According to the NationalAssociation of CollegeStores, college studentsspend an average of $69 amonth on fashion clothing,not including accessoriesand footwear. Whendoing back-to-schoolshopping, college studentsspend 61 percent of theirbudget on clothing(National RetailFederation).
Facing rising costs inschool tuition, food, andother things, DUstudents like LexiDienstbier and GraceMader have learned togo clothing shopping ona budget. Clothingprices alone have faceda 10 percent increase incost due to the risingprice of raw materials.
Quality over quantity: manycollege students look forsomething that will last them along time instead of looking foras many cheap pieces ofclothing as possible.“If I’m going to go big onsomething, it will be somethingnicely made that catches myeye,” said DU student RachaelScoggins. “I need to be able touse it more than once.”“In order to buy something, Ithink you either have to reallyneed it or it has to besomething you’ve seriouslythought about and really want,”agreed Mader.
Certain stores offerstudent discounts toindividuals with studentIDs. College studentsshopping on a budget canvisit stores such as J.Crew, BananaRepublic, and Target.comto take advantage ofstudent discount offers.Rewards programs canalso provide discounts andfree items to frequentshoppers.“I use rewards points andcoupons at stores Ilove, but I can’t alwaysafford,” said Scoggins.
College students thatshop on a budget suggestmaking a list beforehitting the stores.Knowing what to buy cutsdown on overspendingand maximizes a budget.It provides a balance towindow shoppingtemptations and impulsepurchases.“I look for the things onmy list when I go outshopping,” said Mader.“But I won’t buysomething unless it’sabsolutely perfect.”
According to CristinaDesposito, REDBOOK fashionmarket editor, it’s crucial toknow when clothes are markeddown for a season. Shoppingduring a sale period can make abudget go further andsignificantly lower the price ofquality pieces of clothing.“I usually find what I like instores, then I watch and wait forsales,” said Dienstbier. “Storeswill usually have a sale onceevery couple of months. I canget what I want for less.”
Dienstbier tries on apair of shoes shebought at DesignerShoe Warehouse.Stores like (DSW)provide designer labelsat marked down prices.DSW’s lucrative rewardprogram for frequentshoppers enablesshoppers to get thebest quality for theirmoney.
“It’s hard as a college student to findplaces to shop within my budgetwhich is why I make the majority ofmy clothing and luxury purchases onEbay,” said Mader. “In my opinion,buying things at the mall isn’t worthit.”
According to the statisticswebsite, Statista, US e-commerce salesamounted to $289billion, up from $256billion in 2011. Thelargest share of onlinerevenue was generatedby retail shoppingwebsites.A survey conducted bySheerID in 2012 revealedthat 77 percent of collegestudents had shoppedonline within 30 days oftaking the survey.
Dienstbier takes full advantage ofthe Internet, searching for the bestprices on items she wants.“If I know exactly what I want, Ican go on Google and compareprices,” said Dienstbier. “It’s agood way to find the best dealpossible.”
Websites such as Gilt, HauteLook,RueLaLa, and Ideeli offer brandname labels at significantly lowerprices. These websites haveclothing marked at 50 to 60 percentlower than their original sale price,and most of them offer options formen and women.“They have some really goodclothes for cheap,” said Diesntbier.“Name brands and stuff, if you’reinto that.”