Hey Savers! My name is Siana, I’m from London and this is my first fashion post for Student Fashion. I thought that for my initial post I would let you guys know who I am, and what I’m all about.
‘I am a shopaholic on a budget’ and ‘I do what they do, but cheaper’
I help guys and dolls around the world just like you, save their way through this seasons styles and trends. I’m going to ask you a question. Now bare in mind, that I am aiming it at all the guys and dolls out there, who shop on a tight-ish budget each month..
‘Do you think £40 is a reasonable price for a blouse?’
If you answered yes to this question then I’m sorry to have to say this, but according to my ‘saver radar,’ you are not shopping in the right places. So, I am going to be your saving guru, and I’m am going to share with you all my tips and tricks on how to look fantabulous for much, much less.
1. ‘Can I wear this with everything in my wardrobe?’
No I’m not kidding, seriously ask yourself this question. Or at least ask ‘Can I wear this with a handful of clothing in my wardrobe?’ If you can answer yes to this question, you will save yourself money instantly. If you are able to buy clothes, which you can wear with clothes you already own, then you already have like five new outfits. If you buy clothes that you can literally only wear together, then you have a handful of clothes that you can literally only wear together. That’s when we start saying ‘I have no clothes” three days after wearing all your new clothing.
Another great tip is to shop for style and not for fashion.
“Fashions fade, but style is eternal.” – Yves Saint Laurent.
Fashion brands will make hundreds of the same style skirt over a year and only change the material or colour etc. This is where we savers can be smart and pick a stylish skirt, instead of a fashionable one. For example, a fashionable skirt could be a pink skater skirt with palm trees on it, and a stylish skirt could be a pink skater skirt with a zipper down the front. Think about it, how long is the world going to wear palm tree covered skirts? And how long would the world wear a skater skirt with a front zipper? You would have more wearable time with the skirt featuring the zipper than the palm trees. The reason for that is, next month the world could be wearing skater skirts with oriental prints, and you would still be wearing your skirt with the palm trees.
2. ‘Can I wear this a year from now?’
Again, I’m being serious. If you cant say yes to the above question, then at least ask yourself ‘Can I wear this for the next few months?’ We know seasons change very quickly, but they also come back around very quickly. Remember last year when everyone went crazy about the JuJu Jellie’s? The one that went in and out of fashion within a few months? Well they’re back, Already, and they are cheaper than ever. Primark now sell them for a super saving price of £6! That’s an average saving of £20. The only difference is, the JuJu Jellie has a slight more sparkle and the buckle is white.
When shopping, think of materials or styles that have come back again and again. Denim and leather are good examples of statement pieces, because you can literally wear them for years. In those cases, I will approve of spending a little more for quality since you will be wearing if for much longer. So when your next in the fitting rooms and your trying on that Black Blouse, Pencil Skirt, Leather Whatever, or Denim Statement piece. Ask yourself, can I wear this a year from now?
There is much more to discounts than hitting up a sale or using your student discount card, and there are many ways of never paying full price, for anything. The biggest discount I receive is from working within retail. If you work in retail you should receive a huge discount on the clothing in your store. I work in Topshop and I receive 4 pieces every three months with a 60% discount. Its not a lot, I know, but almost once a month I can pick up an item which usually costs £90, and only pay £36 for it, this sweet deal also includes shoes. Now please don’t go and get a job in retail specifically for this reason, especially if Fashion or Retail is not your career path. Even if you are in College/University and you just want a part-time job for now. Remember, once you have finished your course, what will you have real experience in? Retail.
My next top tip is Student Discounts, its pretty self-explanatory really. Keep your student card on you and don’t be afraid to ask every single store if they accept student cards, I recently found out that Superdrug accept NUS Extra cards. IKR? If your card does not have a picture or start/end date (some stores require this) there are always ways around it. Buy an NUS or NUS Extra card, or there is now a new app called UniDays. Most stores should accept this as you physically cannot make an account, unless you are a student, and connected to your university Internet when making the account. Plus it has your photo and start/end date.
Here’s an easy one, Sales! Some people are scared to shop in the Sale because its last seasons trends. This is very true, yet this should not be a reason to avoid the sale. I have found some amazing pieces, for some amazing prices recently. Just be careful not to be sucked into the ‘OMG its so cheap’ routine. Yes you spend less money individually, but on more items. So you end up spending more money this way, on clothes you don’t really need. Look out for ‘double dips‘ on sale items also. Its where you can use a discount you are already entitled to, on top of the sale item. For example, Topshop offer student discount on sale items. One thing I always do when shopping online, is searching for discount codes on Google. I will type in for example, ‘boohoo discount codes’ ‘new look discount codes’ and I could spend up to a good 15 minutes before finding a decent working code. Some sites let you ‘double dip’ with another code or your student card. Awesome.
Knowledge is power, and the more you know about certain brands the better. The easiest, yet hardest way to do research is to window-shop, both in stores and online. The times where I don’t actually need any clothing I still personally go into Primark around once a week, and Topshop at least four times a week (since I work there!) Other brands such as Boohoo, Missguided, New Look, and other smaller online brands I still look at every single day. That’s not to say I personally go onto their website with no money to search and pree at clothing I still cant afford. But just by simply following brands on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest and other social networking websites, your timelines will still be filled with; snippets, best sellers, behind the scenes, competitions, and much more!
The more you are exposed to the affordable brands, the easier it becomes to shop on a budget. For example, Topshop coats range from around £65 – £95, that is a lot of money to be spending on a jacket especially if you’re on a budget. If you do your research you will realize most, if not all other retailers will have a coat very similar to the dreamy £95 coat. And some, not all, will sell that coat at a lower price. If not, they may be offering a discount when spending a certain amount of money, Or they may offer more student discount than Topshop, they may even be offering free delivery with your purchase, the list can go on.
Siana’s Quick Tips
*Don’t be scared to buy wacky prints, and unique statement pieces, once in a while. They may not last as long, but the whole point of loving fashion is to completely be free to express yourself.
*When asking yourself questions about the items you are going to buy, remember the ‘style’ of it may be wearable in a years time. But will the item itself be wearable in a year’s time? How durable is it? Like literally, will it fall apart within a couple of weeks?
*Become mates with retail workers in shops you love to shop in. If you actually build up friendships you may be able to ask to use their discount. Props if you also work in a place that offers you extra discount, you can use each others!
*With regards to your fashion and shopping research, you only really need to do research when there is something you need. If your looking for a winter coat or some summer sandals, then that’s the time to start searching around for the best styles and prices. Take your time, try not to impulse buy.
*When shopping online, double check the refund and returns policy. I have had some amazing service, and some not so amazing service with some companies. So just be careful!
Top – Topshop £15
Skirt – Primark £8
Necklace – Primark £3
Blouse – Primark £9
Shoes – Boohoo £20
Watch – Topshop £16
Bracelet – Primark £1
I really hope my money saving tips and pointers to being a shopaholic on a budget can help you save your way through this season’s trends.
What tips and tricks do you guys live by to save yourself some wonga?