Posted Oct 29, 2010 in Cool Shit, Made in Canada | 0 Comments

Shopping TIPS for the CHEAP Students

Let’s face it, we students are on a budget. Every semester we buy expensive books that end up collecting dust. We pay for overpriced university courses that we barely attend (shhh!!! some of us do). The worst among us spend one quarter of our hard earn money on liquor. It’s hard to be chic and stingy at the same time…or is it?

Here’s a few lame but essential tips for shopping on a poor boy’s budget.

Student discounts

It’s not just restaurants giving away free discounts. Retailers know you’re the biggest spenders since you own three wallets (your own and your parents) and they know you have a credit card…or two. To alleviate your fashion needs, some stores, particularly in Montreal, provide student discounts.

Banana Republic has a 15% student discount on all items. That’s right cheapies, that’s sale and regular priced items. Not bad considering that the store isn’t really as laidback trendy as one might expect. But if you do have an important interview to nail, you would take the 15% too.

Club Monaco also has a 20% discount for students. Again, be sure to bring your student card…yes, the card you usually leave on your bedroom table. Each company has a different rules for student discount. Your best bet is to talk to a sales representative.

Signing up for an SPC card is also a very good investments. The card is good for students of all ages at selected stores.

Shop for Trends

One thing I like to do is to look at what’s hot for the season and try to find things to match. It’s the simplest and easiest way to shop. Here’s the catch, you don’t need to go to the big stores. At times, the small boutiques might do the trick.

If you must go to a retailer, Winners is a great place to shop…if you have the time of course. The Klondike of clothing has some very good tops, pants and skirts that you can find at a good price…if you have time to spend. Clearly searching through a tone of clothes can be a bore but the price is worth all the hunt.

The thing about sale items

This example explains my previous tip. SHOP FOR TRENDS! After working as a customer service rep for a retail company, I can assure you that unless you’re shopping for trends, the sales bin isn’t always your friend. That isn’t true for accessories but it is true for clothes.

For most of us who don’t know, sale items are just clothes that are out of season or simply clothing-non grata. If you are picking out a canary yellow top with the weather and season we are in, please reconsider.

Here’s the typical scenario of the sales-bin shopper. She or he attacks the whole sales wall at a store. She finds a light green top that she likes. Lucky her, it’s on sale and she happens to use her student discount. Here’s the thing, she’s also a penny pincher so she leaves the item in question in her closet thinking that next season, she’ll be wearing the top on the beach. Let’s not forget…she’s a student, and she hasn’t received her $6000 grant from her respective provincial government and she doesn’t know if she won’t use the $3000 to pay tuition. The problem is, by the time summer comes, she might have forgotten she bought the top or she might have gained weight by then…kidding!

Ok, so I’m exaggerating.

But the reality is that some of the clothes you might be wearing could have been returned (and probably warn with the tag on…yes I’ve seen this happen) especially if the company has a lax return policy. In other cases, it may be seriously out of style.

All this to say…just shop for trends.

But you can work the sales bin for random accessories

Weinrib bracelet from Aldo 15$

Weinrib bracelet from Aldo 15$

Accessories are your best friend! What better way to jazz up the same pants and top you’ve been wearing since undergrad than with simple accessories. Accessories make all the difference and many hardly go out of style…at least not as quickly.

The same pants you’ve warn for about four years can be resuscitated from its slumber with a belt or some proper shoes too. Again some shoes don’t always die that quickly either.

Sometimes you just need to add earrings, a ring, or a fresh coat of nail polish. Yes, finding exquisite colours for your nails also adds to your outfit but it won’t completely change the whole thing.

Keep accessorizing, it keeps the outfit fresh.

Quality over Quantity

Most importantly, the golden rule: if the quality is good, break the budget, it lasts longer.
While saving money is extremely important, a good pair of shoes, pants or top will last you much longer…with care.

But for the cheapies, the fake leather jacket will do.

I’ll be back next time with more street fashion.

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