Smart style – fashion on a budget!

I love clothes, who doesn’t? But, if you’re like me and you can’t help feeling disheartened every time you walk into Topshop and there isn’t a sale, staying fashion-forward can seem pretty unaffordable.

Since starting uni I’ve learnt that the Achilles heel to my over-ambitious saving plan is my constant want to shop – and I know I’m not the only one. So what is there for a girl (or guy) to do? Luckily, there are ways of indulging your shopping needs, and they don’t break the bank. Behold! Your guide to staying stylish on a shoestring…


If you haven’t already downloaded this app, where have you been? Having had it for over a year I can honestly say it has changed the way I shop for clothes. Pretty much everything you have ever wanted to own is on Depop. Yes, someone out there is selling a pair of those Old Skool Vans in a size 6 that you’ve been wanting forever, for half the retail price!

If you’re put-off by the fact that most things on Depop are, shall I say, ‘pre-loved’ then there’s plenty of things being sold on there for brand new too. And of course, if you make an account, you can sell your own clothes for a little bit of extra cash which is no bad thing. However, I will put out a disclaimer (and it’s a big one): make sure you only buy from reputable sellers. Check their ratings and feedback from previous selling history and never buy from someone who has a low rating, pushes you into buying something, or sending them the money over paypal.

Personally, I have never had an issue with the app, and it has saved me a hell of a lot of money over the past year, my proudest steal being a pair of American apparel jeans retailed at £105, snatched up for just £20!

Vintage fairs/charity shops

Again, if you don’t like the idea of pre-loved then you might want to skip this one, but I can’t imagine there’s anyone who doesn’t love a good vintage sweater or scarf. Often, universities will host affordable vintage fairs for students either on campus or elsewhere, and they are one of the best ways of grabbing a bargain. Vintage will NEVER be uncool, high-street shops are constantly bringing back an era – if it’s not the eighties, it’s the noughties – so why pay top prices? It’s always nice getting the real deal anyway. Same goes for charity shops, and no, they’re not just for old people who collect porcelain cats. Charity shops are like a little portal into the past, even if you never find anything to wear, they’re just interesting to look around!

Upcycle your clothes

Want to keep up with new trends but your clothes are outdated? Look no further than your own wardrobe. Old clothes don’t have to be chucked, they can be made into something you will wear again with just the simplest of modifications. Have some ripped jeans that are no longer the cool kind of ripped but more the ‘my legs are too cold’ kind of ripped? Cut them into shorts for the summer! There’s plenty of YouTube tutorials to show you how. Or maybe you have a dress that would look better as a skirt? Or you want to pretty-up your old denim jacket with some embroidery? The world of fashion-regeneration is your oyster, plus, at Lincoln there’s the Fashion and Design society. They regularly hold upcycling workshops for your pre-loved clothes.

Use your Discount

Lastly, if you’re signed up to student discount sites, don’t forget to use them! And if you’re not, you guessed it, sign up to them! Unidays, student beans, NUS and loads more are always offering discounts on your favourite high-street stores that you might not even be aware of. Every time I shop I check Unidays to see if I can get any discounts, and sure enough, there are always some. 10% off here, 20% off there all adds up, so make sure you are never throwing away the opportunity so save money!

So, there you have it, a few tried and tested ways of how you can tend to your shopping needs, stay fashionable and still be able to afford to eat for the rest of the week. If you found this useful then don’t forget to share your new found fashion wisdom with your friend

Kezia Smith – First Year Journalism


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