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Rachel Durniok

6 Places That Keep You Trendy on a College Student Budget

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

As much as we would love to get a whole new wardrobe every season, new clothes can get, well, way too expensive. But I am here to tell you, it’s possible.

Before I jump into any details, I am going to make this critical statement: I rotate my wardrobe every season, and any clothing item I own, I did not buy full price, and I am going to show you how I do it.

Before I start any hunt for clothes, I always research the trends for each season, especially the season coming up. The key trends I looked for this spring season: polka dots, neon hues, mid-thigh shorts, feminine laces, and pastels (making boards on Pinterest helps with this process).

Once you know what you’re looking for, you can jump into the right places to buy, sell, and trade. 

Plato’s Closet

I know many memes circulate about Plato’s Closet, but it is essential to understand how the process works. The purpose of selling your clothes to Plato’s Closet is to trade them in to get new ones. The amount of money you get for selling your clothes could get you the same amount back of items in the store, if not more (and you get 10% off your purchase for selling, always). Plato’s Closet has pretty much every Insta-trendy brand you can think of and is essentially my go-to place where I get most of my clothes.

The key to selling is always to make sure that brands are popular mall brands and still trendy if they are a couple months old. If you would not walk into the mall and buy it yourself, neither will they. 



Upon discovering Poshmark, I have never turned back. If Plato’s Closet does not have what I am looking for (which is unlikely), I am almost always able to find it on Poshmark. This website is the perfect place to find brands such as Pretty Little Thing, Boohoo, Urban Outfitters, Free People, and also an excellent place to sell your own clothes if you would like to have more control at the price they are sold at.

TJ Maxx

Nothing is more satisfying than seeing Free People pants, originally priced at $128, marked down to $25. TJ is my go-to place for the nicer brands that have pieces that I could not find second-hand.


My first time in Gabe’s, I was blown away. I found Urban Outfitters and Altar’d State dresses that were still considered trendy, all under $20! Also, the men’s section. The men’s section at Gabe’s is the perfect place to find oversized, retro tees that you can cinch in with belts and those essential slouchy hoodies that are perfect for any day you want to dress it down on campus. Brandy Melville dupes for under $10? Where do I sign up?  



The Real Real

Now, this is the definition of boujee on a budget, especially if you are not afraid of incorporating some vintage items into your story. Although utilizing this tool may require you to check up on the website a little more often, I guarantee you will find great finds. For example, after some digging, I was able to snatch these Versace Jeans for $50 (on sale too).



This website is my go-to place for basic tops that I can mix and match with other pieces, especially when paired with the brands I have gotten from The Real Real and TJ Maxx.


Out of all the tips I presented, having basics that will work for any season is, I feel, the most essential tip. Tees, turtlenecks and tanks in neutral colors will be your best friend – especially when it comes to layering over and under some of your other favorite pieces. I hope you try some of the tips I recommended and prepare to get complimented all year round!

Music advocate. Coffee fanatic. Troublemaker.