5 Ways to Change up Your Wardrobe on a Budget

I get it. We’re college students; we’re on a budget. But that doesn’t mean we don’t like to stay on top of the latest trends and change up our wardrobe every now and then. And while some people love to blow their paychecks on a little retail therapy, I thought I would show you some ways to change up your wardrobe on a college budget.

PHOTO: Julia Michael

1—Go thrifting

I didn’t realize how cool thrifting was until recently. You can pick up some nice finds at thrift stores. But I’ll admit, as with any store, thrift stores (i.e. Goodwill) have their good days as well as their bad days. You just have to be willing to spend some time searching for the fun pieces that can help you change up your wardrobe.


2—Look for staple/basic pieces year-round

These staple pieces include T-shirts, denim jackets, and hats. It’s really any piece that you can effectively style all year long that will add so much simplicity—and trendiness—to your wardrobe.

PHOTO: Stella Fanega


Accessories can literally change any outfit. Be quick to respond to new and revived trends like hoop earrings, rings, bar necklaces, and charm bracelets. You’d be surprised what good deals you can find when you’re really looking. Budget tip: check stores like Forever 21, Francesca’s, and American Eagle Outfitters for inexpensive jewelry and accessories!

4—Shop at discount stores

This is a helpful tip for clothes and shoes! You can find brands like Steve Madden, Toms, Nike, and a whole lot more for discounted prices at stores like T.J.Maxx and Ross.

PHOTO: Maddy Haller

5—Re-do your wardrobe

DIY your wardrobe! This is a great solution for anyone on a budget. Go through your wardrobe and take an inventory of what you wear. Redesign the clothes that you don’t really wear anymore, and turn them into things you actually want to wear! For example, you can take a plain black pair of jeans and cut rips into the knees of them. If you want to take it a step further, chop the hem of your jeans and pull out the threads, instantly turning the jeans into a new pair!

Are there any other wardrobe budgeting tips you use? Let us know in the comments!

5 Thrifting Tips for Every Student on a Budget

Thrifting is the perfect way to shop for students who are on a budget. If you love the idea of thrifting but aren’t sure how to do it successfully, you are not alone. Learn how you can get the most out of your thrifting trips and money with some of these helpful tips. I always keep these things in mind when I am shopping.

1—Go thrifting with an open mind

After years of thrifting, I have found that entering the store without expectations will yield the best results. Have fun and embrace the eclectic collection of clothes, shoes, and accessories waiting to be found. Thrift stores tend to have merchandise that changes quite often, so you never know what you might find on any given day.

2—Deals are everywhere

Beyond offering already deeply discounted merchandise, many thrift shops will have a special deal for each day of the week. Keep an eye out for these! Try to go on student discount days or attend early bird specials to save even more. Others may have colored tags that correlate to markdowns and rotate by day.

3—Thrifty is trendy

Thrift stores house many hidden gems. A second-hand, silk, lingerie top could actually become a staple in your wardrobe. Some current trends that I have found at my local thrift stores include embroidered tops, velvet tanks, mom jeans, and more! At this point, I would say the majority of my closet is thrifted. So, it is definitely possible to accumulate classic pieces over time!

PHOTO: Lex Kelly

4—Embrace all sizes and labels

Clothing sizes are not universal, so the thrift store is no different. But, this is actually positive news! A top that you would typically not consider because it may be too big, could turn out to be an adorable oversize shirt with endless styling possibilities. It is also helpful if you don’t focus on labels when thrifting. Sometimes you can find high-end clothes. Other trips, you may not spot any, but don’t let that keep you from exploring new (and old) brands that you may not have heard of before.


Shopping second-hand is great for the environment. Since the retail industry has been largely wasteful with the rise of fast fashion, thrifting is a great way to make a positive impact on the fashion industry and environment. You can take it a step further and try donating your own used clothes. Each time I go thrifting, I try to donate the same number of items that I purchased. It is a nice rule to make for yourself that will keep your closet decluttered and make a difference in the world. Imagining others up-cycling your own pieces is so exciting and inspiring, too!

Hopefully, you are able to take these tips to your nearest thrift store and discover unique new pieces for your wardrobe. Tag @Cfashionista on social media so we can see your thrifted purchases! Don’t forget to comment below your favorite part of thrifting as well!

Additional photos by Lex Kelly and Maddy Haller.

5 Apps Every Freshman Should Download Now

If you think about it, our smartphones are like clothing; we don’t leave the house without wearing clothes just like we don’t leave without our phones. Grabbing your phone is a natural instinct, like taking off your heels the moment you get home. Checking a notification on your phone is like that annoying zipper on your favorite pair of jeans that just won’t stay zipped, so you’re consistently checking it throughout the day.

Now, think of the App Store as shopping and trying clothes on at the mall. If you see an app that looks like it will be useful, you download it like you would impulse buy a floral, cold-shoulder top at Forever 21.

Then, you explore the app, use it for a couple days, but after that, you probably forget about it, as it stays there for months wasting memory on your phone. This unused app is the same as that top you bought that you wore twice and now it sits in your closet taking up space.

Just like clothing, there are some apps that you use all the time and some that you never even click on. From studying to cooking, here are five functional apps for a college student I guarantee you will use at least once a week!

PHOTO: Lex Kelly

1—Amazon Kindle 

Regardless of where you buy or rent your textbooks from, it is going to be expensive! In my experience, depending on the textbook, I have found that downloading the E-book with the Amazon Kindle app is often cheaper than purchasing the actual textbook. You can download a free sample or the entire book to your computer, smartphone, or tablet.


If you’re like me, writing things down in my agenda is helpful, but I still need more reminders. Egenda is an electronic agenda in which you to enter in all of your assignments for the semester. It also sends you notifications on due dates and reminds you to study for upcoming exams.

PHOTO: Daisa Harris


This budgeting app allows you to track your expenses and see where you spend your money the most. It separates your expenses into categories such as eating out, gas, groceries, etc. Then, it helps you create a budget for yourself. If you forget to enter your purchases, CoinKeeper sends you a daily notification reminding you to keep track of your money and stick to your budget!

4—Thrive Market 

As a college student, eating healthy or organic can be challenging, especially if you’re on your school’s meal plan. Plus, grocery shopping can be an all day affair if you lack your own transportation. With Thrive Market, you can get a vast variety of organic and gluten-free food for half the price that the grocery store sells them—all delivered to your door! A membership is $65 a year; however, there is a free 30-day trial!

PHOTO: Cassidy Clark


Buzzfeed’s Tasty app has video tutorial recipes from breakfast to dessert. The tutorials are simple and easy to follow, especially for someone who is at the beginner stage when it comes to cooking.

Find any of these apps interesting? Have any other apps you love to use while at school? Let me know in the comments below!

How to Save Up for Your Dream Trip

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always had an interest in traveling. Fast forward a few years, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Florida, Chicago, Amsterdam, London, and Paris. With college breaking your bank, it can be hard to even consider traveling anywhere. However, your dream trips should be more than just a dream… you should make them a reality. Once you adjust your spending habits a bit, you’d be surprised to see how easy it actually is to save up your money.

1—Create a realistic budget and stick with it. A part of growing up is learning to prioritize and cut certain things out of your life. If you’re a foodie, there’s no need to completely stop eating out. It is, however, a good idea to reduce how many times you order takeout to save extra cash almost instantly. Grab your planner and start calculating how much airfare, lodging, and meals would cost and plan your budget accordingly.

2—Make money from home. They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Whether if you’re living on or off campus, cleaning out your closet is a must before any semester. As the seasons change, it’s likely that your style has changed, too. Instead of just throwing away that jean jacket you haven’t worn in over a year, why not sell it online? Apps like Depop and Mercari are perfect for getting rid of all your things from technology to clothes and accessories.

3—Shop smart. As I mentioned earlier, you don’t have to give up everything you love doing just to be able to travel. If you’ve been eyeing a pair of shoes that are a little more than you’d like to spend on them, wait until they go on sale or try to see if the store offers student discounts. Fashion repeats itself, so why not check out your local thrift store? You’re bound to find a bunch of trendy and unique items there for a fraction of the price. Now that’s what I call balling on a budget.

How do you plan on saving up for your next trip? Let us know in the comments below!

5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Thrifting

If you are like me, fellow Fashionistas, you are someone who is always keeping an eye out for the latest trends. One major fad that you may have noticed, especially on Instagram, is the resurgence of the ’90s vibe and vintage clothes. This trend is high-waisted bottoms, vibrant colors, graphic T-shirts, brand names, and more. Because this style is from a slightly older era, I figured that thrifting would be a fun way to find trendy clothes for less!

I shopped at three different thrift stores during a period of seven days. I only ended up finding good stuff on five out of the seven days and at only two of the three stores that I went to (Plato’s Closet and Goodwill), but what I did find ended up being pretty rad. Here are some of my tips for first-time thrifters!

1—Take your time. Look through everything in the sections since things often aren’t always placed back in the right section. I wanted to find something to add to an all-black outfit for an upcoming concert. After about 45 minutes, I found an oversize red, black, and white flannel, completing my outfit!

2—Look everywhere. Clothes do not fit everyone the same so you can definitely make things work for you no matter what area they’re from! Also, clothes in thrift stores are often not in their correct sections. I ended up finding two of my favorite pieces of the week in the pants section! A red skort and a black and white flannel.

3—Try everything. Okay, not everything, but definitely try the things that catch your eye. You would be surprised how different types of styles and clothes fit you!

I looked in the Men’s section and found a ’90s flame graphic bowling shirt! I probably would not have picked this up on a usual shopping trip but it ended up being one of my favorite thrifted items!

4—Come back soon. Don’t be afraid to come back to the store the next day or a couple of days after because people do drop off new clothes every day. On my final day (after going 3 days in a row) I found an amazing item: the Adidas tear-away tracksuit bottoms that a lot of celebs have been rocking.

5—Wash your stuff. Clothes may be washed when they’re put on the racks but people do come and try things on and those items are just placed back on the racks. So wash your clothes as soon as you get home just to be safe!

How do you feel about thrifting? Can you see yourself incorporating thrifted threads into your style? Let me know in the comments below!

Tips to Slay an Affordable Beach Trip

During the heat-swept days of summer, there is one thing on all of our land-locked minds: a beach trip! Everybody loves a getaway to the beach. There is almost nothing better than tanning with your girls, drinking photo-worthy pina coladas, and splashing around in that brand new bikini. All of this sounds great, but then we remember the price tag attached to making it a perfect, trendy escape that you can plaster all over social media as the weekend of your summer. The price tag doesn’t need to be as big of a worry as you think. I am here to provide with my holy grail of money-saving tips on how to slay your beach trip on a budget.

1—The swimsuit craze. The first thing on all of our minds is what swimsuit we want to be seen in, photographed in, and posted in. Bathing suits can cost a fortune, but they don’t have to. This chic bikini I’m sporting was a total steal from Target. I have seen look-a-likes tagged for hundreds of dollars, and the difference is barely noticeable! I love this bathing suit, and didn’t have to break a sweat buying it. You can easily score an affordable bathing suit from any prime retailer if you just keep an eye out and shop smart.

2—How to really cover up. Another worry of beach goers is what to wear as a cover-up. My number one tip for cover-ups is not to spend a lot of money on something you are only wearing to walk to and from the beach. You will be taking it off upon arriving and leaving. Remember that. Truly, my favorite things to wear as cover-ups are band T-Shirts or fun tanks, like the one I’m wearing. Affordable and easy to find, and you don’t have to worry about getting them sandy or wet. No brainer, right?

3—Beachy street style. Going to the beach to tan and swim in the ocean isn’t the only thing we do on beach trips, though. We also hit the town, and we need trendy, chic outfits to do it in style. One of my favorite new trends are off-the-shoulder tops. I got this cute red one for the Fourth of July, but it’s a piece I’ll be wearing and re-wearing for a while. Also, let’s talk about how underrated white shorts are. I believe white shorts are especially relevant, and can be totally affordable. My go-to bag is a crossbody small enough for just my phone, wallet, and lipstick. The necessities are all here, ladies, and for a good price.

That’s a wrap. As you can see, it is totally easy to slay a beach trip on a budget. Just look at how I did! Finally, these tips are now yours for the taking. I can’t wait to see how you take advantage of them.

Remember to make sure you tag @CFashionista in all of your beach looks so we can see you slay. Be sure to comment your favorite beach trends below!

The Makeup Collection That Stole My Heart This Summer

Out of all the fun things I’ve had the opportunity of doing so far this summer, attending a beauty event at The CF Clubhouse has certainly been one of my favorites. We had the pleasure of having a live makeup lesson by none other than Sephora Collection’s national makeup artist, Helen Phillips. Additionally, we were lucky enough to each receive a super cute gift bag filled with, you guessed it, Sephora Collection products!

Although I’ll admit I’m no Jaclyn Hill, I occasionally enjoy glamming up and treating myself to some makeup. And even when I have products from different beauty brands, after this event Sephora Collection is certainly the big winner, and here are a few reasons why.

1—The perfect moisturizer. When it comes to moisturizing, I have to be very selective on what products to use because I have very sensitive skin. Sephora Collection made my search a lot easier with their Instant Moisture+ Cream. It not only helps hydrate my skin but contrary to other moisturizers I’ve tried before, I don’t have to deal with that heavy feeling on me. I definitely recommend it.

2—Lip colors. If there is something I enjoy is trying new colors for my lips. So far I’ve either been a lipstick or a lip gloss kind of girl. However, Sephora Collection’s Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick has become my new favorite. Not only do they come in an array of beautiful colors, but they also last for hours, which are the two things I look for when it comes to coloring my lips. My ultimate favorite? Vintage Rosewood.

3—Lip liner. A new one for me; lip liner is something I’ve never really used before. Like I mentioned before, I usually keep it simple with lipstick or some lip gloss and off I go. But after our makeup master class with Helen, I decided to give it a try. This Rogue Gel Lip Liner certainly didn’t disappoint.

4—Mascara. Another confession I’ll make is that I used to think all mascaras were the same. I mean really, how can brushes with black liquid make your eyelashes look that different if they’re all the same shade, length, and have the same function? I’ll admit I was so wrong! There’s just something about Sephora Collection’s LashCraft. Between the lack of clumps and heaviness on my eyelashes, and it’s practical and cool design, this is another must in my makeup bag.

5—The finishing spray. Here’s another first timer for me. At this point, you’re probably wondering if I’ve been living under a rock. How has a respectable millennial Fashionista never put on a setting spray? Guess I just have a lot of faith on my makeup and do the occasional retouch through the day. Well, that is no longer a need thanks to Sephora Collection’s Beauty Amplifier. Not only does it keep my face fresh and my makeup in place for hours, I also love that it debunks the myth that all setting sprays leave a sticky-greasy feel. Certainly not the case with this beauty.

So how about you? Any makeup finds that have become summer favorites for you? Let us know in the comments below!

Download These Apps Now and Thank Me Later

Our financial decisions are a major part of our lives. Having poor finances equals higher stress levels. Not only do we deal with stress, but the world moves at a fast pace. It can be difficult to keep up with so much information. With this in mind, I realized I couldn’t handle everything on my own. So I decided to explore the App Store for some assistance. From my research, I’ve compiled three apps that will make life’s stresses easier to manage.

1—Qapital. Start taking control of your financial decisions. Qapital’s mantra is “save small, live large”. The app’s purpose is to help automate your savings with the use of rules. By linking a credit or debit card, you can apply these rules to start saving cash. My favorite rule is, “Guilty Pleasures.” If I shop at a store I know I shouldn’t, it will take a specific amount out and move it to my savings account. Rules can vary from rounding up the change to taking a percent from every check. Before you know it, you’ve probably already saved up enough towards your desired goal. This Fashionista is one step in the right direction towards making financial decisions; one cent at a time.

2—Flipboard. Stay connected with world events! I don’t read paper magazines due to my phone becoming my personal news anchor. In addition to Qapital, Flipboard immediately became my go-to news app. The design is incredibly unique and most of all, it’s simple to use. First, you create an account and begin selecting topics of interest that help you stay connected. These choices drive the types of articles that appear on your feed. Consequently, Flipboard becomes your own personalized magazine! Want to read more on the articles? Simply click that link and it will redirect you to the full page.

3—Headspace. Make some time for zen in your life. Sometimes we work ourselves so hard that we forget to take time out for a little TLC. While we can’t always take a trip to the spa to relax, Headspace is here to provide the needed mental clarity. I recommend wearing headphones for this to get the full experience. Headspace guides you through meditations designed to calm you down in 10 minutes, after a long day of work and dealing with life’s stresses. You can start off with basic meditation or make customized packs by subscribing. Another relevant feature is the option to receive inspirational and motivational quotes throughout the day. 

I’ve selected these free apps in hopes that they give you some mental clarity as they did for me. Comment below how these apps have helped you get your life back on track!  

Sustainable Fashion for the Shopaholic

Despite a love for fashion as an art, fashion as an industry causes me great sadness. Between the human and animal rights violations that occur in factories all over the world, to the extreme toll it takes on the environment, to the sacrifice of quality for profit, our industry is extremely flawed. The more that I learn about the fast fashion industry, the more I want to start shopping smarter and break the cycle. Here are some tips to make smarter choices the next time you find yourself wandering the mall!

1—Spend more, buy less. As someone on a college student’s budget, fast fashion is tempting; it allows you to get more for less and to keep up with rapidly changing  trends, and still leaves you with money to fulfill your basic needs, like food and rent! Quality clothing is usually more expensive because it is designed and produced with care; when you buy quality, you’re making an investment. Instead of buying heaps of cheap, poorly  made clothes, save your hard earned paycheck for affordable quality. Spend your money on a few key pieces that you know you will get years of wear out of. Buy classic pieces, and keep your outfit updated with jewelry and accessories.

2—Fashion versus style. A good distinction I like to make is between fashion and style. Fashion is the external, while style is internal. Fashion is the clothes that the industry puts into stores; it is a perfect, unattainable standard we compare ourselves to. Style is about having a sense of self and expressing who you are as a person. Fashion is what is constantly changing. Understanding the difference between fashion and style, and learning about your particular type of style can help you choose what trends to follow, and filter what items are truly worth your money.

3—Get thrifty. Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in our society. Most of our clothing ends up in a landfill, even if we donate it. A great way to shop that doesn’t feed into the dangerous cycle of the fashion industry is to check out thrift stores. Thrift stores the perfect places to find unique and individual pieces, and are great if you’re on the hunt for incredible deals. Renting or swapping clothes are also great ways to get new clothes for next to nothing.

4—Stop and stare. Before you buy, ask yourself a couple of questions: Would I wear this in three or four more years from now? Or, would I have worn it three or four years ago? How many items can this piece be paired with? Do I like the actual product or just the packaging? Would I buy this if I found it somewhere else, or am I just attracted to the way it is packaged and merchandised? Do I really need it?

How do you incorporate sustainability into your everyday life? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Shop for Quality Clothes on a Budget

Let’s be real, clothes are expensive, at least the good quality ones are. For us college students on a budget, it may seem like cheap fast fashion clothing is our only option. Even jewelry and cosmetics are pricey too. I’m happy to share with you that there are many ways to save money and still buy high-quality clothing. Here are some of my best tips and tricks for saving money and shopping on a budget.

1—Keep an eye out for sales. While this tip may seem like an obvious one, you can save so much at your favorite name brand by simply paying attention to when they offer sales. For example, my gray pants from Anthropologie (pictured above) were originally $150. When they went on sale, I waited for their usual “take 40 percent sale items” summer sale to happen, and I got them for $19. Keep an eye out for other sales too, like the annual Nordstrom Anniversary sale and the Ulta Beauty 21 Days of Beauty sale.

2—Find dupes of name brand clothing. Dupes aren’t just for makeup! On a budget, local boutiques and low-key shops are your best friend. They often carry clothes that are on-trend and look similar to all those expensive name brand clothing. My white lace top and sage green top (both pictured above) may look like they’re from Free People or Nordstrom, but they are actually from an independent boutique. One was $20, and the other was $35.

3—Utilize discounts. As college students, we are blessed with student discounts. Don’t forget about those when you’re shopping. Also, downloading store apps and signing up for their email lists is a great way to get an immediate coupon code. They will also send you emails about sales in the future. If you have an account with a company already, sign in and add items to your cart, but leave them in there for a day or two. Many companies will respond with an email reminding you of the items in your cart and offer a coupon code.

4—Buy recycled or discounted clothing. Places like T.J.Maxx and Stein Mart offer great discounts on name brand and designer clothing. Ragstock is great for name brand dupes or recycled clothing at a great price. There’s also nothing better than great finds at a thrift shop. I have found brands like Levi’s, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein for super cheap.

5—DIY. Love that $60 tie dye dress? Buy a cheap white dress and make it yourself! You can also thrift shop for jeans and distress them or add patches yourself. Look on Pinterest for many easy DIY tutorials. I made the long black necklace that I am wearing below. I got the inspiration from a $25 necklace and remade it out of string and beads for from Michaels for $5. You can also DIY beauty products like sea salt sprays, scrubs, and masks.

What are your best tricks and tips for saving money and shopping on a budget? Let me know in the comments below!