Clothes are fun and expressive, but the problem for many of us it that they can also be expensive.
And when you’re a student, and need to live on a tight budget, buying yourself some new clothes for your wardrobe might be something that you want to do, but simply can’t. If you’ve been finding yourself fed up of wearing your old clothes, or struggling to get a new outfit together for an event that you’ve been invited to, then don’t worry; there are several things that you can do in order to save the amount of money that you spend on clothes and update your wardrobe on the cheap.
When you’re studying hard to achieve your career goals, it’s always worth investing in something that makes you happy – even if that’s just something new to wear. No matter how small your budget, we’ve put together some of the best ways to make the most of what you already have in your wardrobe and save money when you do go shopping for new clothes.
Buy Generic Basics
If you’re buying simple, generic pieces that you can layer up and wear underneath other things, then don’t worry about spending too much money on them or always going for well-known brand names. When it comes to items like tank tops and basic t-shirts, there’s no need to splash out for an
expensive brand; the cheaper options will usually do just fine. It’s unlikely that it’s going to be the main fashion piece that you’re wearing and if you layer several pieces then nobody is going to see it. Not to mention, if you’re buying basics to wear underneath heavier clothing, then it probably isn’t
going to last very long – after all, part of the point of wearing an undershirt is to keep sweat off your nicer tops, right? Stick to simple and cheap basics and save your money for buying clothes that you want to show off.
You’ve probably noticed that fashion prices can change with the seasons – woolen sweaters always seem more expensive during the fall and winter, and in the summer, you’re paying the highest prices for bikinis and summer dresses. You might feel a bit weird buying summer dresses in the winter or boots in the summer, but when the season for them comes back around, you can save a significant amount of money. End-of-season sales are usually the best time to buy if you’re hoping to save your new fashion items for another season. And, stick to items that you know will be timeless no matter what. Woolen jumpers, cardigans and sweaters are never going to go out of fashion during the colder weather, and tank tops and shorts
won’t go out of fashion during the summertime. You can always buy a few trending items during the season if you like your looks to stay current, but buy your basics when you don’t need them to take advantage of a better price.
Go Easy on the Trends
Yes, it can be nice to fill your wardrobe with the latest trends – but the problem is that fashion trends move quickly, and what you’re wearing now might be completely out of date by this time next year. That’s why it’s a good idea to go easy when it comes to following trends; buying items
that you can wear and still look great in at any time means that you don’t need to keep spending money on new fashion items to stay current.
Try to keep your fashion choices timeless – chances are, if it’s been in fashion for the season for a few years or more, it’s probably not going to be going anywhere any time soon. If there’s a trending item that you simply must have, then ask yourself – would you be comfortable wearing this even if it wasn’t trending right now? If the answer is yes, then get it – but if not, ask yourself if you really want or need it, or are you just trying to keep up with the latest trend?
Organize a Swap Shop
Are your friends in the same boat as you? Maybe your besties have been complaining about how they would really like to go shopping for a new wardrobe, but just don’t have it in their budget right now. Maybe you have friends from school who’re also studying for FNP programs online and feeling the pinch, especially when it comes to fashion – but this is good news! If you’re feeling like a meetup with your friends is overdue, then even better. Ditch the usual meeting for coffee or drinks and organize a fashion swap instead. To do this, all you need to do is get everybody to get the clothes that they don’t want or need any more together and bring them along. Even if you’re all different sizes, don’t worry – sometimes a
size up can be a nice, oversized fit or you might find that actually a size smaller than you usually wear fits you quite well if it’s from a brand that you don’t usually wear. Not only can swapping clothes with your friends be a great way to have some fun and update your wardrobes without spending money, it can also help you learn more about your friends and their fashion tastes, too!
Buy Second Hand
You might be surprised when it comes to the amount of great bargains that you can get when it comes to buying fashion second hand. Check out thrift stores in your area – you can often find clothing items here that have been dropped off brand new, or at the very least barely worn, with a lot of life left in them that you can take advantage of at a fraction of the price that you’d pay for the same item brand new. In addition to thrift stores, the internet can also be a great place to get some amazing fashion items at a much lower price than you would usually pay. Check out fashion selling groups on social media sites such as Facebook where you can not only buy items from other members, but also sell your own unwanted fashion items in order to help cover the cost. Apps such as Depop can also be a great
way to get hold of second hand fashion items with some awesome bargains from big brands on offer.
Turn Your Clothes Into Something New
If you’re a fairly creative person, and enjoy making new things, then turning your clothes into something different could be a fun way to spend your time, and you’ll end up with new fashion items without having to spend a lot of money – if any at all. Learning some sewing basics is actually easier than it sounds, and you don’t need to be a genius seamstress in order to update the items that you already have in your wardrobe. For example, you could update an old, tired cardigan with some fancy new buttons, or sew a trim on a sweater or a top using an old scarf. If you own, or have access to, a sewing machine, then it’s worth taking the time to learn how to do a simple hem – this will give you the ability to alter your clothing in new
ways, such as turning a top into a crop top, shortening sleeves, or turning jeans into shorts.
Take Advantage of Coupon Apps
When shopping for clothes online, there are several coupon apps that you can use in order to get a percentage off the total price. It’s worth taking the time to find an app that provides you with a range of voucher codes for your favorite fashion stores. And the good news is that there’s an app for
everything – Yowza, for example, is a great free app for both iOS and Android that you can use to get discounts on not just fashion, but a range of other merchants, or you could use apps like Coupon Sherpa to make sure that you are notified when your favorite brands have voucher codes available. Before you make an online payment when shopping for clothes, it’s a good idea to take a few minutes to conduct a quick Google search to find any available voucher codes online that you can use. Or make use of a browser extension tool such as Honey which will do all the hard work for you and provide you with any available codes and promotions at the checkout.
Use Your Student Discount
When you’re a student, one of the best parts of saving money is that you may be eligible for a student discount at many stores, particularly fashion chains. When you’re shopping in stores, it’s always worth asking at the checkout whether or not you will be eligible for a student discount and
always having your student ID card handy just in case. Don’t just rely on stores that advertise their student discounts, either – you might be surprised at the number of fashion stores that offer student discounts but don’t have any signs to let you know. You might also be able to get student discounts online, too – although this can be harder compared to shopping in store. Check out options for apps that allow you to get access to special discount student codes when you clarify your status as a student – in order to do this, you will usually need to verify your account using your official college or university email address.
Invest in Better Quality
Are you always finding yourself in a position where you need to update your wardrobe because the clothing that you currently have is getting old and tired? If so, then it might be worth ditching the idea of getting cheap fashion, and investing your money into getting high-quality fashion pieces that are going to last a while instead. Designer fashion items don’t come cheap, but most of the time they are worth paying a little bit extra for. When it comes to fashion pieces that you wear often and want to keep for a while like jeans, a winter coat and everyday shoes, then it’s always worth spending a little more. Over the long term, you’ll save more money as you won’t need to replace these items half as often as you would cheaper alternatives.
Only Buy What You Can Afford
Although there are plenty of ways to save money when it comes to updating your wardrobe, it’s important to keep good money management in mind. If you can’t afford it, then you’ve got to skip it until you can. And often, thinking like this can be a good idea – it gives you some time to reflect on
whether or not you actually need a new wardrobe or whether you’re just getting bored with what you’ve already got. For many fashionistas who struggle to put something back on the rack, forcing themselves to have a certain amount of time to think about something before going back to buy it
can help them put something in perspective. Taking a few days or even a couple of weeks will give you a chance to determine whether or not you actually want or need something, or whether you were just about to buy it for the sake of it.
Look After Your Clothes
Finally, looking after your clothes well is hugely important – as the better care you give them, the longer they are going to last and the less likely you’ll be to find yourself in a position where you need a wardrobe update. Always make sure that your clothes are washed and dried on the appropriate settings, and store them carefully whether they are hung up in your wardrobe or folded in drawers. To keep your clothes in the best condition, avoid overstuffing your drawers, remove any plastic dry- cleaning bags before hanging, and invest in softer hangers for your wardrobe.
Getting new clothes can be an impossible luxury for many cash-strapped students, but updating your wardrobe on a budget is more than possible!