Five Ways to Stretch Your Wardrobe Budget

After weeks and weeks of school, papers, homework, grades and professors it is natural to want to relieve stress and do some activities that exercise other parts of your  brain. For some, the most relaxing activity is spending a day at the mall buying expensive new clothes. On a college student’s budget that might be a difficult task. Here are a few tips on how to expand your wardrobe without damaging your bank account (too much).

  • Rule of Three:

This is an important rule to keep in mind anytime you go shopping. I’m sure we have all been to a store and seen something wonderfully adorable, then your cohort pipes in and says, “When are you ever going to wear that?” Painful as it may be, they have a point. Any time you go shopping it is important to keep your existing wardrobe in mind. Look at that leopard print crop top in your hand and ask yourself if there are at least three ways you can integrate that piece in your current wardrobe. If you can easily make three outfits of it, then it might be a good addition to your closet.

  • Shop Out of Season:

Shopping for the next season can be a great way to save money. When the seasons change, most stores will put the last season’s clothing on sale to make room for new stock. If you are willing to wait a few months to break in that swimsuit go ahead and buy it in September.

  • Resale/ Consignment Shops:

Selling clothes to consignment shops is another great idea. When you are packing up your summer clothes to prepare for your winter term, you may discover a few items that you’ve forgotten or outgrown. Sell those piece to consignment stores and use whatever money you get from them as your new clothing budget.

  • Have a Few Spice Pieces:

Having a wardrobe full of neutrals can be a very good thing. If everything goes with almost everything, you have tons of outfits you can easily create. But, walking around in neutrality can leave you feeling unsatisfied with your attire. Being unsatisfied means you will want to spend more money.

If you have a wardrobe based on earth tones and patternless tops, it is a good idea to grab a few more interesting items to give your closet some vibrancy. A bright patterned scarf, colorful pair of shoes or a bright turquoise belt can add a point of interest to your more neutral ensembles.

  • Thrifting:

Goodwill is a great place to find inexpensive clothing. While there may be countless puffy-sleeved 80’s dresses and sequined blazers with shoulder pads, there are also a few diamonds in the rough. I have found several pairs of express jeans with the tags still on for less than five dollars. Thrifting does take some dedication and a bit more time than a single store in the mall, you can find a lot of great things for a fraction of what they would cost. If buying things that have been previously worn concerns you, just look for items with the tags still on.

  • Go Online to Find Coupons:

You are probably on the internet everyday anyway. So, you might as well take a few minutes away from Facebook and spend that time getting ready to save some extra money. If you are going shopping for a particular clothing item, spend a few minutes online looking for deals at some of the stores you have in mind. Most stores have great coupons online that you can find after just a few minutes.

Always proceed with caution when you are shopping for clothing on a college budget. The ultimate rule as always is:

Don’t Buy It If  You Don’t Love It!

If you are ever having second thoughts about an item, put it down and take a walk around. If you are still thinking about it twenty minutes later  then go back and see how you feel.

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Amber Bray

Amber Bray

Amber Bray is a senior at North Central College studying journalism and graphic design. Apart from her classes Amber writes a relationship advice column, along with other pieces, for the North Central Chronicle. She also writes and designs for North Central’s online magazine, The Viewfinder. Amber is a trivia fanatic and in her free time she enjoys board games, reading and writing fiction, and spending time with friends and family.