College is a time when finding yourself means finding your style as well. It seems like college is full of opportunities to shop, and sometimes that does some damage on the bank account.
You have football games, social events, nights out, classes, themed parties and more. And as much as we would all love to shop at Free People and Urban Outfitters every week, it’s just not in most of our broke-college-girl realities.
Thankfully though, there’s style hidden in every corner – and believe it or not, some of it is actually affordable! Here are a few of my go-to stores for when I’m feeling the itch for a new outfit but my wallet isn’t:
This place is hand-me-down heaven. They only accept lightly worn, trendy and up-to-date styles, meaning you’ll most likely always find something designer that’s marked down by 70 percent. You can even bring in your old clothes to trade for store credit and virtually get free clothing. It’s like shopping in your rich best friend’s closet.
Pro Tip: Plato’s has a stamp card that offers 20 percent off your next purchase once the card is full. Also, leave without a bag and get an extra stamp for your card!
Trendy. Casual. Inexpensive. Need I say more? They have everything a girl could need in her closet – bralettes, shoes, sweaters, rompers. You can’t go wrong with some affordable online shopping.
3. Nordstrom RACK
Emphasis on the rack, so you don’t confuse it with its pricier sister store, Nordstrom. Here you’ll find endless name brand items from clothes and accessories to electronics and home goods. If you’re looking for inexpensive gifts for friends, this is the place to go.
Pro Tip: They offer a reward card and for every dollar spent you get a point. After you spend $2,000 (hopefully after very long time) you get $20 to spend on anything you want.
Bodysuits, dresses and shirts from $15 to $30, prices and looks a broke girl could only dream of! They have styles for every type of girl, too.
5. TJMaxx & Marshalls
Obviously discount stores are where it’s at. There’s always affordable items in both these stores and a ton are even name brand. The best part about these stores is that you can get anything here. And I mean anything: clothes, pet supplies, bathroom, kitchen and bedroom supplies and shoes. If you’re moving into your new apartment and need inexpensive decorations and home goods, these are your stores.
Pro Tip: TJMaxx offers a reward card that grants 10 percent off your first purchase and gives you $10 for every $200 spent.
Urban Outfitters style and quality with Forever21 prices. Here you’ll find a look for every situation, from class to a night out. A lot of the items are able to be dressed up or down as well, which creates more opportunities for wear meaning you’ll get more use out of your money!
As young adults we’re learning how to prioritize money and explore new trends; there’s no rule that says you can’t be trendy when you’re on a budget. Just because a store isn’t all the rage doesn’t mean you can’t find everything you’d ever need inside of it.
A good way to save money is to shop from the bottom up. Check the cheapest stores first, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for there, slowly move up to the more expensive places. The next time you see a t-shirt for $45 ask yourself, “Where can I get this exact shirt for half the price?”