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With holiday shopping and Black Friday upon us, it’s time to update our closets. Between scrolling through TikTok and walking around Georgetown, I’ve added a few pieces to my wishlist. My main goal however, is not to break the bank. Here is how I do it!

Basics are your best friend. 

When building up your wardrobe, always start with the basics—key pieces that you can throw on at any moment and look put together. This is going to include your simple tops (short sleeves, long sleeves and tank-tops) and bottoms (jeans and shorts). If you tend to be a dress person then this also would include a simple knit dress or tennis dresses. Keeping it basic would mean grabbing these items in neutral colors—creams, black, white, and grey. However, there’s always room for pinks and blues in these staples. Aim to make your basic pieces solid colors without patterns or extra details. The point of these basics is for them to be timeless, not trendy. 

Spend money on statement pieces.  

If you want to save money when building your wardrobe, don’t spend it on simple pieces. Yes, you still want good quality, but the $19 white tee from GAP is going to get you farther than the $40 basic from Aritzia. GAP also has great quality jeans for fair prices. Where you really want to focus your spending is on statement pieces. Any clothing item that pops and stands out is always worth the extra dough. Make sure that the piece stands out and fits your style, not just what seems to be trendy right now. Trends come and go so fast, you don’t want to be left with pieces that you wouldn’t wear a year from now. Ideal statement pieces can be paired with any basic to add more flare and step up the day-to-day look. For example, check out this amazing fall jacket from Old Navy to step up your streetwear game (40% off at checkout!)

Know when sales are happening and where to find discounts. 

Always sign up for emails form your favorite stores. Sure, you’ll get some spam, but you will also get notifications for sales that you otherwise wouldn’t have known about. There’s two weeks until Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and presages are already on the airwaves. You can also choose what emails to receive and what not to receive for most stores. A lot of stores also do student discounts that you only need to verify with a school email account. My personal favorite is Student Bean which is an app that shows all stores that offer student discounts and make it easy to apply them online or in the store. My last piece of advice for sales is to always remember that winter clothes go on sale in the summer and summer clothes go on sale in the winter. 

Confidence is key. 

It might be a cliche piece of advice but we all know it’s cliche for a reason. If you are feeling uncomfortable in your clothes, whether it be for fit or style, don’t wear them. You’re dressing for yourself, not for other people so don’t base your confidence on what others say but instead on how you feel. 

Claire is a current freshman at GWU who plans on majoring in Economics and Data Science with a minor in English. Claire is from the San Juan Islands in Washington State so she loves all things outdoor and in her free time you can find her playing with her dogs or trying new recipes. After college her goal is work with a pro sports team in some sort of capacity.