How To Stay Trendy In College on a Limited Budget
It’s Possible to Stay Trendy in College on a Limited Budget
When living in a society that glorifies consumerism, you can’t help but admire the glamour and appearance of celebrities we see all over the media. Naturally, you want to look just as good. Who doesn't? It makes you feel more confident and attractive. It doesn't help when you’re broke and surviving off part-time jobs while you take classes, and still, want to look ‘beautiful’ like the rest of the superstars. People, including myself, think that you need to always spend a ton of money on nice, designer clothes to look good but this is far from true. There are, without a doubt, economically more friendly ways to stay trendy if you try hard enough. But I believe that these five tips are not only applicable for college students, but also for anyone else who is trying to stay trendy or hip:
1. Checking out stores like H&M and Forever 21
I have done this throughout college and still continue to do today sometimes. These stores usually have a ton of sales throughout the year and the clothing is affordable most of the time (though the quality of these clothes might be compromised, hence the cheap prices). Even if you might not decide to buy anything from there, just check out what they have— especially what’s hanging on their mannequins. Stores like H&M will always have things that are in season. Sometimes when I don’t have enough money to spend at Forever 21 or just don’t feel like dropping the extra bucks, I go window-shopping just to visually observe the latest trends. A couple other examples of affordable yet trendy stores that come to mind include Zara and Topshop— though these are a tad more expensive than the former, they are still my personal favorites.
2. Keeping up with celebrities, social media stars, and their blogs
When you want to stay fashionable and you can’t afford to or just simply don’t want to spend your money on monthly magazine subscriptions, definitely make use of social media and the Internet. The amount of information that floats around and are shared and reposted nowadays is phenomenal. Look up the latest trends and you’ll always find some kind of easy to read, dumbed down information through articles, pictures, D.I.Y. tutorials, and videos. The best way to learn from fashion bloggers who appeal to you most and try to copy their style and stay consistent with that. You can’t go wrong with checking out Instagram, Youtube, and other style or fashion blog sites because they’re always free and easy to browse.
3. Knowing what you want, then researching/considering cheaper alternatives.
It’s important to first recognize what style suits you versus what doesn’t. Just because there’s something you like doesn’t necessarily mean it will look flattering on you. Consider your height, weight, complexion, hair, body shape, and the kind of feel you want to portray to others. Having this part down will make it easier to figure out what exactly you’re looking for, and then you can go shopping. Always be on a lookout for cheaper alternatives. Let’s say you’re looking to buy a nice pair of Jordans or Adidas or any athletic shoes, check out the youth section. This is particularly good for women or men with much smaller feet because there aren’t any government taxes added on kid’s shoes. Second-hand stores are also a great option to check for anything that you can rock. I once found a clean, chic Theory jacket at Eco-thrift and only paid $8 for it— I guarantee you’re bound to find a good buy if you search hard enough.
4. Taking advantage of clearance sales and off-season items.
This is probably one of the best advices I’ve received from a friend as a teenager. This effectively will save you a ton of money while being able to treat yourself with cute items. Even now, I don’t usually purchase a lot of things for their full price. It doesn’t hurt to wait it out a bit sometimes for the sake of being kinder to your wallet. The only thing to remember is that you need to be alert of clearance times often. Most of these occur before, during, and after the holidays and even just periodically throughout the year. Also, remember to check after a season ends— for instance, winter apparel are always cheaper when you purchase them towards the end of February. The same principle applies to spring, summer, and fall clothing. Whether it’s online or in store, you’ll be surprised how often the sales happen and what hidden gems you can find amidst that.
5. Remember that you can try to sell or trade what you want to throw away
As my budget got tighter at times during my matriculation at school, this proved to be a great way to make a little extra cash. Unless you’re in a rush to move somewhere fast, you should definitely put in a little time and effort into selling or trading them rathet than tossing or donating them. There are so many platforms and applications to utilize like Craigslist, the local buy-and-trade Facebook forums, Thred-Up, Vinted, Letgo, and Poshmark, etc. Depending on how much time you have, you might want to consider what each platforms offer. On apps like Craigslist and Poshmark, you can post your items and set the prices you want. While on Thred-Up, you send your clothes and the company will pay you depending on how much they want to sell each of your items for. Another faster way of selling your clothes is at a nearby thrift store or consignment shop that either gives you money up front or sends you the money every time one of your items sell.