Clothes might not be one of the obvious expenses of school like books or classes, but having comfortable, well-maintained clothes to wear can help students focus better on their classes. Finding enough clothes to keep a student clothed all year does not have to be extremely expensive when you follow these tips for getting the school wardrobe you need without going over your budget.
Rethink What You Already Have
The first thing you should do is stop and take an inventory of what you already have. You may be surprised to find that clothing you had forgotten about may actually work well for the school year. An old sweater might match a school uniform, or a too-large jacket tossed in the back of the closet might look stylishly oversized now. Knowing exactly what you have will let you shop for items that actually work with your wardrobe and avoid buying multiples of the same basic clothing type.
Make a List of What You Need
Just picking random items that catch your fancy can lead to the problem of having a full closet but nothing to wear. Instead, it is often better to plan out exactly what you want. Consider your climate and get pieces that can be layered or worn individually during different temperatures. Select a versatile color palette to stick to, so every item you own can be worn with at least a few other items. At the very least, aim for at least enough shirts to last a week, two to three bottoms, and a sweater and jacket.
Check Out Thrift Stores
Skip buying pricey new items and instead take a look at thrift stores. You may be surprised to find how much stylish clothing people get rid of each year. Shopping for thrifted items is an easy way to get high-quality or brand name clothes for a significantly lower price. It can be an especially good place to look for the more expensive items, like jackets and jeans, that can get quite pricey if you purchase them new. If you are not interested in digging through the racks at a local thrift store, look online. There are plenty of online thrifting markets where you can easily filter clothing by size, style, brand, and even color to look for exactly what you want.
Take Advantage of Sales and Coupons
One of the secrets to an affordable school wardrobe is never paying full price. The wise shopper will take the time to look at several stores and wait for items to go on sale. Retailers are constantly having sales and offering coupons, so waiting until you can get a discount on an item can result in big savings. You can often get particularly big savings if you read the fine print and find coupons that you can use alongside store wide sales.
Find Versatile Pieces
One of the most important parts of finding a wardrobe that lasts all school year is never getting a clothing item that only works with a single other piece in your wardrobe. Being able to mix and match all of your clothes lets you create several unique looks without having to purchase a bunch of different clothing items. For many people, the most versatile options are basics like dark wash jeans without holes, white button downs, or a black and white striped sweater. However, those who like more unique clothing may find pieces like a bright red jacket or a wildly patterned sweater can actually be a surprisingly useful item that adds a special touch to otherwise simple outfits.
Look for Online Discounts
Thanks to the internet, it is easier than ever to save money. You may discover that there are online coupons that provide even more impressive savings than the coupons clipped from magazines and newspapers. Be sure to check unconventional places for discounts. For example, some social media influencers may have special discount codes you can use to purchase items on a website.
Even saving a few bucks here and there can help you immensely. It is important to keep track of your savings in case of emergency expenditures, such as unexpected hospital bills from a family member’s sudden illness. If you do find yourself in an unexpected financial crisis without the funds on hand to cover it, you can consider installment loans from direct lenders to help you out. When getting a loan, you should always try and pay it off quickly so you can go back to your regular yearly school budget.
The Yucatan Times