I quite enjoyed writing my Fashion Tips for the College Guy articles, so I have decided to take it one step further. I will now transition from telling you what to wear, fellow college guys, to where to buy these items. Working with a college student’s budget can be tough when trying to look stylish, but it can be done. This is a list of locations, style tips, and knowledge needed to help you carry out your quest to look good in college.
Don’t skimp on the basics. It is better to spend a little more on something that you know you’ll be wearing often – like a sweater or jacket. Major items like cardigans and jeans make or break a wardrobe, so it is imperative that you concentrate a larger amount of money in this section.
Spend less on second-tier items. Never pay more than $25-30 for a guy’s T-shirt. Even the trendiest v-neck is not worth it. Many stores often have T-shirt sales at the beginning of fall, so stock up for the whole year. For example, I recently paid $7 for a brand new, super-soft cotton, J. Crew v-neck, as opposed to it being $35 at regular price. You can also get by with cheaper socks. Check out dollar stores for deals on cotton footwear.
Shoes. I cannot emphasize enough how important the right shoe can be. No, you do not have to obsess as much about shoes as your female counterparts, but it does note attention. Seriously, ditch the old tennis shoes. Many upscale shoe stores, such as Steve Madden, have regular sales on nice, leather loafers or boat shoes. For example, I upgraded from tennis shoes at the amazing price of $39 for a pair of new loafers. They were regularly priced at $120.
Outlet Malls. Even if you’re like me and the nearest outlet mall is an hour away, it is worth the drive. My local outlet mall in Gulfport, MS, provides a factory J. Crew, Polo, Sperry, Banana Republic, and Gap. Many times they have the overstock from the normal stores, so it is the same items for for less. On my receipt from my J. Crew purchase as compared to the normal store prices, I saved $360. And that’s only on seven items! (Lori S. wrote an article about outlet malls with some great advice you might want to check out).
Ask, ask, ask for student discounts. I cannot even tell you how many friends I have informed about the J. Crew 15% student discount. That’s right, no matter if an item is on sale, or regular price, students always get 15% off. Ask everywhere you shop, and it will pay off.
Sign up online for the store mailing lists. Stores send out coupons to customers online, and they often have insider deals. For however annoying an email a day may be, it can save you college guys a lot of money in the long run.
Good luck, stay thrifty, and happy shopping, guys!