Confessions of a Shopaholic: How I support my shopping habits as a college student

Everyone always says I know when the sales are and how to get the deals so I thought I’d share a couple hints that I use to save money and still buy things that I want. This semester I’ve been an intern for CollegeFashionista.com as a Style Guru reporting on Men’s Fashion in the column Let’s Hear it for the Boys. Peruse through some of my articles  and see what you think! (I apologize for the Macy’s gif in advance. I found it funny)

1. Don’t shop just to shop. 

I really love shoping

My mom used to say that to me all the time, but she’s right. In Dallas, I find myself at the Mall for no reason at all. Just perusing through what I like and being tempted to buy things I don’t need. One of the glorious things about Lubbock is you don’t have as much temptation to shop. (Please put a Macy’s in the South Plains Mall)  As college students and young adults you need to figure out what you need. For example: As a business major and student leader I’m dressed professional probably at least once a week. I don’t need club dresses; I need suits, separates, fashionable but comfortable heels, flats etc.

If you’re a senior and you don’t own the items to be dressed professionally I hope you’re not in line to buy the newest Jordan’s or rocking the latest JCs. If it’s cold and you have no jacket you might want to get a better coat. It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised.

And going beyond just having the basics. I find pieces I like that reflect my style and personality so I’m not just another person in a drab suit.

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(I would not wear this to an interview, I was giving a speech to young girls about College & Fashion through the Girl University program.) (Shirt Vintage via Mom, Skirt Target $12, Heels Target. Statement Necklace: Dillard's on sale. Bracelet BCBG)

Focus on the staples you need then build on those.example Get a good blazer and pants now you can buy whatever shirts and accessories to pair with them.

My Tip: Invest in stylish loafers they look great with jeans and they look snazzy with suits. Very stylish right now for men and women.

2. Don’t buy it if it’s not on sale.

mofo macys

I don’t believe in full priced. After working for Urban Outfitters it’s hard for me to buy things fully priced anywhere. If it’s not at least 40% off I debate whether or not I really need it.  20 percent is basically tax and 30 is a tease. But just because it is on sale doesn’t mean it’s a good sale 30% of 300 dollars is probably still too much if you’re trying to save money. Know your stores and when they usually have sales. For example Black Friday & New Year’s are notorious sales at Urban Outfitters for 50% off of clearance. So this 15% with your college ID or 30% off of this isn’t really enticing me. HOWEVER if you really have your eye on something and they’re low on stock you might want to get it.

3. Shop Around

The thing about trends is they are widely used by many designers and stores. For example the Cap toe heel. All of these shoes look extremely similar, but are made by different designers.

I personally shop for the style not the label so I can get the $30 pair versus the $600 pair.

I recently bought these shoes from JC Penney for $11.00 earlier that day I found a pair similar at DSW for 3 times that much.

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Urban Outfitters had a Save Ferris Shirt for about 28.00 at Target it’s was 7.99.

Once you Identify what style you’re looking for, you can find deals everywhere.

4. Price Check

Sometimes things are on sale online, but not in person. Check on your phone or before you leave to make sure you’re not throwing away money. A lot of store honor the online price if it’s lower. I like Retailmenot.com or the app for coupons. I can just check on my iPhone if a store is having a sale and if there are any coupons available before I check out. Or just google coupons for this store.

5. Try things on

Some things look better in theory. I can’t tell you how many times I pick up something then try it on and it look awful on me lol. Conversely, If you try it on and fall in love now you watch to see if it goes on sale, if there’s a similar item at another store, or if you want to Treat yo Self.

6. Remix

Remix is a term I got from the lovely Daniela Ramirez from Nany’s Clozet. She’s the queen of remixing. Remixing is take a piece and basically styling it another way to double the size of your closet. Check out the rest of her remixes here and follow her blog.

Image Via Nany's Klozet

Nany’s Klozet – Sheer Maxi Skirt Remix

(Images Via Nany’s Klozet)

By figuring out new ways to style items you just made yourself a brand new outfit. Especially if you can transition it between seasons.
If you need a little help trying to figure out how to style an item try using Polyvore to try to see how people would style similar items.

If you want to be stylish on a budget I’d suggest shopping at my favorite boutique Targét. They do a phenomenal job of providing stylish clothes for fairly affordable prices. It’s a college kid’s best friend! Asos is also a great website that has some amazing sales! If you’re not familiar with Asos think H&M and Urban Outfitters but at a lower cost and FREE SHIPPING! (they’re also having a sale right now)

For your die hard shop a holic’s here’s the tough love. Once you research what you need take cash in the amount of roughly what you will pay for it so you’ll only get that item. No debit card, no extra items no extra spending.

Style On,

Paige

@Paige_Nash
Follow Me on Pinterest.Com/That_Nash!

Forever 21 Trench , Target Turtleneck, Jc Penney Oxfords, Leopard Print Scarf Aldo, Ear rings Aldo

Red Peplum dress from TJ Maxx – Steve Madden Heels from Ross

Vintage Shirt via Mom Green Jean’s – Marshall’s Leopard Print Peep toe Wedges – Forever 21

Moto Jacket – Burlington, Bow Tie TCampCollection (A student owned clothing line from some friend’s at Morehouse!) Spiked Bangle – Forever 21

Moto Jacket – Burlington, Bow Tie TCampCollection (A student owned clothing line from some friend’s at Morehouse!) Spiked Bangle – Forever 21

**UPDATE***

I recently discovered Soletrader.com and they’re having a phenomenal sale right now! I just got a pair of 195.00 shoes for about 60 + shipping

sole trader

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Thoughts of a Graduating Senior

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  • What am I doing with my life?
  • Where do I even apply?
  • When do I apply?
  • Where am I going to work?
  • How do I negotiate my salary?
  • Where am I going to live?
  • How am I going to figure  all of this and pass this impossible class?

These are a few of the questions swimming in my mind as I approach graduation. I’m a May graduate so I still have a bit of time, but with every friend that accepts an offer I think I’m running out of time. (And will probably end up living out of a cardboard box.)

So let’s start at the top. “What are your plans after graduation?” This question has started to make my flesh crawl. “My plans are to be happy and successful” is not a suitable answer. As a freshman you probably could just say “I’m a ____ major and I want to work in the ____ field” Very vague, when you’re a senior people expect interview dates, a list of companies cities, and actionable life plan. So instead of giving yourself insomnia just spend a weekend brainstorming. Spend some time and think about what it is you love, what you’re good at, and where you want to be.

For me my brainstorming lead me to multicultural marketing. Most of my time is spent using my marketing skills to recruit students, finding out how to keep them engaged in my organization, and with Texas Tech University. I serve as the social media coordinator for two multicultural organizations and I’m constantly thinking of campaigns and positioning strategies.

  • Then next thing I did was talk to a recent graduate who was in that field.
  • Then did some research about a few companies that did that type of marketing.
  • Talked to hiring managers at former internships to find out when the general hiring time is for Marketing industry. (Or your University Career Center)
  • Now that you know what you want to do, you can take on projects to help get your more experience in that industry.  You might want to consider doing undergraduate research.

I don’t have all the answers, but I have a pretty good starting point.  The most important thing is to remind yourself to breathe! Have faith in yourself and the skills you’ve acquired at your school and search with a clear head. The last thing you want to do is apply for the wrong type of job and settle for something you hate.

Happy Hunting!