Skip to Content

Fashion On A Budget: Ways For College Students To Save On Clothing

Welcome to the world of fashion on a budget! If you’re a college student, you know how hard it can be to keep up with the latest trends without breaking the bank. Clothes cost money, and sometimes, it feels like you have to choose between a new outfit and groceries for the week.

But here’s something you might not know: thrifting is a super cheap way to get cool clothes and avoid fast fashion.

This post will show you how to stay stylish without spending too much. We’ll talk about thrift shopping at second-hand stores, swapping clothes with friends, fixing what you already own, and even renting outfits for special occasions.

And guess what? These tips aren’t just good for your wallet—they’re also kinder to our planet. Ready to save money and look great doing it? Keep reading!

Sustainable Fashion on a College Budget

Living on a college budget doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish. You can still rock the latest trends without breaking the bank. Thrift stores, clothing rental sites, and fixing what you already own are your best friends.

They help you save money while being kind to the planet.

You’ll find gems in second-hand shops that no one else has. Websites let you borrow fancy dresses for a night out instead of buying them. Got a torn shirt? Fix it up with some cool sewing tricks.

Instagram and Pinterest are full of ideas on how to make old clothes look new again. By choosing smartly, you join others who care about our Earth while looking sharp.


Thrift shopping

Thrift stores

unique pieces

buying second-hand clothes

Plus, looking through all the different items can be really fun.

Shopping from home? No problem. Try apps like Depop, Mercari, and Poshmark. They let you buy and sell clothes right from your phone. Serena Westcott, who studies how to protect our environment in college, loves finding treasures at thrift shops.

She knows it’s smart—saving cash and helping Earth too!



You can save money by renting clothes for big events instead of buying them. Services like By Rotation, HURR, and Hirestreet let you wear fancy outfits without spending a lot. This way, you get to enjoy high-quality pieces at a fraction of the cost.

I once rented a dress for a wedding and it was both easy and saved me so much money compared to if I had bought it.

Renting is smart because you won’t be stuck with something you’ll only wear once. Plus, trying out new styles becomes fun and affordable. Now, think about fixing and changing your old clothes to give them a new life.


Upcycling and repairing

Upcycling makes old clothes look new again. It’s like giving your wardrobe a makeover without spending much. You take what you already have and change it up—maybe by adding some patterns or mixing different pieces together to create something cool and unique.

And if something tears, don’t throw it away! Learning basic stitching can save your favorite shirt or jeans from the trash bin. I once took an old, plain dress and sewed on colorful patches from fabric scraps I had lying around.

Suddenly, I had a “new” dress that everyone loved.

Repairing clothes is also smart. It stops you from buying more and helps cut down on waste – which is good for our planet. Portable sewing machines are handy for quick fixes. They’re easy to use and not too expensive either.

By fixing a loose button or mending a small tear, you make your clothes last longer. This way, you spend less money in stores and do your part in reducing trash piled up on earth.

Clothing Shopping Tips on a College Budget

Finding ways to save on clothing doesn’t mean you have to give up looking good. You can still find stylish pieces without spending a lot of money. Look for clothes that fit your style but don’t focus too much on the brand name.

This way, you get what you really like and save cash at the same time. Selling clothes you no longer wear is another smart move. It clears out your closet and puts some money back in your pocket—perfect for a college student’s budget.

Clothing swaps are a fun way to refresh your wardrobe without hitting the checkout. You trade outfits with friends or join exchange events where people bring clothes they want to swap.

This approach keeps your attire fresh and exciting without needing a debit card swipe every time you want something new.

Remember, saving money on fashion as a college student is all about making wise choices, being creative, and using what already exists in different ways!


Shop for styles, not brands

You might think choosing clothes from big names like H&M or Marshall’s means style. But, it’s smarter to pick based on what looks good on you, not the label. Know your body type well.

Then, look for cuts and fabrics that flatter you best – like cotton or spandex. This way, you get clothes that make you feel great without spending too much.

Also, try mixing in cheaper accessories from places like Forever21 and Charlotte Russe to spice up your outfits. These small additions can change a simple button-up shirt into something special without breaking the bank.

So focus on finding styles that suit you over chasing brand names. You’ll save money and still look sharp!


Sell old clothes

After finding styles that speak to you, think about making room in your closet and some extra cash. Selling your old outfits does the trick. Places like Plato’s Closet want what you no longer wear.

They’ll pay you for clothes that are still in good shape. I once cleared out my wardrobe and took a bunch of clothes there. It felt great to declutter and I left with more money than expected.

This way, you’re not just saving; you’re earning too! So, go through your stuff. Keep what you love, sell what you don’t need anymore.

Next up – why not swap?


Utilize clothing swaps and exchange programs

Swapping clothes with friends is a smart move. You get new-to-you outfits without spending cash. This way, you make your wardrobe feel fresh and exciting again. Plus, it’s great for the planet since it means fewer clothes end up in landfills.

I once swapped a dress I never wore for a cool jacket my friend had outgrown. It felt like getting free shopping money!

Exchange programs at stores or online are also worth checking out. Some places let you trade old clothes for store credit or discounts on future buys. This can be a game-changer if you’re looking to save but still want something new once in a while.

Next, consider hitting those off-season sales


Saving money on clothes as a college student is totally doable. You’ve got options like thrift stores and resale apps, making it easy to find cool second-hand pieces without spending too much.

Don’t forget, fixing up what you already have or trading with friends can breathe new life into your wardrobe for free. And if you need something special, renting instead of buying saves cash and closet space.

So go ahead, keep your style fresh without breaking the bank!