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How to stay in fashion on a student budget


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With Christmas coming up and deadlines getting closer, it can be a struggle to keep up appearances. I admit that I have been there, going out in my hoodie when I’ve run out of ‘nice clothes’.

Student shopping

I know I’m not the only one when I say - it’s hard to fight the urge to stay in your joggers and wear your ‘indoor clothes’ outside.

However, after working the student circuit for three years, I have learnt some tricks of the trade when it comes to staying in fashion on your budget...

First I want to address the cheapest shopping you can do - in the charity shop. Charity shopping is not just for your grandma, people! You can find some amazing pieces when trawling through Cancer Research’s hangers. My favourite finds include a quilted yellow jacket, a slinky black dress and a pair of 80s dungarees. Not only are you in fashion again, but you’re also doing a good deed.

Or if you really are strapped for cash - why not set up a borrowing circle? If you have a few close friends who are the same size, you can all save money and stay in style by swapping and borrowing clothes (with mutual consent obviously!) Clothes sharing is a great way to wear some new fashion without having to pay a penny.

Another tip is aiming to ‘staple purchase’. This means putting down the neon yellow catsuit and instead investing in your staple clothes. These include a coat, a white shirt, a neutral jumper, some comfy jeans, and some all-weather shoes. Make sure your wardrobe stays ‘capsule’ so that everything can make a cute and comfortable outfit when paired together.

My fourth tip is to avoid luxury shopping. I really do struggle with this. Being a beauty writer myself, I know only too well the difficulty of prizing myself away from the makeup counter when I really want that new lipstick. Don’t torture yourself by window shopping and you’ll be fine until the next student loan arrives.

I hope that these tips help out some struggling first years avoid looking like hot messes halfway through the term.

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