A stand-out outfit does not have to break the bank, shop smart and thriftily, half of the outfit items were on sale and at stores that are already known for bargain prices. Goodwill dress $5. Gifted scarf $0. Walmart tights $6. Buffalo Exchange shoes $5. The outfit not including accessories was a total of $16 Photo credit: Benjamin Garcia

Looking fresh without breaking the bank


2018 has arrived and many students are joining the “new year, new me” concept by giving themselves a fresh new look for the new semester. Fashion often gives college students the struggle of having to stay “trendy” while finding brands at an affordable price.

Fashion defines who we are. It can be used to celebrate uniqueness and simply to express ourselves.

We don’t have to pay for our personalities so why should it be acceptable to file for bankruptcy just to accommodate our personality with the clothes that accurately demonstrate who we are as a person?

Top brands can be very expensive and for college students that are usually on a low budget, it can be hard to find them at affordable prices.

Fortunately, there are many everyday stores where they can find brands for cheap. Ross, Macy’s, JcPenney, Burlington, thrift shops and online stores are some of the alternatives for shopping for clothes.

Department stores can be good places to find a good bargain because they have a variety of brands under one roof. They can pick and choose what type of brands fit their styles, saving themselves another trip to a different store.

Another advantage is that accessories are also available to match their style, so students would be able to complete their outfits within one location.

There are also specific days where stores restock themselves with new clothes and merchandise, providing more options and adding more items in the clearance rack.

Don’t be ashamed to make a beeline straight to the clearance section. It’s a pair of Levi’s not a Dior gown, it shouldn’t have to cost you your soul.

Be sure to stockpile any gift cards you have, you’ll be able to take home more for a lot less especially with free cash.

Thrift shops are a really good place to find top brands at affordable prices. Even though occasionally the clothes are second hand, they will be in good conditions. Goodwill is a good example of a good thrift shop where top brand clothes can be found.

However, to really rake in the fashion finds and refrain from breaking the bank at the same time is to mostly stick with mom and pop thrift shops since clothes will most likely be priced reasonably, remember that thrift stores don’t pay for their stock so they be afraid to haggle if you feel the shop owner got a little bit too heavy handed with their price gun.

Another important thing to keep in mind when going thrifting is to stay away from big cities such as Los Angeles when looking for a bargain, especially in heavily hipster populated areas.

Think back to that economics class you took in senior year of high school, price goes up as demand goes up.

Another reason to stray from hipster infested cities is because those trust fund toting vagabond appearing white people have enough money to buy out the store so chances of you scoring a rad pair of jeans or a cool chapeau is zero to zilch.

Online shopping can be another way of shopping for top brands at affordable prices, there are many websites out there that will sell lots of brands that are inexpensive.

Some websites where you can find cheap clothes are wish, boohoo and getthelabel.

These websites sell top brand clothes at very affordable prices and will sometimes include free shipping on orders with a minimum amount of $30.

Another helpful tip to keep in mind when venturing online for your new kicks or threads, is to stay away from Craigslist and eBay! Going on these sites is essentially pulling up a seat in front of a craps table, it’s a gamble, that you, a college student can not afford.

There is a high probability that those brand new Adidas that you shelled out the cash for is just a cardboard box chock full of old Talon Marks newspapers.

Stick with sites that you can file a complaint with or that have a customer service line just in case your order got lost in translation.

Making your own clothes is definitely another way to save money on in trend clothing.

In the age of, “You don’t know how to do a thing? Check on YouTube.” you’ll be able to find tutorials for just about anything under the sun so don’t worry yourself on not knowing how to sew.

Brand new sewing machines can be a bit pricey but if you are willing to learn and make all your clothes from this point on, it’s worth the price.

Of course, you can always buy a used machine or borrow grandma’s.

Fabric can be easily acquired on the cheap in Downtown L.A.’s textile district. Prices for sewing patterns range from style to style, more common styles tend to be cheaper while vintage inspired patterns tend to be a bit pricier.

Another important thing to keep in mind when trying to stay on trending on the cheap is that trends are constantly being recycled. The 90s have made a strong comeback with 90s babies, us, so feel free to raid your parents’ closets to fill your wardrobe.

Wanting to be a cool college kid doesn’t have to result in a cool, pathetically broke, former college kid.

Happy bargain hunting!

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