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

Intern Hack No. 2: Job Description Deception

You’re scouring the job boards for an internship, or full time position. You’re eager to put everything you’ve learned in college to work and you think you’ve found a great job that works with marketing! You run across an entry that has buzz words like

Business to business sales, direct marketing methods, and other pay.

After going through an exciting first interview you find yourself in the middle of some unknown location selling something to patron on the street or going door to door on a commission only salary.

Not what you expected right?

The thing about marketing is that is covers such a broad range of activities. A lot of what is posted on job boards is sales, and to the untrained eye you might not realize that’s what you’re signing up for. Nothing is worse than applying for a job, and realizing that it’s not the right fit. The best way to combat this is to know what exactly you field you’re looking for.
Who remembers Vector Marketing the company that sells knives door-to-door?

This one is pretty vague, does this sound like you’re driving around town being a door-to-door knives salesman?

Here are some items to look over before you submit that application:

1. Identify what exactly you want from a job. What skills do you have and what would like to earn through your new career.

2. Find your career spirit animal. What does this mean? (I just made it up) Find someone who is doing what you would like to do, and learn what their job title is and what it entails. Hopefully you can network with them, and find out what to look for in your search from someone who has been there.

3. Linkedin- I often type in a job title or company name and see what they have listed under their job description–slightly creepy, but this is the  life or death of your career we’re talking about.Or if you’re not a creeper like me you can check out company websites to find out what they’re job description says so you know what you’re looking for.

Sales isn’t for everyone, and some really thrive at it. Be sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.

4. Most importantly during the interview ask them what a day in the life entails. Nothing is glamorous all the time is this is a very good question to find out if you would want to do this EVERY DAY and it shows interest.

Usually it’s a bad sign if a MARKETING company has little or no presence online, if they’re extremely vague, or if you go to their building and it’s just an empty office with no phones or furniture.

Horror Stories

Jane Doe* is a recent college graduate, and went to search for a job in NY. She had a phenomenal interview with a marketing department, and for her second interview she ended up in a bad part of the city trying to convince people to change energy providers. She was only paid if she got a person to sign up for the new service. She had to find her way home from this remote location, and catch the Subway home!

John Doe* is a college senior wanting to break into the sports and marketing field. He found a internship position for a marketing company in his area, and had a successful interview. He noticed that the office was nearly empty, but assumed they were remodeling.  The 2nd interview would be from 8-6pm. Once he showed up they drove to Austin, Texas where they spent the day selling tickets to a minor league baseball team in the 100 degree heat. Solicitation to businesses is illegal and even had to duck or hide from police when asked what they were doing!