Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A College Kid's Guide to Saving Cash: Fashion

Whether you’re entering your final year of university (we are!) or finally getting into your own apartment, here are some money-saving tips so you don’t have to eat ramen noodles every day because you’re a broke mofo.
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Undoubtedly, if you’re in your final year of university or an entry-level gig, you’ve become a 9-5’er because of an internship or your big-kid job. And surely that internship/job has a dress code, for which you need clothing.

And, regardless, you have to clothe yourself. Walking around naked is frown upon among the general population.
  • Outlets: Outlet stores are hidden gems. While they’re (usually) few and far between, you can do yourself a great service by getting to one. Outlets are cheaper because it’s a company’s overflow or out-of-season stock, so they sell it a discounted price. Of course, don’t expect outlets to be having sales. Most items are marked as is, which can be a burden or a curse. One time at the VS outlet, I got a couple bras dirt cheap because they were mismarked. And shop outlets for all kinds of clothing. I always scour The Northface and Columbia outlets for fleece jackets, which are a staple in the Michiganian wardrobe.
  • Department stores: Much like outlets, department stores are great for getting quality clothing for a decent price. Personally, I have a hard time departments stores, because they’re not always organized and I’m a lazy shopper, but if you’re serious about saving, digging in the racks is a small price to pay.
  • Sales: Alway, always looks for sales! They’re not hard to find, you just have to shop at the right store at the right time. Right now, my favorite store H&M is having some killer sales. As a matter of fact, I picked up a pair of super cute orange shorts for $5 the other day. I would also like to add the regular price was only $12.95. So I got a steal for a steal! And yes, H&M is always reasonably priced, so I highly suggest shopping there especially for office wear.
  • Compare: Being jonesing for a leather jacket? Don’t impulse buy; shop around and see what the options are. Can you get it somewhere else for less? Are you actually paying an extra $50 for the brand name? Of course, this rule applies staple items for your wardrobe and electronics.
  • Staple items: Invest in staple pieces for your wardrobe. They may cost a little more up front, but in the long run they’ll save you money. Investing in a good quality blazer or cashmere sweater (and taking care of it!) is worth the money because you only have to buy it once. Buy a super cheap version and you’ll be regretting that decision when you’re buying it for the second or third time.
  • Repurpose: Before you throw out or donate clothing you don’t want ask yourself why you don’t wear it. I had a pair of shorts there were a weird length, but instead of throwing them out, I just rolled the legs a couple times and they were fashionable again. Saved myself the cost and trouble of looking for new shorts.
What are you fashion super-saver secrets?

Until next week, kiddies...

- J

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