9 Ways To Update Your Wardrobe For School Without Spending A Lot Of Money

It would be nice if, at the beginning of each and every school year, we could go and clear out the mall. Imagine buying an entirely new wardrobe and snatching up everything that catches your eye. Fall fashion is the best fashion, and we all want to update our wardrobe a little bit for the new year – making a good first impression and all that. Unfortunately, that situation is going to remain a daydream for many of us. The chances of that ever happening are about as likely as teachers deciding to do away with homework. Sniff.

Getting our school supplies and books are a priority. Ditto for dorm room necessities. After that, you’re lucky if you have enough cash leftover for a couple of tops, a pair of jeans, and some accessories. (Every year of college, I would look at my old receipts and wonder why books seemed to be as expensive as gold.) Putting together a whole new look may seem impossible with those thoughts in the back of your mind, but it definitely isn’y. You just need to get a little creative! You may not have an unlimited wardrobe budget to play with, but you can update your closet with some clever hacks that won’t have you seeing red when you get your credit card statement. Check out nine easy ways you can refresh your wardrobe for school:

Add Some Fun With Accessories

An accessory can make an old outfit you wear all the time seem like new. Add a belt, some jewelry, a different pair of shoes, a cute bag, some patches or pins, or maybe a hat, and you've got a chic new look. The best part is that your accessories don't have to cost a lot. There are lots of bargains to be found. Check out thrift shops or budget-friendly clothing stores like H&M or Forever 21.

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Add Layers

We are creatures of routine. Even if you try to switch up your look, you probably end up wearing one particular shirt with the same pants every time. Am I right? But just by adding some layers, you can make the same ole' top and jeans look new. Add a cute cardigan or sweater if it's chilly. Throw on a scarf, which can change up the whole outfit. Add a button up shirt or a pair of tights or a turtleneck. The options are pretty much endless. Try to find a fresh match for everything you have in your closet. You'll end up with countless new outfit combos with zero dollars spent. Score.

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If you're already getting crafty with your school supplies, why stop there? Carry the DIY theme right into your wardrobe. If you can sew, you're ahead of the game, but it's not a requirement. There are lots of easy things you can do to tweak your wardrobe that don't even involve a thread or needle. You'll be amazed what a bit of glue, some sparkles, a razor, and some studs can do.

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Head To The Sale Rack

Everyone is obsessed with fall this and fall that, but there are some great summer bargains just waiting to be snatched up. If you shop smart, you can actually find a lot of things that you can wear well into the fall, and even year round. And unlike that new fall merch, you can pick them up for 60 percent off. Even a tank top or shorts work when you add layers!

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Get Inspiration Online

Style bloggers might be annoying sometimes, but the best thing about them is that they give other people inspiration to try new things. You probably own a lot of clothes that can be worn differently and look new with just a few tweaks - you just haven't thought of them yet. Pick an item in your closet that you like - like a chambray shirt - then look it up on Pinterest and Instagram to see how other people wear it. You'll find new outfit ideas that can be made with items you already own or similar pieces.

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Do A Clothing Swap With Friends

It's more than likely that your friends are also in need of an updated wardrobe. Get together a group of close friends and do a clothing swap. Everyone can bring the items they no longer want, and then you guys can trade or sell. It's a fun way to get rid of things you no longer wear and get new stuff - and you get to hang with your friends. It's an all-around win!

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Update Your Shoes

If you have a small budget and you want to buy just a few new things, try getting new shoes. It sounds weird, but different shoes can totally change an outfit and you'll probably get more wear out of them than you would a t-shirt, which means that you're getting more for your money. Pick a pair that are versatile and comfortable - get basic ankle boots instead of a pair of bright red trendy shoes, because the boots can be worn with more.

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Head To The Thrift Store

Thrift shops require some digging and patience, but the results are oh-so worth it. You can find like-new (or sometimes brand new) things there that cost a fraction of what they would in regular stores. Don't limit yourself to strictly clothes. There are just as many accessories, shoes, and jewelry options. It's a great cheap way to find new clothes, and if you can use those DIY tricks on them, that helps even more.

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Change Up Your Beauty Routine

Style isn't just about your clothes - your beauty routine matters too. Instead of buying new clothes, try doing your makeup differently or getting a haircut or just trying a new hairstyle.

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How do you normally update your wardrobe for school? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Heather Cichowski, on Twitter.


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