by Samantha Borchard
Shopping for fashionable clothing on a college student budget is not an easy task, and maintaining season trends on that budget is even more difficult. However, it isn’t impossible. Here are a few tips that will help students shop the trends without breaking their bank.
First tip is recycling your rags for cash. Rummage through your closet. Take out everything and start separating the clothes you’re going to keep from the ones you want to sell. Stores like Cross Roads and Buffalo Exchange are wonderful buy, sell, or trade shops that will take your good condition clothing for cash or store credit. They are even good places to shop for new items. Some stores may not always take your old clothes, but there are things that you can do to better your chances. For example:
Before lugging huge bags full of everything you own, call the stores beforehand to find out what they are specifically looking for. Buyers always have a list.
Go through those items and iron them. The neater the item, the more likely they are to take it. Buyers look for items that will look good on a hanger because they will move quickly in their stores.
Clean up your clothing. If there are broken zippers, stains or missing buttons, they won’t sell. Also, polish up shoes so that they appear new.
The second tip is to shop staple items. When you’re on a budget it’s tough to keep buying clothes to keep up with the trends that are constantly changing. The smartest thing you can do is shop those timeless staple items. They will never go out of style, they can be worn with almost anything in your closet and you won’t have to buy that item again until it is worn out. These items include:
Straight leg pair of jeans- No holes or embellishments. They can be paired with anything from a white t-shirt and Converse to a flowing top and heels. Same goes for guys. Straight leg, nice fit jeans can be dressed up or down but remember guys, showing your underwear is not cute.
Converse- These shoes have been around for years and haven’t changed and there is a reason for that. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. These shoes can be worn with anything and they are always comfortable.
Trench coats- A tan trench coat will never go out of style. It is a very practical item that is lightweight and because it is a neutral color, it will fit with your entire wardrobe. It will also pair nicely with the many interview outfits you might be wearing after college.
Knee high brown leather boots- Preferably without a heel. The simpler the style the more you can wear it. Round toe with no embellishments, like a fold over shaft or buckles and snaps. It is also important to buy actual leather shoes. They last longer and are a good investment if you plan on selling them at some point.
Lastly, prioritize your buys. Invest more money into those items that you will wear more. It is true, the better quality the item, the more it costs, but it will also last much longer. A lot of money was saved in high school by buying a pair of Frye round toe, western style boots. Fourteen years later these boots only have minor scuffs. If you can only put a large amount of money into one area of your attire, it should be on shoes.
If you purchase shoes made from synthetic materials, they are likely to wear out much faster than if you had spent a little more and bought a pair made from leather. This goes the same for leather jackets and handbags. Another item that is good as an investment is a pair of glasses.
Everyone is different therefore these tips may not work the same for everyone, but hopefully these tips will help on your next shopping trip.