Student Fashion for Less | Top Universities

Student Fashion for Less

By Guest Writer

Updated February 5, 2016 Updated February 5, 2016

Guest post: Becky Grainger

Sticking to a student budget can be hard, especially with so much temptation around, but it is also essential to help ensure a stress-free student life. In particular, student fashion can be a large expense, which for most students is not really justifiable! Here are some tips from the experts on how to stay on trend without overspending…

Take advantage of the January sales

Jake Butler from Save the Student offers his insights into the world of sale shopping – pointing out that while the January sales (and any sales) can be a great time to indulge in student fashion for less, that doesn’t mean you should go crazy!

“The January sales are a great opportunity for students to grab items that they've had their eye on all year but have been just a little out of their price range. However, we've all been there, it's not so easy to restrain yourself from spending your entire month’s student budget on these enticing bargains. There are a few hard and fast rules to sales shopping that every student should keep in mind.”

Jake’s rules for January sales success are:

  • Plan ahead – You need to know what you want to buy before you shop. Think of what you already have and then decide if you need anything else. 
  • Make sure you budget – If you limit yourself to a fixed amount of money then you are unlikely to go over.
  • Do you really need it? – Don’t be tempted just because a special pair of jeans is 70% off. Save that money for something you really need.
  • Check the actual price – Even if something is a whopping 90% off, it does not mean that it’s the best price compared to options elsewhere.
  • Shop around – Have you looked around for the alternatives?
  • Don’t rush – Lots of the sales last until the end of January and some items on sale might even get cheaper.
  • Think ahead – If you are really into student fashion, you probably know what trends are coming up. Think about what you’ll want to wear next season, not just right now.

Look for student fashion deals year-round

David Ellis and Bronni Hughes from Student Money Saver provide their expert advice on how to find student fashion deals all year round: “Sales aren’t about January or the summer anymore, and haven’t been for a long time. Follow discount sites on Facebook to keep up to date for surprise fashion deals, where top fashion brands try and clear their stock over a couple of days – often with as much as 80% off.

“Don’t be afraid of cashback, either: the regular deals and promotions make it well worth the little time it takes. If you’re an online shopper, get out of the house once in a while – you’ll cut delivery costs, and shops sometimes have in-store offers which aren’t mentioned online."

The key to making fashion deals worthwhile? Think every purchase through, and don’t buy anything on a whim! “Don't get distracted by the low prices, make sure everything fits and make sure you buy something you'll actually get the opportunity to wear before parting with your money – that means no ball-gowns if you can't afford food!”

They also advise sticking to student fashion trends that you think are likely to last. “Avoid 'trend pieces' that'll end up in a charity shop in six months’ time; try to stick to versatile items that won't go out of style and then use accessories to make them current.”

Stretch your student budget further

Finally, Jess Hawker, money specialist at Leeds University Union, shares her top three tips on how you can make your student budget stretch further when it comes to student fashion:

  • Get involved with your Student Union. Leeds University runs regular clothes swaps or upcycling events to help your clothes go further. It’s also great fun and you meet new people too.
  • Set a budget when you go shopping and only take cash. Leave your card at home. That way you won’t be tempted to spend more than you can afford.
  • Use your student discount wherever you go. If you’re not sure whether a shop offers a student discount on purchases, just ask!

Follow all of these tips, and you’re sure to be able to keep up with the latest student fashion without having to sacrifice your student budget – a full wardrobe, and a healthy-looking bank account: win-win!

Becky Grainger is a recent fashion graduate from Northumbria University and is now based in Leeds. She interviewed experts on behalf of Monsoon to provide useful student fashion information and tips for students. Her passion is to help students and graduates make their money go further while still being fashionable. 

This article was originally published in January 2014 . It was last updated in February 2016

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