Over the course of my college career, I have had to learn how to make ends meet. While I have never truly had money par say, at this point in time, I really have had to learn to scrimp and save- so I can no longer go on a random thrift hauls or shop impulsively online. What do you do when you still want to look nice, but don’t want to break the bank? Here is my personal advice for shopping.
Start off with fashion basics. If you have these items, it will be easy to build your wardrobe. It’s ok to wear these items more than once, and when accessorized, they can provide a multitude of outfits. Keep in mind, some of these will vary by season. You can find these items at many different retailers. My personal favorites are Forever 21, H&M, Charlotte Russe, and Zara. Here are the basics that are considered staples in every fashionista’s wardrobe:

A well-fitted blazer
Dress pants
Little black dress
Black flats (Pointed is always more elegant and stylish)
A pair of black and nude pumps
Plain t-shirts in basic colors (Black, White, Grey, etc.)
A purse in a neutral color
A pencil skirt.
Khaki pants.
White button-up shirt
So you have the basics, when you decide to add to your wardrobe, ask yourself- Is it really worth it? So you want those floral print heels, but how often will you wear them? Think about this question when you buy something that isn’t a basic. Even if what you want is cheap, do you still want to waste your money on something you will only wear a handful of times? Some things to buy new and cheap (Don’t be afraid to hit the clearance section!):
Trendy tops
Casual and party dresses
Costume jewelry
Miscellaneous flats and heels
Don’t be ashamed to thrift. Some people see thrift stores as a dump of old clothes, and I see thrift stores as a treasure trove of clothes that you won’t likely find anywhere else. If you have a trained eye, you can find practically brand new items and you will probably run into some unique vintage pieces! Some of my favorite items have been from thrift stores.

Small purses for going out, etc.
Miscellaneous flats and heels
Sweaters and cardigans
Costume jewelry
Some other budget friendly ideas:
Flea markets: A lot of times, you can find unique and cute pieces for cheap at flea markets (I once found a table of cocktail rings for a dollar a piece. You can also bargain with vendors to name your prices.
Your mother (or older sister’s) hand-me-downs: If your mother or older sister is getting rid of clothes, and they have some things you want, don’t be afraid to take them off their hands!
Outlet Stores: If you don’t mind spending a little more money on new clothes, there are outlets stores. These kinds of stores offer significantly discounted prices for designer duds. Once I shopped at the Neiman Marcus outlet and found an otherwise 300 dollar dress for only fifty bucks.

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