Staying on top of fashion trends this semester on a Cal State Fullerton student’s budget

In Arts & Entertainment, Fashion
You might find hidden gems in the racks of Buffalo Exchange, a local thrift store in Downtown Fullerton. (Courtesy of Buffalo Exchange)

Summer has come to an end, and it’s time to start thinking about what to wear this school year.

You really want to make an epic comeback and turn heads when you walk into your first class, but you realize that you lack all self-control and spent all your paychecks over the summer on food. At this point, you don’t know what gives you more anxiety, checking your bank account or realizing you won’t have the most stylish outfit in class.

Being fashionable on a budget is not as hard as it seems, and it’s entirely possible to revamp your style without burning a hole in your wallet.

Visit local thrift stores
Local thrift stores are a great place to find affordable deals. A helpful website to use when trying to find thrift stores in your area is This website not only helps find stores near you, but it also provides reviews and store hours.

Visiting a thrift store may seem overwhelming at first, due to the endless amounts of clothing tightly packed on the racks, so make sure to go in with plenty of time and patience. Exploring one section at a time and looking through every item on the rack can help prevent hidden gems from being overlooked.

It may be tedious and time consuming, but finding that blue Adidas jacket for $20 will make it worth your while.

Also, make sure to shop for items that are versatile. As much as you may want that sparkly dress, be realistic. How many times will you actually wear it? A simple t-shirt dress that can be paired up with sneakers or heels might be a smarter purchase to add to your closet.

In addition to affordable clothing and accessories, thrift stores offer big brand name items at a discounted price. When someone asks, “Where did you get that?” watch the amazement in their eyes when you admit you only paid $30 for those PUMA Fenty sneakers at Buffalo Exchange.

Mix and match from your closet
You can also save money this fall by going through your closet and mixing and matching items. One item can be swapped between 10 different outfits, allowing you to create a new, innovative look each time.

It is important to have the basics, like a good pair of jeans and a little black dress. For example, you can take a black dress and pair it with black pumps and some jewelry for a night out with the girls or take the same dress and pair it with sandals and a denim jacket for a casual lunch.

Wait until the right time to shop
I’ve learned that everything will eventually go on sale, and sometimes, it happens quicker than expected. After I realized that, I never paid full price for an item ever again– and I didn’t have to! Although you may feel like you have to have that outfit right now, waiting until the right time will make it much more fulfilling. Items go on sale weekly.

Aside from the price dropping, waiting to purchase clothing will prevent you from shopping for items that you don’t really need. Sometimes we may shop in the spur of the moment and buy clothes that we believe we might wear one day. Instead, we leave it sitting in our closets collecting dust. If a week or two passes and you still want that outfit, it is a good sign that you will actually wear it.

So next time you see that really cute pair of jeans that you just cannot live without, wait a week or two and watch the price drop.

Get creative
Lastly, don’t be scared to get creative and make your own pieces of clothing. It will amaze you how simply you can turn a pair of jeans into shorts and use the leftover scraps of fabric to create a choker.

Grab a pair of scissors and create new items and accessories straight from your closet. Not only will it allow you to stand out among your peers, but it’s also free!

Fashion is all about individuality, and it allows you to express yourself without saying a word. Yes, it is fun to keep up with the latest trends and mimic Rihanna’s outfits, but it is important to stray away from that and be yourself.

I constantly get teased for wearing neon dresses and ripped up jeans, but I don’t let it get to me because I am confident with my style. I love what I wear, and just because it is not someone’s cup of tea does not mean I’m going to change my style. So go ahead and wear those platform shoes with that neon dress, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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