Shopping smart for a student wardrobe

As the new academic year fast approaches, the collective sound of clothes being tossed out of students wardrobes and landing in piles on the floor is slowly growing. If you too are also in this situation and are craving a complete wardrobe renovation, then I’ve got some shopping tips for investing in the right few pieces you really need in your wardrobe, without the need of spending hundreds on a second wardrobe.

Before you get started on any shopping, look at what you already have, then you’ll know what you need. If you have a wardrobe full of clothes that you only wear a fraction of the items, then that’s the best place to start with. A lot of the time, adding more clothes to the equation makes the process of choosing an outfit a lot harder than it should be. If you haven’t worn an item more than three times in the past six months, get rid of it! It’s just clogging up space that could be filled with amazing new pieces you’ll love and wear non stop.

Now here are some tips for when you next go shopping on how to be wise with your money and invest in the right things for you!

1. Do you already have something similar?

If you’re a fan of a particular colour or print, chances are you probably already have a lot of it in your wardrobe. There’s no point in buying another pair of jeans when you already have 12 more pairs in similar shades of denim. You don’t need to invest in multiple copies of an item to keep it from looking repetitive and boring, it’s about buying different types of pieces that they will work with so that every time you wear it, it looks like you’ve got whole new outfit.

If you like striped tops, think of not only different pieces it would work with, but what it can layer with, what prints it can work with. Try out clashing prints. Layer an oversized t-shirt on top, then a belt, then put your jacket on and you’ve got a full outfit from just a striped top. Don’t limit the idea of an outfit to just one statement piece or even just two pieces in general. You never know you won’t like it until you try it!

2. Can you think of at least 3 things it will go with?

Im very guilty from time to time of this one, but a common mistake people make when shopping is finding something that they absolutely love, but then when they take it home and try it on with different items, it just doesn’t seem to work with anything. This then means that the piece with stay in your wardrobe for months and never get worn, but every time you go to clear out your wardrobe you hold back from throwing it out because of how nice it is, which is quickly followed by the excuse ‘I’ll find something to wear this with’ (Spoilers, you never do).

Now the best way to stop this problem from happening when you next find something you really love, you have to think of at least three things that you already own that it will go with, If you can think of three or more different pieces, then 100% get it! If you find yourself struggling to think of more than 2 or even 1, trust me it’s not worth it in the long run. You’ll wear it maybe once or twice and then you’ll quickly get bored of it because there’s nothing else that it will go with.

3. Does it really suit your lifestyle?

Although it’s good to keep one or two shirts or dresses for a formal occasion, you don’t need 5 or 6 different pieces that you’ll wear maybe once a year, if that. If you’re a student, you’ll most likely need pieces that will work for both day and night. There’s no point in buying tonnes of night out clothes when you’ll also be spending majority of the daytime in lectures or lessons.

If you’re wanting to look good and presentable for both daytime and nighttime whilst still remaining comfortable and practical, then pieces like jumpsuits, culottes and dresses are your best answer; These items don’t need a lot of adjusting or tucking in, they are super versatile as they work for all kinds of occasions, and you can pick out insidiously styles in certain colours or designs to suit both you and the rest of your wardrobe the most.

Culottes, or any wide legged trousers for that matter, offer a lot of comfort, whilst still remaining chic in a wide variety of different styles, patterns and colours. Dresses and jumpsuits can be worn by themselves or layered with t-shirts or shirts underneath to create a more formal or casual look to the outfit. Try to stick to a certain pattern or colour scheme, like stripes or monochrome for example, as these styles work with a wide variety of colours or patterns, and are great for any season too!

Some additional tips:

• Think ahead, if you’re buying things for the autumn time now, how could you work it into winter? Then spring? Possibly summer? There’s no rule of limiting a particular piece to just one season.

• Make sure it fits! I know this sounds very obvious, but I hear a lot of people having to squeeze into or belt up a pair of jeans or a top, just because they couldn’t find their size or it was in the sale. The same applies to anyone keeping things in their wardrobe for if they ever go back to that size again. If you would be too squished or uncomfortable in an item and it’s what puts you off from wearing it, then what’s the point in keeping it?

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