Fashion Guides, Time Saving

How to Dress on a Dime for College.

If only I had a nickel for every time I’ve been asked about how to buy clothes on a budget.

If you’re in college, you mostly don’t have a source of income that would make money rain on you every month.

College in itself is super expensive and chances are that just like most of us you are always looking for ways to cut corners to be able to spend more on books, assignments, dates, or even just partying. So we thought why not bring to you a list of solutions that you can try out to build a wardrobe that won’t make a hole in your wallet.

Clothes are possibly the most convenient option for you to reduce expenses. They are available at almost every price point, even though the quality reduces with the price, you anyway buy 5-6 times a year. The key here is not to reduce the number of times you buy but to reduce the amount you spend every time you go shopping.

Let’s jump into the solutions straight away.


This has become a really popular “trend” in recent years but it’s not just a trend, it is a pretty viable option. Being in college nobody cares if you’re wearing Nike, Converse, Rick Owns, Off-White, or thrifted. All you have to do is attend classes, and chill with friends, no one is expecting you to show up dripping in logos and monograms as an influencer at New York Fashion Week.

We will not be discussing the environmental friendliness of this option as you probably already know it. Some people really look down on thrifting and getting second-hand clothes. But if the clothes are of good quality, look new and are cheap, what’s the issue?

How to dress on a dime for college.

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You can get great jackets, vintage tee shirts, pants, and even rugs and bedsheets! All you have to do is have a concrete plan before you enter the store, as it can get a little overwhelming and you may get carried away by the sea of clothes. Having a list with you helps a lot, seems stupid but do it!

Take out a day and look hard for quality clothes and keep in mind the entire outfit you want to create and your personal style.

  1. Project 333

Project 333 is a minimalistic way to live. It means you own 33 pieces of clothes for 3 months. You can take this up for yourself and if you feel it’s not for you, you can switch back to your regular wardrobe after 3 months.

The 33 pieces of clothes you will own for 3 months also include shoes, jackets, glasses, etc. The aim of this project is to declutter your wardrobe and essentially your mind as well. If you find yourself struggling each morning trying to decide what to wear, then this might be just your thing.

Being in college, this project saves a lot of time, which you can dedicate to do other important activities, like sleep for some more time perhaps.

This also forces you to get versatile pieces, as you know you have limited options, which will prove to be an asset in the long run. The people who tried out this project said most of their colleagues never even noticed that the person was repeating outfits.

How to dress on a dime for college.

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One tip we can give you for this is to learn how to style your clothes. Mix and match all the options you have to get more variety out of the same clothes and also to get more wear out of each garment. Let us know if you are thinking of giving this project a try.

  • Layering

You will automatically get a hang of how to layer your outfits if you give Project 333 a try. But if you don’t feel like taking up that project, you can use layering for your regular wardrobe too.

Layering is essentially wearing more than one layer of garments, so your tee shirt and jeans become layer one, a shirt/sweater over it becomes layer two, a trench coat over it becomes layer 3 so on and so forth, but be careful because you don’t want to look like Joey putting on all of Chandler’s clothes at once.

Mostly, layering is done for winter in extremely cold places, but you can totally try it in summer too just with lighter clothes that are breathable.

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The first step is to just start.

Having a knowledge of what color goes with what is pretty easy to develop once you start experimenting. You will then also learn what prints works with what and what texture compliments the entire outfit.

This will help your pocket a lot as you won’t need 20 different tee shirts you can get 5 tee shirts and 5 jackets and then mix and match to get much more variation. 

  • Avoid herd mentality

Now, we’re sure you have heard this advice quite a few times. But let us modify it for you in terms of fashion.

Do not always buy trendy clothes. Yes, you can shop for a particularly trendy item if you really love it and if you feel you will wear it very often.

But don’t plan or buy an entire wardrobe filled with trendy pieces because if they go “out” of trend you will stop wearing it hence it becomes a sunk cost, not very desirable for a young college man.

Go for usual basic clothes, or classic pieces and pair that with one trendy item if you feel like it.

  • Invest in accessories

This is honestly the most practical advice I can give. Accessories can make or mar a look. You need to have good shoes, few good watches, a few pairs of good glasses and a signature scent.

And when we say “good” we mean good in quality, ones that you can wear for years to come. This, unlike your clothes, will be with you for a long long time, so spending more on it is like an investment.

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You can really make a statement at any event and elevate your plain white tee and black trousers with a high-end brand, good quality watch, belt, shoes, and perfume.

Since you know you have to wear it for a long time, be smart and get the ones that really go well with most of your outfits.

You should go for a black watch over a green one, a comfortable pair of Nike Air Force in solid color over a pair of uncomfortable neon red shoes. 

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