Students are poor. Numerous newspaper articles on a daily basis tell me so, as well as giving me advice on how not to be poor. But students also like go out and socialise… And to look good while doing so. How do we solve this soul-destroying problem? With Career Camel’s top tips on affordable fashion, of course!
- Never, ever, (ever) shop online
No, seriously, don’t. Shopping online is the absolute worst thing for anyone living on a budget.The compulsion to keep ‘adding to basket’, the fact that you can’t try it on and the fact you can do it from your own computer while drunk, tired, grumpy or in any other unstable state are all valid reasons why you should stop doing it right now.
- Clothes swap
If you’re lucky enough to have friends with really good fashion sense and happen to be similar sizes, then why not indulge in a bit of clothes ‘swapping’. Borrow a dress or top for a night out from a friend and you’ve instantly updated your wardrobe, for free. Just make sure you give it back, washed, afterwards, or you may not have a friend with really good fashion sense who is the same size as you for much longer!
- Do go to charity shops, don’t go to over-priced ‘vintage’ shops
Vintage is definitely in, and it can be incredibly tempting to take yourself off to vintage and retro shops to gain something unique and fashionable. However, be careful what you’re buying. That kooky crop top made from an old t-shirt may seem edgy and different, but in reality you are paying £20 for exactly that… An old t-shirt with the bottom cut off.
Charity shops, however, are a definite must. As long as you don’t buy anything ‘dry clean only’ (otherwise you’ll have to pay through the nose to get rid of that charity shop smell!), charity shops are great for picking up bargains. Don’t be a snob, and think about it: once you take the label off, no one knows where it came from!
Also 3.1 – do buy things in sizes other than your own. Jumpers can look great in a couple of sizes bigger, as can smock style dresses. Again, it doesn’t matter what size it is, as long as it looks good on!
- Reinvent old clothes… And have fun with it!
Sometimes it can be easy to reinvigorate your wardrobe, without having to pay lots of money for new clothes. Cut a hole out of your old jeans and sew some material from a colourful scarf, sew a necklace to the collar of a dress to add some sparkle, stick old hair accessories to plain ballet pumps to jazzy them up. Enjoy the clothes you have before you buy some more!
And, if all else fails… Just try to allow yourself to only buy one more pair of shoes!
Do you have any other tips for students worrying about university fashion? Let us know in the comments below!
Photo: Maegan Tintari / Flickr
I’m a serial multi-tasker who loves having no spare time. Also an English Literature student.