While the whole subject of students living on a shoestring may be somewhat cliché to say the least, it’s also about as true and accurate as it gets. Aside from the lucky few who may have their pockets lined by the bank of mummy and daddy, the overwhelming majority of students end up finding that once all essential expenses have been met, there’s little to nothing left over. As such, things can be rather tricky to say the least for those with an interest in style and fashion as trying to get those pennies to stretch far enough is difficult at the best of times.
The good news however is that there are ways and means by which shopping for fashionable clothes and indeed looking fashionable day in and day out as a student can be made considerably more accessible. So instead of spending your days brooding over those designer bandage dresses you simply cannot afford, give thought to the following tips and chances are you’ll find a few in there that might just help you:
1 – Get Thrifty
These days, second-hand stores are no longer last resort shopping destinations for those with no other choice, but are rather outstanding treasure chests packed with fantastic garments that are practically being given away for free. And if that wasn’t enough, there are also plenty of online stores and marketplaces where secondhand clothes can be picked up from the comfort of home for spectacularly low prices. Suffice to say, strike it lucky on eBay and the kind of stuff you can get for practically nothing is mind-blowing.
2 – Swap it Out
Likewise, there are plenty of online sites and resources these days where fashion and budget-conscious individuals get together to swap their clothes and accessories with one another. And it’s really not as if you have to go online to get into the swapping way of life as chances are if you were to have a word with a few of your friends, you’d find more than a few who were in exactly the same position as you and would be happy to do a bit of swapping.
3 – Chop it Up
Admittedly, the end of the summer isn’t the kind of time to be talking too much about converting those jeans into shorts, but you would still be amazed as to the kinds of changes you can make to your existing garments with nothing but a pair of scissors. After all, ripped jeans are just as fashionable today as they were several generations ago and could be yours with just a few choice snips.
4 – Learn to Sew
As far as life skills go, one example of a skill you will never ever regret picking up and getting good at is that of sewing. It is simply impossible to fully understand the kind of freedom you suddenly find yourself with when you arm yourself with the skills, knowledge and tools necessary to begin altering, repairing and indeed making your own clothes. You can start from scratch or you can turn literally anything you own into literally anything else. You could quite easily overhaul your entire wardrobe and kit yourself out with dozens of new outfits for less than the price of buying a single new garment.
5 – Look for Quality
A lot of students think that because they don’t have a lot of money, they should just buy cheap, low-quality goods. But, in the long run, it can actually be more expensive to do this than to buy expensive, high-quality goods. This is because cheap, low-quality goods wear out faster and you have to buy more of them. Expensive, high-quality goods, on the other hand, can last a lifetime, which means you will have to buy fewer of them and therefore save money in the long run. For example, if you’re on the market for suspenders, you could go out and buy a pair of cheap, generic suspenders that will break after a couple of uses. Alternatively, you could buy a pair of leather suspenders from JJ Suspenders that will not only last you for years but will also look more interesting. Although it’s counter-intuitive, sometimes spending more money upfront is spending less money over time.
6 – Accessories
Of course it is not as if accessories come free of charge either, but at the same time it can be exponentially cheaper to overhaul the garments of your outfit as a whole with something like a belt or a scarf rather than investing in a new outfit. Accessories have the potential to completely and totally revamp every single thing you have in your wardrobe and do not have to cost a great deal at all.
7 – Think in Layers
Whichever way you look at it, up the more you use any given garments throughout the year, the more you can justify spending on them. For example, if you were to buy a very simple and plain black cardigan that goes with everything you wear, chances are you will wear it almost nonstop and can therefore justify buying a better quality example. It’s a good idea to think in layers and focus on the kind of things you can wear with as many other things as possible in order to get the maximum value for money out of all of your garments while technically having to invest in fewer garments in total.
8 – Wait it Out
Last but not least, if you have the kind of willpower to make it happen, then it is of the utmost importance to avoid buying any garments whatsoever when there are no sales or clearances on. Not that this is particularly difficult as sales are pretty much ongoing all year long, meaning all you have to do is sniff them out and find the very best ones.