A College Girl’s Guide to Filling Your Closet on a Budget

If you’ve read even one of my posts, it probably isn’t hard for you to figure out that I have a slight shopping addiction.

I love shopping. I shop far more than I should, but I just can’t help it – I love fashion, I love new clothes, and I love blogging about it!

But as a college student, shopping is hard. So is filling your closet. I work during the summer, but I don’t have time to work during the school year. So when all of my income sources stop when September rolls around, I have to be smart about the purchases I make.

That’s what I’m talking about today: a college girl’s guide to filling your closet on a budget. I feel like my closet is always expanding, and between my limited closet space at school and my limited bank account, I need to be smart about buying – and I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. Here some easy ways to fill your closet efficiently and without breaking the bank.

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Splurge on basics, save on trends

This is so important: don’t spend lots of money on trends..because they’re “trendy” for a reason. Trends come and go, and if you buy the cutest pieces each season, you’ll find yourself throwing them in the back of your closet when you don’t want to wear them anymore. And when you’re a college fashionista on a budget, you simply can’t afford to do that.

Look at it this way: ruffle off the shoulder tops are trendy right now. You could spend $30 on one top…or you could spend $30 on a basic but versatile top that you could get use of all year round, while your ruffle top would sit in your closet for the majority of the year.

Your basics are the glue that holds your entire wardrobe together. If you don’t invest in quality pieces, your wardrobe will fall apart.

I’d consider this lace romper I’m wearing to be “trendy” – I probably won’t be wearing it two summers from now. But I scored it for only $3…so whether I wear it once or five times or every other day this summer and then never again, it will have served me well for the price. I splurged on this necklace from J. Crew (which is sadly out of stock now), but it’s my second fave necklace to wear (besides my monogram), so it’s a worthwhile purchase on a basic item.

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Shop out of season

Story time: last December, my internship boss/lady boss role model Erica invited me on a press trip with her to Mexico. While I was home from school for winter break I began to pack…and I quickly realized I left all of my summer clothes at school. Every tank top, every sundress, every pair of shorts, every romper, all of my sandals...literally everything. My mom and I found ourselves diving into all of the clearance racks at Kohl’s and Target, searching for anything that was Mexico-worthy. To my surprise, I found so many great summery pieces that were on super sale (and some were from Lauren Conrad’s Runway collection…and y’all can just guess how happy that made me).

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And this romper? I got it in January too. If you shop out of season, you will find crazy amazing deals and you’ll fill your wardrobe in no time.

Scour the sale rack

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Remember how I said this romper was $3? I got it from a department store called Peebles Β as it was closing – they had sales up to 80% and 90% off, and while I never really shopped there before, my friends and I scoured the sale racks and found gold!

Don’t be afraid to dig for what you want – if you’re out shopping, there’s no harm in throwing yourself into a sale rack, because you never know what you’ll find. The same goes for thrifting. I was never too fond of the whole idea of thrifting, but on my first time I got TWO Ralph Lauren tops for only $20. Insane, right?? When it comes to filling your closet, sales are your saving grace. Take advantage of them, because saving money while still shopping is the dream, amiright?

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Take advantage of discounts

We all know that so many stores offer discounts for signing up for their email alerts – and even though the endless emails do get annoying, the constant sale alerts come in ~clutch~. If you can deal with the constant messages from your favorite stores, this is such a good idea. (Pro tip: create a separate email account just for your shopping emails. It may be extra, but it’s a great way to separate your important emails from your shopping emails.)

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But being a college student also has shopping perks: so many stores also offer student discounts! This Her Campus article offers 36 stores that’ll give you a discount just for being a student. #Win

Find your style and buy what you love

When I was in ninth grade, I really wanted a pair of combat boots because they were “cool”. I got a pair, but I only ended up wearing them a few times. Why? They were absolutely NOT my style. Even though my style at the time was not nearly as defined as it is now, combat boots were not fitting for me. I wanted them because everyone else was wearing them – but they ended up just taking up space in my closet.

When it comes to buying clothes, buy them because you want to, not because someone else says that’s what’s trendy at the moment. The more you love the clothes you buy, the more confident you’ll be. And when it comes to being “fashionable”, having confidence in the way you dress yourself is the most important thing.

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How do you like to fill your closet on a budget? I’d love to know – let me know in the comments below!

P.S. – I was so excited to share these photos with you because one of my amazing friends Baylee took them for me! We had such a fun time shooting this post, and I’m SO impressed by the results. Check out her photography here!

P.P.S. – Clearly I’m still trying to work out my posting schedule..it’s definitely a work in process! Bear with me and I’ll have that figured out asap. πŸ˜‰

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