Student Summer Fashion on a Budget | Top Universities

Student Summer Fashion on a Budget

By Sabrina Collier

Updated August 7, 2015 Updated August 7, 2015

Are you longing to look stylish this summer but feeling the pinch of a student budget? Follow these tips for fantastic summer fashion without having to break the bank…

1. Invest in key pieces 

A simple pair of sandals can take you from the beach in the daytime to partying at night, while all you should (hopefully!) need to keep warm in the summer is a light jacket. 

Student Summer Fashion, Summer Fashion, Summer Fashion Basics
This will also come in handy before it gets too cold when Autumn/Fall comes along. A black leather jacket, for example, goes with pretty much everything.

Also, ladies, try to choose dresses which can be styled in many different ways, taking you from day to night with minimal effort. A maxi dress is a summer fashion staple for a chic boho look. Accessorize with a sun hat and sandals for the daytime, and add statement jewelry to give it some impact for evening wear.

Try not to be swayed too much by what’s on trend, as it’s wise to buy versatile items which can be worn again and again without going out of fashion (a white vest and blue jeans or denim shorts, for example). Try to find basics which are affordable yet good quality, as it won’t help your student fashion budget if you need to keep replacing low-quality items.

Mix and match these key pieces and see what works!

2. Take advantage of student discounts, offers and cashback 

It’s a good idea to have a student discount card, such as the International Student Identity Card (ISIC). This is the only internationally recognized student card, and allows you to gain access to discounts and benefits in over 125,000 locations. Student cards generally cost a small amount of money, but quickly pay for themselves with the discounts they make available. If you’re not sure if a shop offers a student discount, never be afraid to ask!

Bonus tip: Always have a quick Google to see if there are any active discount codes when shopping online. Plus, if you subscribe to a store’s newsletter, you will be the first to know when it has sales or special offers, and they might even give you a discount code for signing up!

Finally, search online to see if you might be able to get some your money back via a cashback site.

3. Shop around, online and off

You can save money from the comfort of your sofa by browsing on EBay, which will have a wide selection of brands for less. is another great online marketplace, which delivers worldwide. Do check customer reviews and be wary of sellers’ reputations, as it would be a shame to buy a fake. 

Your local market or charity shop may also be a good source of student fashion gems, including more unique vintage pieces at reasonable prices. And if you are shopping for summer fashion items at the market, don’t forget to haggle!

Bonus tip: Search the websites of less expensive clothes shops to find copycat styles, so you can stay up to date with summer fashion for less.

4. Have a clear-out

Investigate your wardrobe – you might have some great summer fashion items lurking in there already that you’ve forgotten about, which could prevent some unnecessary spending. Or you could have a few items which you want to get rid of for whatever reason. You could even earn some money selling them and use that to treat yourself to some replacement clothes!

5. Be honest with yourself

Before making any purchase, don’t forget to ask yourself: can you afford it? And do you really need it? Summer sales are great, but it can be very tempting to make impulse buys just because something is half price.

Shops like to use big red ‘SALE’ stickers and displays to get you in a spending mood. But before purchasing, make sure you genuinely love the item and that it fits well, especially as some stores will only offer exchanges (not refunds) on sale items. Stores also tend to keep reducing prices as the sale goes on. This can mean that if you wait around you’ll get a better deal, but of course there’s also the risk that it could go out of stock in that time!

This article was originally published in August 2015 .

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Written by

The former Assistant Editor of, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 


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