Does your heart skip a beat when you see a store’s new collection? Do you find yourself staring longingly when you see a new shop window, with mannequins adorned in new season gear? Do you find that your bank outgoings are mainly Missguided, ASOS and Topshop? If so, you might be a bit of a fashionista (or what some call a shopaholic)! As a girl who loves her dresses, blouses, bags, shoes, accessories and much more, I’ve discovered over the years how to live like a pauper and still dress to impress. Here’s my five top tips on how to channel your Anna Wintour on a student budget!
My first tip is to look out for cut-price websites. Yes, we all like a bit of Topshop and River Island but with dresses costing fifty pounds and upwards, it’s hard to afford a wardrobe! If you want real bargains and clothes at an insanely good price, try five pound sites! Justfor5pounds, Everything5pounds and lessthan10pounds are just a few of the many cheap sites that are spurting up across the Internet. You can buy everything from jewellery and purses to coats, jackets and boots, all under a tenner, and all are legitimate! Obviously, some items are less than pretty to say the least, but there’s always a gem amongst them.
Coming in as my second tip for living the fashionista life on a student loan is shopping at budget stores and market stalls. In every town centre, there will be always cheap shops cropping up, it’s just a matter of finding them! Find out when your local market is on, too, and it’s likely there will be cheap clothing and accessories on sale. Always make sure you haggle a sale, too.
Above: Old Spitalfields Market (
At number three is charity shops. Yes, there’s a stigma around them, and don’t get me wrong, not all charity shops are full of vintage wonders, and sometimes, there is an ‘old person’ smell about them, but if you have a scour about charity shops, chances are you’ll find some wonders. The best time to visit a charity shop is after Christmas, as so many people discontent with their gifts send them away to charity shops! Obviously, it may be best to wash your clothes after buying, and check that they’re in mint condition, but if you have a good look, you’re likely to find some nice garments from brands like Next, Debenhams, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins and more at a much lower retail selling price! Not only can you find marketplaces online, you can also find them online – ASOS Marketplace is a gem for vintage lovers!
Love to swap around? My second to last best tip is swapping and selling! So many universities have swapping and selling pages on Facebook, so you can update your wardrobe and get rid of old pieces you don’t want anymore, too! H&M has a scheme too where you can bring a bag of clothing, and receive a £5 off a £30 spend voucher! Being eco-friendly never looked so stylish!
As we come to an end, I’m happy to introduce my favourite budget tip for the fashion-obsessed. It has to be apps. 2014 has been a year of discovery for me in terms of apps! I recently was introduced to Vinted, by a friend, an amazing app where you can buy clothing (a bit like eBay but more stylish) at an amazing price! You can find allsorts from fur gilets to knee high boots for under £20! Also, before signing out, look out for voucher codes, as they often have £5/£10 off deals for new customers.
Some extra tips for fellow fashionistas:
- Check out Etsy and eBay for low-price buys
- Make sure you use student discount wherever you go (you can get up to 30% off)
- Amazon Warehouse Deals always have clothes/shoes at a lower price (often returned goods, though!)
- Look out for outlets online/on the high street
- Always shop in sales/clearances or on promotion days – Black Friday, Cyber Monday etc
- And finally, check out supermarket clothing – F&F, Tu at Sainsburys, Lidl all have clothing ranges and with some clothing starting at £2.99, it’s a win-win for students!