A Broke Girl's Guide to Crafting a Quality Wardrobe

Developing and maintaining a good wardrobe can be a bit of a challenge, especially as a college student. As students, we have to save our money for a multitude of things and the last thing we want to be worrying about is having money to buy new clothes. If you’re anything like me, you’re trying to craft a great wardrobe on a very limit budget. Well, look no further! Here are some tips on how to develop your wardrobe without completely clearing your bank account. Consider your fashion crises averted. 


Be a Smart Shopper

Before you go shopping, write a list on your phone of things that you plan on getting so you don’t lose track and start buying things you don't need. Then, set a reasonable price limit for yourself. By doing both of these things, you can ensure that you won’t be frivolously spending money on things that you don’t need. Of course, another way to be a smart shopper is to watch closely for discounts. Sign up for the email lists of your favorite stores so you know when they're having sales. 

 I know it’s hard to resist going into stores like Free People and Urban Outfitters, but those stores can be really expensive and hurt your bank account. However, if you're someone who really can't help themselves (like me), save those stores for the end of your shopping trip. That way, you’ll have already stopped at all the less expensive stores and you’ll know that you haven’t missed anything else you might want to purchase.

Try going to stores like Nordstrom Rack, Marshall’s, and TJ Maxx. They carry expensive brands at an inexpensive price. You can even find items like jewelry, handbags, shoes, and home decor too. Also, take full advantage of thrift stores. You can find some really great pieces at thrift stores for unbeatable prices.


Find Your Style

Try to think about your style. Do you love pearls and pinstripes or are you more of a grunge girl? Do you find yourself wearing athletic sneakers more than a pair of booties? Asking yourself questions like these will help you gain a better sense of what you like and dislike when it comes to clothing. By determining whether something fits your style, you’ll be able to save money and avoid buying things that you’ll never end up wearing anyway.


Avoid Buying “Trendy” Items at Unreasonable Prices 

Do your best to avoid buying things that are too trendy. Yes, I know it's hard to not feed into trends but a lot of time. things that are popular now won’t be in style in just six months. The last thing you want is to regret spending $90 on those faux fur-lined Steve Madden mules. If you want to be on trend, hit up cheaper stores like Forever 21 or Target for alternative options. For example, compare these prices on two very similar pairs of trendy loafers. $90 versus $35—​seems like a no-brainer to me.


Start With The Basics and Work From There

Focus on purchasing items you will wear all the time. For a majority of college girls, that includes things like a good pair of jeans, casual dresses, tennis shoes (vans or converse), sweaters, basic tees, and Chelsea boots. Pieces like these never really go out of style so it's safe to spend a little bit more money on them. Another good thing about basics is that you can dress them up or down so you have more freedom in your outfits. Because basics are so versatile, it’s easy to transform them to fit your personal style. You can mix and match pieces and then add cheap accessories such as jewelry, hats, and scarves to give the outfit a bit more flare. For advice on how to shop for basics, my favorite posts are here, here, and here.