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Looking Bougie on a Budget: College Edition

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SCAD chapter.

We are well on our way into 2018, and it feels good! For me, the New Year always means a cleansing of my wardrobe. I purge the stuff that harbors bad memories or stains that just won’t come out, and I love getting to start the year off with a clean closet.

            I also love it because it means that new clothes will (hopefully) be in my future. But living on a college budget usually means window shopping and seeing others wear cool clothes I wished I could buy. But no more! I’m here to tell you that you can in fact have a poppin’ closet on a budget, and you can look expensive without having to spend a ton. Because it’s all about spending your cash in the right places.


            Copycats are a Girl’s Best Friend

            Scrolling on Instagram, I see tons of girls in Cartier rings and Gucci belts. And even if I had the money for one thing or the other, I just can’t justify spending a couple grand on accessories. I mean with that money, I could buy a couple of cats and a ton of groceries. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want the rings. So I took myself to Amazon and found a dupe for the rings for under 10 bucks! It came quickly and looks just like it did in the picture. It also hasn’t turned my finger green (something to look out for with cheaper jewelry) which is a giant plus. So while it’s fake, I can look just as good as the girls on Instagram and if it gets lost, I won’t have a meltdown.

            And while my ring looks pretty close to the real deal, some dupes are inspired by the real things. Like I mentioned earlier, the Gucci belt is all over the internet right now, and seeing all these cute outfits with the belt as the focal point, I was getting a serious case of shopper’s envy. I wanted that belt, but knew that I just couldn’t fit it into my college budget. There were things I actually needed to buy, and that belt wasn’t a need, it was a want. I found myself on ASOS though, an online clothing store, and found a belt with two gold interlocking hoops. It looked similar to the Gucci belt and I was sold! It was 15 bucks with free shipping. I couldn’t believe I found such a steal, and with the similar looking interlocking belt buckle design, I felt like I won the lottery.


            Hit up the Internet

            Which brings me to my next point. Online shopping is a college kids best friend. Why? There are always sales on sales on coupon codes on sales! You can also search the internet for a faux fur jacket, and then compare the prices on each website until you find the cheapest one. Lots of websites also have free shipping which makes shopping online even better. Does it take time to search for the exact thing you’re looking for at the cheapest price? Sure, but you’re probably getting the best deal, and you’re skipping the long checkout lines!

            One website every college student needs to get onto is UNiDAYS. It’s this awesome website you sign up with your student email and get tons of online discounts with. Everything from Levis, Urban Outfitters, Adidas, Sam’s Club, even Apple and Samsung have discount codes all for students. Everyone should get on this site and use it while they still have access to their student accounts. It’s amazing and I love using it especially around this time of year when I can get extra discounts on clothes!


            DIY Queen

            One of my favorite things to do is to DIY clothes. You can make old clothes in your closet look new, or you can head down to the thrift store and get a few things so you can DIY a luxury brand item. I had a pair of black jeans in my closet I never really reached for, so they sat in my closet for a few months without being worn. I decided I needed to give them away or figure out a way to wear them more. The frayed hem trend was just starting to take off, so I took a pair of scissors and just snipped off the bottom inch and a half of my jeans. I also created a rip on the back of my thigh (sorry mom), and threw them in the wash to get frayed, and tada! Not only a “brand new” pair of jeans, but a pair of jeans that were on trend. I wore them nonstop all fall quarter!

            I also saw a girl on YouTube DIY a pair of YSL tights. These tights are translucent black with a little “YSL” in rhinestones on the ankle. So she bought a pair of tights and got some stick-on gems and in a matter of minutes, had her own YSL tights! A simple and fast project, but also something that looks expensive when it really isn’t.


Here are my DIY jeans + the ring dupe! The fraying came from just popping them in the washing machine and dryer, and I think it came out great! 

            So with these tips, hopefully you’ll be looking expensive while staying on a budget. Make 2018 the year you save your money, but also the year you look good while doing it!

Carly Shaw is a Junior at the Savannah Campus of Art and Design, majoring in Writing and minoring in Creative Writing and Fashion Journalism. As much as she loves to write, she also loves to spend time shopping, baking and wandering the charming city of Savannah. If her dreams of becoming a fashion journalist or a fictional novelist don't pan out, opening up her own bakery with her brother will be the next thing she does.