by Johanna Seidel

Looking fabulous on a college girl’s budget is easier than one may think. You just need to know how to shop! With a few classic essentials and a creative approach, it is easy to build a wardrobe that is versatile enough to pull off stunning outfits for every occasion. The key to looking your best is being able to match the clothes you chose to wear with the perfect accessories, shoes, and attitude.

This dress alone is perfect for a day out to lunch with friends (Photo by Jillian Torre)

College fashion is tricky. You really need a little bit of everything in your closet (which just happens to be super tiny).  It is essential to have a wardrobe that can stand up to a job interview, first date, class presentation, Thursday night out, or a weekend outing with friends. When shopping, it is important to ask yourself if what you are purchasing can be used for more than one of the categories mentioned above; if not, that item is not worth the closet space you would lose for something more versatile. You may never think that something you would wear for a classroom presentation could also be something you wear for a night out at the club, but it is possible. A black ruffled silk tank under a blazer accented with a strand of pearls and paired with jeans, can be perfect for the class presentation.  Yet, that same ruffled black silk tank when paired with a fun skirt and stilettos can be recycled for the “sassy yet classy” Thursday night look.

Paired with a blazer and pearls this dress gives a great look for an interview (Photo by Jillian Torre)

These essential pieces do not need to break the bank. Take this Cynthia Rowley dress I found at Marshalls for $30 for example. It can be worn on its own for a lunch date with friends, complimented with pearls, a black blazer, and heels for an interview, or topped with a denim jacket with the sleeves cuffed for a laid back look that would be acceptable for class. This is a great example of an essential that is not only unique, but is also versatile and affordable. This is flattering to a curvy figure as well as to a slender frame, and it can transition very well into summer, spring, and early fall if worn with black tights and boots. See how far $30 can get you!

So, next time you take yourself out on a Friday night shopping spree, keep in mind that you don’t need to spend a fortune to look like one. If you run into any troubles following a tight budget, here are some easy tips to keep in mind:

  • Shop at stores such as Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Loehmanns, and the outlets instead of Mall stores. You will be guaranteed to find better deal.
  • February is a great time to scoff up the winter clearance and save it for next year!
  • A denim jackets makes this dress a great choice for class. (Photo by Jillian Torre)

    Try things on. I have found that some of my favorite pieces ended up to be ones that I would not have looked twice at when dangling on the hanger. Knowing your body type and making choices based on your assets will make a better outfit. Remember, just because it looks cute on the mannequin doesn’t mean anything; whose body is really like that?