How to get a killer style on a student budget

Tired of sacrificing style for those dollar bills? Sink your teeth into these top fashion tips that will have you strutting like a high-fashion model, without making a dent to your wallet.

Invest in staples, and timeless statement pieces

“You gotta spend money to make money” rings true in this instance - rather than wasting your money on cheap tops that you’ll wear once, or discount sandals that won’t make it through the summer, save that money for something that’s worth it. Invest in one or two quality winter coats, a pair of jeans, a denim jacket and a durable pair of boots to wear to death. These are staples that can be paired with many different items to create outfits. Only fork out the extra money for items that you know are a necessity for your wardrobe; impulse buying cheap items will cost you more in the long-run.

Peruse your local op-shop

Never underestimate the power of second-hand clothing. With vintage, you’re guaranteed to be wearing something that tells a story of its old owner. What’s more, you’ll likely find many high-street gems for a bargain price. Don’t be afraid to rummage for the good stuff. It may take you longer to find gold, but that’s half the fun with thrift-store shopping.

Be strategic with your outfit-repeating

University is the epicentre of outfit-repeating; you’re not doing a killer piece justice if you’re only wearing it once. The trick is to learn how to wear an item of clothing in multiple different ways. You might have a blazer and matching pants that can be worn as a chic suit. Make use of the blazer with a white tee and a pair of ripped jeans for a more casual look, or a collared shirt, a high-waisted a-line skirt and ankle boots. Accessorising can also transform a look. Incorporating a scarf or earrings always adds a fresh take - it’s all about making clever use of the items in your wardrobe.

Join Buy/Swap/Sell groups

Facebook is home to a whole new business of buying, swapping and selling clothing at little-to-no costs. Whether you’re looking to give your wardrobe a spring-clean, or you’re desperate for some bargain goodies, Mark Zuckerberg has your back. There are dozens of pages to join that connect you with a range of people in your local area eager to prove that your trash is their treasure, and vice versa.

Review what you’re missing

Sometimes you have to take an inventory of your closet, and consider what you have enough of and what you need more of. By making a list of the items you really need, you’ll avoid purchasing the same kinds of clothes repeatedly. Think about what kinds of colours, styles and textures that are overrepresented in your closet. Then make it a point to only buy what you don’t already have to get more bang for your buck. Try and buy items that match what you already own.

This article appeared in The Comma’s 2018 Annual Edition. Read more here.

Fatima Olumee is a second-year Journalism student. Besides being an absolute bookworm and obsessed Potterhead (not to be confused with Pothead), her passions include yoga, horse-riding, and Bollywood movies. This girl is a big bag of weird… the good kind, she hopes.