At first, it makes sense. You’re in college, learning how to live on your own for the first time, and you want to treat yourself to something cute from your favorite store. No big deal, right?
Well, if you’re anything like me, there’s little room in your budget for expensive, trendy clothes on top of bills, textbooks, and the occasional Saxby’s run. It doesn’t have to be like that, though. Being stylish on a budget – no matter how limited – is possible, with some alterations.
Tip #1: Build a capsule wardrobe
If you’re struggling with a closet full of clothes that are going out of style, try building a capsule wardrobe. Put simply, a capsule wardrobe is a small collection of essential pieces that don’t go out of style and can be easily layered, mix-matched, and re-used year after year. Some good pieces to start with are a good pair of jeans, a regular white t-shirt, an LBD, a pencil skirt, and a pair of black heels. After that, you can add or subtract items to fit your personal style. These pieces are sold at every price point, so it’s easy to get your hands on them.
Tip #2: Don’t always give in to the hype
Trends come and go. And while it’s okay to buy as many pairs of tiny sunglasses and teddy coats as your heart desires, it’s also important to know whether or not a trend is something that fits your personal style. As someone with a closet full of clothes I never wear, I know what it’s like to feel out of the loop because I don’t personally like a trendy item. But if it doesn’t make you happy to wear it, don’t spend your money on it. Instead, invest in items that you know you love to wear, and challenge your style when needed.
Tip #3: Go thrifting
If you’re struggling with finding nice clothes on a budget, try one of several major thrift stores in the Philadelphia area. Thrift store workers are tasked with sifting through donations to find gems that are in style and are from brands that are popular in their region. Places like Buffalo Exchange and Philly AIDS Thrift have large selections of clothes and accessories for you to find that perfect addition to your closet.
At the end of the day, discover what you like to wear and invest in pieces that you enjoy wearing. And, as always, don’t be afraid to treat yourself to something crazy every once in a while.