How to Afford Clothes in College


If you are in college, you know the label “broke college student” is pretty relevant. It can be difficult to afford things you actually want to buy, such as clothes. Although most of us cannot afford the extravagant life of Upper East Side it-girl, Blair Waldorf (at least while in college), there are ways to save wisely to afford clothes in college.

1. Buy during sales: The easiest way to afford clothes in college is obvious: sales. Many retailers constantly have sales; you just have to keep a good eye out for them. Subscribe to your favorite retailers’ email newsletters to stay up-to-date on their current sales.

Most stores will always have a ‘Sales’ section and others will also have promotions that occur regularly throughout the year. For example, Express will have 40% off your entire purchase in store and online twice per month.

Moreover, several retailers will have exclusive sales that only happen once or twice a year. You can expect many of them to have a Friends & Family Sale (usually 20% off your entire purchase) every year, whereas some stores will have brand-specific promotions. This would include Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale that occurs in the summer, or Victoria’s Secret Semi-Annual sale which happens twice a year – once in the summer and once in the winter.

Lastly, make sure to take advantage of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday and holiday sales if you are really looking for big deals!

2. Get rebates: This is a great way of saving money because you can get cash back on every purchase. Ebates is a website that offers up to 40% rebate when you shop through their website. Once your transaction is complete, you will immediately receive cash back. Plus, the site offers more than just rebates on clothes. Save on travel, electronics, beauty, and more.

3. Buy at the end of season: I save a lot of money on clothes by buying at the end of each season. Spring clothes are now coming to stores and the fall/winter apparel is being put on major price reduction. Snag up great deals that you would not have gotten if you bought the clothes at the beginning of the season.

4. Sell old clothes: Look in your closet. Do you have clothes that have not been worn in a year? If the answer is yes, it is time to get rid of them. Get rid of clothes that you do not wear anymore, do not fit, or do not fit your style anymore. Decluttering your closet adds more space and gives you the chance to make some extra change. If you have clothes that are still in good condition, sell them to a secondhand clothing store, such as Plato’s Closet, in exchange for cash. Use this to buy new clothes that do belong in your closet.

5. Use your student discount: No brainer to this one – take advantage of the student discount. Some retailers have a student discount, others do not. If you do not know if the store has a student discount, ask one of the associates and they will let you know. When shopping in-store, make sure to bring your student ID. Express, ASOS, Topshop, J. Crew, and Kate Spade all have a student discount.

Now you know my five favorite ways of saving money and how I afford clothes in college. Have fun shopping while saving money!

xx Ashley