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How to Elevate Your Fall Wardrobe Without Breaking the Bank

We’ve all been there: twenty minutes until you’re supposed to leave for class and a closet full of nothing you feel like wearing. Reluctantly, you throw on the same UBC hoodie and yoga pants you’ve been wearing for the past week and head out, wishing you had money to spend on new clothes. The truth, however, is that you don’t need to spend a ton of money to become #fallgoals; instead, try using a fresh perspective. 

Here are 5 tips to freshen up your Fall wardrobe and save some money: 

1. Find your style 

You may not think you have a personal style but I promise that you do. The key to finding it? Figure out who your fashion icons are. Check out Instagram first because 9 times out of 10 you’re already following them. It doesn’t have to be someone uber famous–we get it, everyone wants to dress like Audrey Hepburn–it just has to be someone you are drawn to and think “I could totally rock that outfit” while you creep their feed. I’m personally obsessed with @hellokatyxo, @brittanyxlewis, and @vanora.lo

Once you figure out who you admire and have an idea of the clothes they wear, take a look through your closet to find similar pieces that you already own. You don’t need to worry about building whole outfits yet, just start figuring out what you already have. 

2. Gather the basics

Every wardrobe needs a few basics to build off of. Basics may vary in style depending on what you feel the most comfortable in, but for the most part every girl needs: a pair of black skinny jeans, light wash jeans, a black bodysuit, a blazer, a comfortable t-shirt, a dress that is appropriate for the office or the bar, a pair of loafers, ankle booties, a jean jacket, a leather (or fake leather) jacket, and a longer coat. Chances are that you already own all or most of these things, and now the rest is just the fun, trendier items. 

Basics may cost more money in the moment, but they are a long term investment as they are timeless pieces that never go out of style.

3. Mix basics with bolder accessories

Once you feel like you have a greater grasp on what you want your personal style to be, search for bolder accessories to dress up your basics. For instance, adding a trendy belt to black jeans and a bodysuit will instantly add a chicness to an otherwise boring outfit. The great thing about accessories too is that you can save up and buy something amazing that you’ll use for years (like a Kate Spade purse) or it can be something super inexpensive that you’ll use for the season (like this cabby hat from Forever 21).

Fall is the perfect time to get creative and try new things, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to do so. 

4. Get creative with what you have 

Tie a thin scarf into your pony tail, turn an old t-shirt into a crop top, wear a flannel shirt around your waist–there’s a lot you can do with the clothes you already have. YouTube is an amazing resource for styling tips and DIYs, so make sure you check out some videos before going on a shopping spree. 

5. Purge your wardrobe and reorganize

Getting rid of clothes might seem like the exact opposite of what you want to do when you’re trying figure out what to wear, but just trust me. Go through your clothes and toss EVERYTHING you haven’t worn in the past year out. Next, toss out everything that no longer fits (even if you keep telling yourself it might someday). Then, toss everything that is damaged i.e stained/holes/stretched out/etc. Finally, reorganize your clothing by function and season; fall items featured first separated by pants, shirts, dresses, etc. 

Once you’ve gotten rid of all the things you have outgrown and don’t like, you will now have a fresh closet that inspires you. Having a smaller closet to choose from will also make you feel less overwhelmed in the morning, and you’ll have an easier time creating new outfits. 


Fashion is one of the most expressive art forms–remember this! Clothes should be fun, not stressful. Your style will evolve as you do, and some days you will just feel like wearing sweat pants and flip flops and that’s okay too. Keep in mind that finding your style can be difficult and may take some time, but the key is to never stop playing


Photo creds: 

1. https://www.scholarshippoints.com/campuslife/fall-fashion-struggles/

2. https://www.forever21.com/ca/shop?lang=en-ca

3. https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/-244486


Samantha is a third year UBC student majoring in Political Science. Samantha loves any kind of tea, drawing, reading, and traveling to new places. Her favourite thing to do is play with animals and write stories. One day, she hopes to have traveled to every continent.
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