not seem like a lot, but it really does make a difference! (The NUS card offers discounts at various food outlets also, so cheap pizza too, whats not to like?!)
Next find out when the sales are going to be – sales tend to take place as the season changes, when shops begin to get in their new stock. Sales are perfect for shopping a year ahead – hear me out on this one. Summer sales often take place just as autumn is getting underway, so obviously you won’t be getting your legs out in November (and if you are, hats off to you, you’re a lot more hardcore than myself), but shopping for the next summer means that you can add to your wardrobe for the following year, at a discounted price. This isn’t everyones cup of tea but we all know you can find some absolute gems in the sales in you riffle hard enough!
Leading on from this one, learn how to alter items. I’ve always had the struggle that when it comes to finding things in the sale, there tends to only ever be bigger sizes left, all the small ones were wiped out as soon as the sale sign goes up! Therefore by having some basic sewing knowledge (I’m talking really basic, nothing too fancy) you can still buy that dreamy skirt that’s 3 sizes too big, because after spending a bit of time adding a couple of darts and a belt, it’ll fit like a dream. Also means you aren’t missing out on any of the bargains!
If theres a specific item that you’ve had your eye on for a while, hop straight onto resale sights to look for it. You’ll be surprised at what you can find on Depop and Ebay, particularly if theres a certain item that you want. I always find myself browsing Depop but never ending up picking anything, unless theres a garment I specifically really want – always good to head into retail sights with some sort of ‘plan’ I guess you could call it!
Layer, layer, layer. Living in the UK, I’d like to think I’ve mastered this whole layering malarky – with it being very cold most the year round, I’m a sucker for layering garments on top of each other. Layering will also encourage you to really look at whats in your wardrobe – that basic top you normally just wear with jeans? Chuck a dress on over the top and pair of tights and boots, you have a completely new outfit. Layering will allow you to take one garment from your wardrobe and style it 50 different ways, meaning a whole new selection of stylish outfits, that cost…nothing!!!
Shop the classics. Pieces that are versatile. You can pair with anything. I talking plain white tees, jeans, you know the classics that are must haves in wardrobes. Having the classics will allow you to then style with more adventurous garments in your wardrobe – classics also tend to be cheaper as well, particularly if their from the mens section. Mens plain t-shirts tend to be so much cheaper than women’s for example; and there’s about a million and one ways to style the renowned oversized top. So again, another selection of outfits, all from one top.
Lastly, spend a day walking around outlet shops. I live near Gunwharf Quays, which is home to a huge outlet centre where if you spend some time digging around you can find some dreamy pieces for just a fraction of the price. I remember finding a Ralph Lauren shirt in the outlet, retailed at £120, and I managed to get it for just £40 – still to this day my most favourite bargain find!
So there we go, being fashionable on a budget can be done! It just takes a bit more effort than being fashionable not on a budget I guess! Take a look at what you already own, branch out, style it with different garments you wouldn’t normally, and there we have it an whole new outfit that cost you nothing!
What are your top tips for shopping on a budget?
All my love,