Cheap Chic.

As I logged onto my Pinterest page today (a daily occurrence that happens when I have a bunch of Orgo studying to do and decide against it), I found myself laughing at this tank top.   Livin' La Vida Broka As a college student with loans here and there, it can be hard to to keep up with an expensive and expansive wardrobe, with most of us living the “Broka” life–living off Ramen noodles, jumping at any free food events on campus, and for me, avoiding the Urban Outfitters, Panera Bread Co., and Starbucks right on OSU’s campus (so cruel).  But, fear not!  I am also a firm believer in the fact (and living proof) that you do not have to spend a lot of money to be well-dressed and stylish.

My style tends to be all over the place.  My holy grail wardrobe would probably be something along the lines of Serena van der Woodsen from Gossip Girl meets Cara Delevingne, but since we can’t all be NYC socialites and English fashion models with endless amounts of cash flow, I settle for Urban Outfitters, H&M, ASOS, Forever 21 and a newfound favorite:  Kohl’s.  Now, Urban Outfitters can be a bit pricy at times, but if you wait around until their mega sales (extra 50% off clearance) you can find awesome deals.  I once got an adorable 75% woolen coat for just $15!  H&M is known for being a fast-fashion store offering high fashion at very low prices–they almost always have sales and a lot of my wardrobe is filled with pieces I’ve found for just $3-$10!  ASOS is actually a website I found through Seventeen magazine a few years back–it’s a European website that has really cool clothing and get this–free shipping to over 190 countries (including the US)! I found a beautiful, fancy, floor-length gown for just $40!  They have great selection and you will almost always find something you’ll want to purchase immediately. Forever 21 is also a favorite amongst most teenagers, they don’t have many sales but even their regular priced clothing is pretty fairly priced.  If you’re looking for a trendy piece and don’t want to spend immense amounts of money, F21 will certainly have a similar, cheaper alternative.  Finally, Kohl’s. Whenever I tell my friends that I got something from Kohl’s they always seem to be flabbergasted.  My parents have been shopping there for years but I had always nodded it off as an old school department store with nothing to offer; boy was I wrong!  I’ve found some of my favorite pieces this past year from their clearance section; Kohl’s sells designer brands such as Simply Vera by Vera Wang, LC by Lauren Conrad, Levi’s, Rock & Republic, and many more for a fraction of their regular prices, and also have killer sales on brand name athletic wear and shoes.

But, I also realize that not everyone has the time and patience to wait around until a specific season to find these clothes at severely discounted prices, and for that I propose something that Macklemore has already poignantly embedded into your brain: thrifting!  I know a lot of people tend to be intimidated and frightened by the idea, but let me elaborate.  I had never thrifted and never even thought I’d want to thrift until I went for the first time with a couple of friends two summers ago.  I advise going with a friend who’s experienced so you don’t get too overwhelmed, although it really isn’t bad on your own, either.  At first I was a little intimidated, there were clothes and accessories everywhere and  I had no clue what I was even looking for or expecting to find, but after an hour or two of looking around I ended up finding lots and lots of things from maxi skirts to belts to dresses that I couldn’t even believe people had given up!  The beauty of thrifting is that you can find pieces for such cheap amounts that even if they’re in a larger size or don’t fit quite perfectly, it oftentimes only takes a 15-20 minutes at  home to hem/sew to your liking (I’ll save that for another post).  There are also tons and tons of DIY blogs, Youtube videos, and pins on Pinterest that show you how to turn mundane clothing into fabulous pieces that would be on the racks for triple the price you got them for.  And for all those who are like how I was and are thinking, “But ew, someone has worn these clothes before!!!” it really isn’t that awful–just throw them in the wash as soon as you get home and you’re good to go!  Most of the things I’ve found thrifting look like they’d never been worn–in fact a lot of them still had their price tags on them!  You may think you only find granny clothes and disgusting old stuff that no one wants, but I’ve found lots of stylish pieces or pieces I’ve turned into something to my liking for less than $7.  A friend of mine even found a BCBG Max Azria sweater featured online for $78 for around $10-$15.  Miracles do happen!

Anyway, I hope this post has opened your mind to the immense possibilities of  fashionable finds for a fraction of the price.  Being thrifty doesn’t mean you have to be any less extraordinary!  In my next post I’ll include pictures of some of my greatest finds.  Let me know in the comments below of your favorite stores/websites that offer incredible deals!  Although this post was mainly tailored towards females,  all these stores/websites+thrifting are great venues for men’s fashion finds too!  I’ll include more men’s and women’s fashion tips in the posts to come; stay tuned!

“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” 

–Oscar Wilde

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