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How are downtown devils staying trendy on a college budget?

By: Autumn Schieferstein

It is no secret that college can cause some financial stress for students. Tuition, room & board, books, and any personal expenses leave students with a small budget for their wardrobe. So, how are devils on ASU’s downtown campus staying up to date with the latest trends while sticking to their college budget? I asked 5 different residents of Taylor Place to find out!

Brooklyn Benson-Broadcast Journalism Major

Brooklyn said that she is managing the college budget by always checking the sales rack and waiting for stores to go on sale because “cheaper items can still look cute.” For example, she found this pair of zebra print shorts from Urban Outfitters for only $4.99 and now they are a closet staple for her.  She was also able to scout Forever 21 for this cropped hoodie that was a $15 dupe of a hoodie at LF. If you’re having trouble finding clothing items that are on sale,Benson recommends dressing up your look with a pair of sunglasses. The pink sunglasses (see above) from Nordstrom were only $20 and can make a look go from drab, to fab!

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Olivia Muns- Journalism major and writer for The Chic Daily

Olivia told me that coming from New Jersey to the desert of Phoenix has impacted her style. Muns has traded out her beloved jean jackets for shorts, skirts and more flowy items. Olivia mentioned that since coming to Arizona she now takes sales tax into consideration when buying clothes, considering her home of New Jersey does not have sales tax. She also said she is more cautious with her spending now that she is not working. One way Olivia is keeping up with trends is by making her own jewelry. She said her favorite way to dress up an outfit is through jewelry and has a collection of tassel and pom-pom earrings that look as if they should be sold in stores. She also makes her own scrunchies, which are very on trend right now .

 “I don’t want to pay top dollar for something I can easily make,” Muns said.

Olivia’s biggest piece of advice to other college students trying to look good on a college budget is to trust the sales.

“People choose to buy something more expensive because they think the quality will be better, but that’s not the case at all,” Muns said. Secondhand stores can often be better than top dollar brands. 

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Adrik Vargas- Journalism Major


Vargas’s go-to technique for shopping on a college budget is never shopping at full price and always checking the sales section. He also said that it helps to know the stores that fall within you’re budget too, like Zara and H&M. He also mentioned that dressing up inexpensively can be easy with a belt, watch or good pair of shoes. Specifically, he mentioned a gold cross necklace that he got from a street vendor in Mexico, showing that fashionable items aren’t limited to high end stores. Now that Vargas is in college he says he makes more of an effort with his outfit choices and recommends other college students to do the same.

“Step outside of your comfort zone and try new things because it’s going to take a while to develop your unique sense of style. If you look your best, you feel your best, and then you do your best,” Vargas said. 

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McKenna Leavens- Sports Broadcast Journalism Major

Leavens said that she is always making new things out of old to stick to her budget. She gathers inspiration from sites like Pinterest and told me most of her DIY projects don’t take long and are fun to do. She also uses thrift shopping as a tool to stay up to date on trends without breaking the bank. One item she took a pair of scissors to were a pair of mom jeans that were made in to shorts seamlessly. McKenna has also been able to find some in store bargains as well. These yellow statement piece shoes from Aldo were only $20 and take any look to the next level.

Ivana Hanson -Journalism & Public Relations Major

Hanson said that she frequently saves money by signing up for coupons and ALWAYS looks up promo codes before buying.

“I also shop online a majority of the time because there is better sales online sometimes,” Hanson said.

Hanson also told me that her favorite way to dress up an inexpensive outfit is by adding a piece of fancy jewelry or putting more time into her makeup.

‘I mostly try to pair my outfits with one nice item,” Hanson said.

Since coming to college Hanson said she finds herself investing in more mature items. Her biggest piece of advice for other students is to shop at Marshalls and to invest in one poppin’ item like an expensive purse, some jewelry or a belt to take outfits to the next level.

How to you stay trendy on a budget? Let us know on Instagram and Twitter!

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