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

Looking good helps me feel good and that shows. When you feel confident, you project confidence and that is what I’m here for. Feeling good about your outfit gives you a little bounce to your step, and people really respond to that! Maybe they even compliment you or your outfit and that helps, too. Not that you should always depend on the kindness of strangers (wink), but it definitely doesn’t hurt. So, here’s how to be fashionable and feel your best without breaking the bank.


1. Don’t splurge on clothes



Looks change; buy key statement pieces that you know you’ll use often and that are timeless. Trends, by definition, are fickle and change faster than we can keep up. If you decide to buy trendy clothes, you can go for cheaper or more affordable options that don’t put a dent in your bank account. Shop at stores like Forever 21 or H&M that carry trendy clothes at relatively affordable prices.


2. Buy good shoes and accessories


Think of it as an investment. Wearing good shoes and accessories really takes an outfit to the next level.You may be wearing a plain white t-shirt, but pair it with some black cat-eye sunglasses and a colorful necktie, and you are instantly “ootd inspo” worthy. Sunglasses are also a sure and easy way to add some pizzazz to your outfit and look like a million bucks.


3. Neutrals


Neutrals are a great way to look put together without even trying. What’s more, they’re fairly easy to match and style AND they look good on everyone. Avoid trendy prints, unless the pieces are super cheap and you feel you’ll wear them often.


4. A good pair of jeans



Jeans are a staple; you can dress them up or dress them down to fit any and all situations. So, really, invest in some good and nice fitting jeans because you will most definitely use them. Make sure they fit you and that you feel comfortable in them, as you will be wearing them often.


5. Take care of your stuff


Now, this seems obvious, but hear me out. Just last week, I accidentally ripped a top because I forgot I’d put a safety pin on it to keep it from opening and exposing my bare stomach. As I was pulling it off, I heard the tragic sound of fabric ripping. A cute top, too. So, just take care of your stuff. Also, wash pieces only when necessary. Jeans don’t need to be washed every single time you use them, for example. If you wore a pair of jeans to go to the movies for a couple of hours and didn’t stain them, don’t wash them just yet. This will help maintain the jean’s shape and color.


6. Buy your own size!


Again, it sounds obvious, but I’ve actually bought clothes that are either too small or too big for me because I thought they were super cute at the moment, only to never wear them because I really don’t like how they look. And if I do make myself wear them, they make me feel self conscious because they don’t fit me as well as they could’ve had they been the right size. Don’t do it!


7. Save wherever you can


I’m not only talking about getting deals on what you buy. By all means, do look for the best deals. But also be aware of your needs. Fashions are unstable, they change with the tide. If you can get the cheaper option, do so. You probably won’t wear that top as much as you think you will. Think about whether you’ll actually use it. Oftentimes, we just buy it because we like it. Sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with doing this but you might want to start being a bit more responsible in this regard.Treating yourself is all well and good, but if you’d like to save money for other things other than clothes, you need to be more conscious of your spending habits.


Another tip is to skip on clothes that require special care, like taking them to the  laundry (I don’t have anything against the business, mind you, but it is an expense we college students can forgo for the sake of our bank accounts).


8. Have a few key items that you wear regularly


Embrace minimalism. Have a wardrobe for each season or, since we don’t see much of them here anyway, maybe just have a wardrobe for a couple of months composed of the clothes you’re really ‘feeling’. Let’s be real, we end up wearing the same few pieces, so do yourself a solid and only buy what you know you’ll be wearing regularly.  Again, know what you need, know your style. I still struggle with this because my style is still developing and that’s quite alright, too. But it helps to have key pieces to stick to and shape your wardrobe around those.


9. Sell your stuff or exchange it


I’ve personally never done this. Normally, I just donate the clothes I’ve either never worn or no longer wear but that are still in good condition. However, selling or exchanging clothes seems like a great way to just get rid of the things taking up space and getting money for them. Honestly, a win-win.You can also make new things out of the ones you don’t use anymore. Maybe make a pair of shorts out of old jeans whose bottom isn’t in style anymore or that your mom accidentally bleached while doing laundry (I can’t tell you how often this has happened to me).


I really hope these tips help you update your wardrobe without blowing your budget. Remember that the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and confident with whatever you decide to wear.


BA in English Literature at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. Avid reader of fiction: fantasy, paranormal, contemporary, and certain classics.  Can be found browsing Pinterest, spontaneously singing Disney songs, or finding new ways to procrastinate. Speaks fluent sass and movie quotes.