Shopping on a student budget can be a nightmare, that amazing dress vs. eating next week, sound familiar? Wishing it into your wardrobe never works either.

The key is knowing your budget and sticking to it! Having the latest dress will never be worth not eating. Once you’ve established your budget get to know your wardrobe, work out your style, and find out what is missing from it.

Once you’ve figured this out invest in your key wardrobe pieces. These are your go to items that never seem to go out of fashion. Don’t be afraid to spend a bit on these items as you will wear them all the time! Also keep these in mind and create all of your outfits around them.

Stay trend ‘savvy’, know what is in this season and work out what styles are likely to stay. Reading fashion blogs will help you with this! Some styles will never go out of fashion (think florals and pastels in spring and a military winter coat). Again, invest in these – it’s all about how many times you wear the outfit in relation to the price.

Don’t spend too much on items that will be ‘out’ next season, head to Primark for these. Or alternatively go online; places like Misguided and Fashion Union tend to do great copies at a good price. Check out the shops attached to your favourite fashion blogs they will often sell this seasons pieces at a discounted rate.

Trawl through e-Bay too, there’s always a good bargain on there, although be wary of getting into bidding wars and always keep a maximum price in mind.

Accessories are always worth investing in as these will completely change an outfit, meaning you can wear an outfit multiple times and it will still look different.

Learning how to sew will also be useful. Changing or adding detail to your existing clothes can give them a new lease of life. Changing the buttons on your coat for example will give it a whole new look.

Never be afraid to DIY! There are loads of YouTube tutorials for just about everything. Check out Company magazine too; they always have a great DIY section.

When out shopping keep your wardrobe in mind and ask yourself these three important questions:

  • Will it go with my existing wardrobe? (This will save you spending more money on completing the outfit.)
  • Do I really like this? ( If you’re unsure, leave it – you can always go back later.)
  • Will I wear it more than once? (If this is unlikely is it really worth buying it even if it is a bargain?)

Finally always have a browse through the sale section and always ask if they do student discount as you will save yourself a lot of money in the long run! Also keep an eye out for special student shopping events or extra discount weeks.

Shopping is a bit like an essay, research and planning are key, this way you can have an amazing wardrobe and still afford rent and food!