Fashion on a Budget

Marla Minton graduated from Anderson University in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications and Public Relations. She currently manages a Real Estate Brokerage in Austin, TX, but is an aspiring Image Consultant. In her spare time she thrifts, personal shops for friends and makes fashion Youtube videos. She also has her own fashion blog and several social media sites where she shares her weekly thrift finds, outfits of the day and adventures as she explores Austin.

Instagram: mericassweetheart

Being a broke college student is hard enough as it is and living on a budget doesn’t make shopping for the hottest trends and styles any easier! With all the special occasions, parties and formals it is hard not to spend all of your money on new clothes for the next big event.
Since most of you will likely have a monthly allowance for food, rent and necessities, it is important to make that money stretch as far as possible. My suggestion is to check out the nearby consignment shops and thrift stores. Most of these shops offer a wide range of clothing, from formal gowns to Halloween Costumes and ugly Christmas sweaters. You can find exactly what you are looking for and you will pay a lot less then what a retail store will charge you.
Check out places like Goodwill and The Salvation Army for great deals on new and vintage clothing, shoes, accessories and jewelry. Style is what you make of it and these days almost anything goes, giving you the freedom to wear what you want. I frequently visit consignment shops like Buffalo Exchange and Savers. Since these are thrift stores and most, if not all, of the merchandise is donated, these places are always getting new items each and every day. This is great because the options are always changing.
Maybe you do not need new clothes, you just need more money! The great thing about consignment is you can trade in your old clothes for either cash or credit towards new stuff you find in the store! Buffalo Exchange is a less common consignment shop and is mainly located in capital cities in the coastal states like California, Arizona, Texas, New York and Massachusetts, to name a few. Plato’s Closet is a really popular and well known consignment store you can find in almost every state.
Hop online with the links below to see if there is a location near you! I also suggest you get on line and check out local consignment shops in your area, chances are there is at least one.
In my experience, Plato’s Closet is very selective when it comes to the brands they choose, whereas Buffalo Exchange is more concerned about the style of clothing as it appeals to their clientele. I took several pairs of cropped jean shorts to Buffalo Exchange that I made from jeans I bought at Goodwill. I ended up getting $10-$14 per pair! I would have never guessed, but that is the type of clothing customers were demanding and wearing at that time. Buffalo Exchanges loves fashion and Plato’s focuses on brands.
My final suggestion is starting an on-campus clothing swap. I just started a monthly clothing swap with some of my friends. If you are tired of your old clothes or maybe you lost some weight and need to get some less baggy clothing, swaps are a great way to acquire “new to you” clothing without spending any money at all. You just bring clothes you want to get rid of and trade with other people for what you want from their selection. This is also a great way to meet new people who enjoy fashion as much as you!

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