I love clothes as much as the next girl, but they can be expensive. And when you’re a college girlboss ballin’ on a budget, you can’t afford everything from PINK and Lululemon. As a college student, I’ve learned a few tricks to keep my college wardrobe with the trends without draining my bank account. Here are some of the best ways to save on your college wardrobe.
1. Share EVERYTHING
Come on. It’s simple. Your closet + your roommate’s closet + your best friend’s closet = three times the clothes to wear! When you can’t seem to find the perfect outfit for that girl’s night out or a formal dress for a fancy dinner, try a different closet! Of course, this may mean sacrificing some of your clothes to them too, but girls tend to understand the “dibs” rule when it comes to who gets to wear what. Overall, this trick has caused many more good outfits than bad arguments, and I love having two closets to run to when I can’t seem to find anything good in mine.
BONUS TIP: You know those annoying group texts you get put into with tons of other girls? Start one for trading clothes. Anytime you need an outfit, you could have 20 or more girls offering up some of their cutest clothes for you to borrow!
2. Always Buy Sale Shoes
Literally never pay full price for strappy sandals or sneakers. All shoe stores have sale racks, and all sale racks eventually have cute shoes. If there’s a pair of sandals you’re dying to have, wait a couple of weeks for them to go down at least $10. Look online for shoes, too — most websites are constantly having sales or offering promo codes. Also, check stores like Ross Dress for Less, TJ Maxx, or Marshalls for shoes — some of my favorite pairs have come from places like this. They carry brand name items for hella less (so you can rock those Steve Madden slip-ons without making your wallet cry).
3. Never Pay for T-Shirts
There will always, always, always be t-shirts for sale, and you’ll inevitably want to buy them. But the truth is that your college apparel store is overpricing by like… a lot. In reality, you’ll probably only wear a t-shirt representing your college once or twice a month, so why spend your whole paycheck on them? First off, most colleges host organization fairs where people give out free t-shirts like candy. Always look for these events, and swing by even if you’re only there for the t-shirts.
Secondly, hit up Savers or Goodwill for all your other house-cleaning, gym-going, couch-laying t-shirt needs. They’re like $2 and they’re already worn in (because who likes an itchy, starchy, new shirt? No one.). If you start regularly hitting up the thrift stores for t-shirts, you’re bound to find some from your college and other places. For example, I’ve started collecting big comfy t-shirts from colleges I don’t even go to, and I only pay a few bucks for them. Holla. (Fun fact: I have a friend who goes to Goodwill to find employee shirts from restaurants she never worked at! Anything is possible at Goodwill.)
4. Up-cycle Things That are Out of Style
Those jeans you never wear? A cute new pair of shorts can be made simply with a pair of scissors and a how-to Youtube tutorial. That shirt that got bleached? A trendy headwrap with yet another tutorial. Any other pieces of clothing you don’t wear? Google it, and I promise there are other handy-dandy uses for it. Or, if you have some clothes that you don’t wear but are still in fashion, try to find a consignment shop where you can get cash for your clothes (which you can just spend on more clothes, duh!).
5. Online Shopping
CAN a girl get an amen? First of all, this method can be worlds cheaper if you know where to go and how to work the promo-codes. But more importantly, it saves you time while also saving you money. You don’t have to leave your bed on your one morning to sleep in — and you can totally watch Netflix, eat pizza, AND do homework while shopping online. Boom, the perfect method for building your college wardrobe. Some of my favorite sites to find cheap, trendy clothes are Target, ModCloth, Express, Kohl’s, and Nordstrom (they have killer sales). More good news, all these sites have apps so you can shop on your way to class (or while you’re in class, let’s be real).