Your dorm room may be a mess, but your look doesn’t have to be. There is plenty of high-quality clothing out there that will keep you looking fresh without turning your bank account rotten—you just have to look in the right places. Here are some of our favorite options that will serve you equally well on hot and cold days.
Women’s denim trucker jacket – $32.49
A necessary staple in anyone’s closet, this denim jacket from Target will keep you cool, even if September isn’t.
Queen A Day At the Races t-shirt – $19.92
Fall in love with your favorite bands all over again while repping them on a t-shirt. Check out this Queen top from Hot Topic— tuck it, tie it or crop it for a fresh look. Yes, this is from Hot Topic. No, we never grew out of our emo phase.
Knit stand-up collar sweater – $24.99
Don’t sacrifice the look just because it’s still hot out. Pair this sweater with denim shorts or a miniskirt so you can pretend it’s sweater weather without the sweat.
Ponte flare pants – $20
You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only… $20 for these bell bottoms from ASOS. Here’s your chance to fit the fall aesthetic and stay on a budget. Finish the look with a crop top and platform shoes and you’ll be dancing across campus in no time.
Plaid button down mini skirt – $17.47
Plaid has always been associated with fall and school. Keep the trend fresh by adding a graphic tee, a long sleeve top, a pair of Dr. Martens or thigh high boots. Oh, and did we mention this one is currently on sale at American Eagle? Your closet and your bank account will thank you.
Stretch mom jean – $37.46
Two words: mom jeans. Light wash, dark wash, distressed or not, you can never go wrong with the vintage look. Instead of stealing your mom’s, head back to American Eagle for various looks, sales and a recycling opportunity. Trade in an old pair of jeans for $10 off your new ones. Struggling with what to wear with your new pair of mom jeans? Cardigans, crop tops, turtlenecks, sweaters, graphic tees, bell sleeves, tank tops—the list may be endless, even if your bank account isn’t.
Short jersey dress- $12.90
This basic strappy dress can spice up your fall look, paired with a long sleeve underneath and platform boots. Basic never looked so chic.
1460 Smooth Dr. Martens – $140
So, these may not be too broke-college-student friendly. But Dr. Martens are a classic style that can make any outfit just a bit edgier. $140 seems like a lot at first glance, but as long as you take care of them, these Dr. Martens will outlive you.
Washed Jersey Work Jacket – $39.90
Only paying $40 for a jacket this cool should be criminal. Uniqlo, a Japanese seller of high-quality, yet inexpensive clothing, almost never misses the mark. This jacket is the perfect example of why every college student should pay more attention to this quickly-growing retailer.
Uniqlo U T-Shirt – $14.90
Plenty of guys don’t even realize that having a well-designed t-shirt that fits perfectly and keeps the body cool or warm (depending on the weather) can be life-changing. Yes, Uniqlo was just mentioned above. But there’s not a better option around for this price point—especially considering this extremely comfortable, stylish tee is often discounted to $8. Put those t-shirts you bought at the mall in storage and go cop one of these. You’ll probably want to order six more as soon as you put it on.
(Check your local area. Valley Thrift in Evendale is 25 minutes from campus.)
Go into any thrift store and you’ll find a super comfortable, solid-color sweater for about $3. It doesn’t even matter if it’s two sizes too big—oversized clothing is in right now, anyway. Rolling out of bed and going to class in a sweater and track pants is blissful, and is totally something every college student should experience at least once. Plus, every time you buy second-hand clothing, you’re reducing waste and pollution in the environment. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Levi’s 511 – $69
Why mess with a classic? The Levi’s brand name is synonymous with American culture at this point, for good reason. One pair of Levi’s could last you a lifetime, and they’re available much cheaper at every department store in the area. Just make sure to stay away from bootcut or straight-fit jeans unless you’re trying to look like a 40-year-old father.
Slim-fit chino – $52
J. Crew has been turning out decent quality garments at affordable prices for years now, and they’re almost always having a sale due to how badly mall stores are struggling nowadays. If they’re not having a sale, check back literally the next day—odds are high there will be some discounts. Last week, the site had chinos in various colors for prices ranging from $9-30. If you paid full price for something at J. Crew, you paid too much.
Adidas Gazelle – $56
Some people say you’re not supposed to wear white after Labor Day, or that white shoes stay in the closet after summer. Those people are very wrong. White sneakers go with any outfit, in any season, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a cheaper, better looking option than this modern classic of a trainer from Adidas.
Carhartt watch beanie – $14.90
The Carhartt watch beanie is an American icon, plain and simple. In the wintertime, it’s impossible not to see at least three of these protecting wearers’ ears on any given day. The thick, rough fabric is surprisingly comfortable on your head, and it’s available in over 40 colors from black to traffic-cone orange. The best part? They can be had for just under $15 on Amazon.