Is it really all that important to look good at the university? It depends on your point of view, but given the fact that for most people this is the first time full independence and freedom are enjoyed, it’s pretty nice to start building a sense of self with the clothes you wear. Of course the only downside to all of this is the way in which the latest girl’s fashion collections are never what you’d call highly affordable – especially when looking to get by on the budget of the average student.
The good news however is that with a little common sense and savvy, there are plenty of ways and means by which huge savings can be made while still looking downright awesome. Making those pennies stretch as far as possible may not be what you’d call ‘fun’ for most, but it is at least possible to stock up on great fashion without leaving yourself cold and hungry for the next six weeks.
1 – Swapsies
First up, there’s a growing trend right now that’s seeing tens of thousands of people hitting the web to swap their old clothes for those of other people. In essence it’s a bit like a gigantic online charity shop that encourages folk to swap or donate their old clothes rather than just throwing them away. Clothes swapping is a big deal right now and if you shop with a registered company, there’s a good chance they’ll personally check each garment for quality and wash it before it’s sent out. Top brands with up to 90% off the usual price – it’s a hell of a deal if you’re happy to wear pre-loved clothing.
2 – Online Fashion Retailers
Of course, it’s not only the second-hand clothing retailers that make hitting the web worthwhile – these days there are plenty of web-exclusive retailers that offer the most outstanding value for money. It’s no secret that running a website is a ton cheaper than running a shop, which is why it’s not uncommon for web-only sellers to have great lines on sale for prices that would be impossible on the High Street. And of course, the fact that you can order from your smartphone and have everything delivered is a pretty sweet bonus too.
3 – Join Mailing Lists
Sure, it sucks to get a whole bunch of junk mail every day, but more often than not it’s those that are signed up to store mailing lists that get the first dibs on the best offers and a fair few exclusives too. It’s also a very good idea to get as many of those free store cards as you can get your hands on – as in those that give you discounts and stack up points as you spend, as opposed to store credit cards. Sooner or later, there’ll be a deal or two that are well up your street.
4 – Use Your Student Discounts
So what if you wouldn’t normally shop at H&M – the fact that your student card gives you maybe 15% or 20% of a wide selection of items there means you need to think about changing your habits! This is just a random example of course, but one that perfectly illustrates the importance of shopping wisely. Instead of waiting to find discounts for the shops you like, do things the other way round and shop only at the stores you’ll be given a student discounts at. And don’t for one minute think that these kinds of discounts are restricted to High Street stores – they can often be used for online shopping too.
5 – Buy a Killer Coat
As most of the time you spend at university will be in the colder months of the year, think about investing in a single killer coat and keeping it simple with everything else. After all, this is the only thing most people will ever see you in!
6 – Stain Patrol
Now you’re out on your own, there’s nobody there to make sure you clothes always come back flawlessly clean and stain-free. This means the increased likelihood of tossing out clothes you’ve redecorated with red wine, makeup, ink and all manner of other nasties. Being wasteful will only ever cost you money – nerd-up a little on how to beat stains and you’ll save a small fortune over the years.
7 – Ignore College Trends
Last but not least, forget about investing any time or money in any college fashion trends that come along. As is the case in all areas of fashion, trends change far too quickly too keep up with and only end up proving a huge drain on your finances. Think simple, think timeless and thing long-term.