Fashion Focus: How to Dress with Style While on a Budget

The guide to looking fabulous without damaging your bank account

By Lauren Pinkston

December 5, 2012

What college student isn’t on a budget, especially during the holiday season? There are presents to buy, books for next semester to purchase and bills to pay. Whoever has money to spare should share their secret with the rest of us! Although money is scarce for most students during this time of year, their wardrobes don’t have to suffer. There are plenty of ways to keep up with the trends without going broke.

There will always be new and exciting trends that are fun to try and important to mix into your wardrobe. However, be wary of the price of these items. Trends may only last a season or two. It’s best to buy trendy clothing at stores such as Forever 21 or H&M because they offer low prices on trendy garments, shoes, and accessories. If these clothes wear out, it won’t be a big deal because they are inexpensive and it’s likely that they are going out of style.

On the other hand, a wardrobe might lack staples such as leggings or black boots. These pieces never go out of style and they can be worn for years. Spending more on designer clothing will be worth the investment. Designer garments that are wardrobe staples won’t need to be replaced every year because they are usually made to last. Timeless clothing such as leather jackets, simple pumps and classy dresses fall into this category.

However, designer items don’t always have to be expensive. Many outlet stores and online vendors offer designer clothing at a discounted price. The Designer Shoe Wearhouse (DSW) offers a great variety of chic shoes at a discounted price. is an online boutique that offers the latest fashions for low costs. Their website offers 50% off the first purchase for new members and new items are 30% off during their first week.

Thrift stores are another option for those who don’t mind looking around a bit to find good deals. They offer vintage and designer clothes that are very unique and inexpensive.

Many popular clothing stores also offer discounts to college students. Just show your ID to the cashier and receive these discounts:

10% off at TopShop

20% off at Ann Taylor (In store, full price)

15% off at Ann Taylor Loft (In store)

15% off at Banana Republic (In store)

20% off at Club Monaco (In store and online)

10% off at Goodwill

15% off at J. Crew (In store)

15% off at Juicy Couture (In store)

15% off at The Limited (In store)

15% off at Madewell (In store)

15% off at Ralph Lauren Rugby (In store and online)

10% off at Steve Madden

10% off at Target (Online)

10% off at Charlotte Russe

Keep these tips and tricks in mind in order to maximize savings and create a timeless and trendy wardrobe.