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So the novelty of your first student loan – whether ever or for another amazing year – has begun to wear off. Those initial Topshop splurges, student shopping lock-ins and double discount moments are over. How do you shop and budget your wardrobe without compromising on style? Fashion contributor Natalie Miller shares her tips…

“I had many a fashion faux pas during my time as a Fresher.

A particular number, consisting of a linen short and stripy polo shirt combo springs to mind. Oh dear! Luckily (and somewhat) unluckily for me, that seems like a distant memory and in my years of growing up, I’ve been led to believe that I’ve managed to grasp some sort of personal style – hopefully!

One thing I’ve always been (proudly) able to grasp however is hunting for a bargain. Whether you’re a 1st, 2nd or 3rd year student, or even a graduate for that matter, bargain hunting is fast going to become a part of your life. Embrace it! Luckily I found a partner in crime who shared my affinity for cheap finds in my first week of Uni, but if you haven’t managed to be so lucky, I’m on hand to help.

And if you only listen to one piece if advice from this article, let it be this – do NOT team cream linen shorts with a green and white polo – no matter how cheap!”

Charity shop shopping

An oldie but a goodie (pun not intended)

Charity shops are the best place to bag a bargain and still look a million dollars. Be careful though: have in mind how you want to update the piece before you buy. Slip dresses, roll necks, loafers, and chunky knits are always lurking around in secondhand shops, and are probably worth half the price and double the quality of most High Street stores.  Just be sure to wash them first!

Organise your wardrobe

Take a day and dedicate it to your wardrobe. Invest in separators and hangers (never double hang) and organise your wardrobe. Be it by colour, style or just folding it up, being able to see your stocks will ensure you don’t have those, “I-don’t-have-anything-to-wear-so-I’m-going-on-a-shopping-spree-I can’t-afford” days – we’ve all been there!

Buy staples

Budget your clothes money wisely, rather than splurging a brand new £50 dress. Buy wardrobe staples that will keep your wardrobe fresh and updated. A basic white shirt, tailored trousers, a quality coat and structured sweaters are great starting points for AW staples.

Clothes swap

When I started Uni, I was almost immediately jealous of half of my housemates’ wardrobes, not surprising when you think of my disaster story. So I was over the moon when one girl suggested a clothes swapping night. Bring items you don’t want and swap then with ones you do… simple and a fun night in.

Top Tip: one mans junk is another mans treasure, but sometimes one mans junk is just junk!

Natalie Miller is our newest fashion contributor.

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