It's no surprise that being a student has made me an obscene penny-pincher. Every penny is accounted for - from the £15 budget for a whole night out to making the decision between a scrumptious Costa brownie and an overpriced latte or a sensible boots meal deal for lunch. Being a student is no fun (hahaha I joke!) but through my frugality I've learnt many important style lessons.
1) Fast Fashion is not your friend!
Contrary to many other students, the biggest lesson student life has impressed upon me is that fast fashion is not your friend. In my first year, Primark and H&M was my haven, I would often pop in to pick up a pair of tights or return an item and come out with a bagful of goodies. As time went on and the numbers in my bank account went down, these pieces were left along the way. Many of my cheapie impulse buys didn't even make it past the six month mark let alone the year. Don't get me wrong, the huge Primark on Newcastle's Northumberland street is eye-wateringly tempting and the constant adverts for Boohoo and Missguided are enticing but fast fashion is exactly that fast.
I've realised that it's much better to save your pennies to splurge on really quality, timeless items. It's worth spending a little more on quality items instead of replacing cheaper versions because in the long run you're saving money. I don't know about you but I find greater joy in wearing an item that I'd had my eye on and saved up for rather than one I hastily picked up on a random Primark Jaunt.
As a student, I spend 50% of my walking to and from places. Walking is the cheapest method of transport, it keeps me active and it wakes me up on the way to 9am lectures. Heels and tight midi skirts are not made for walking - well not the way I walk. I was a self-confessed heels girl before I came to Uni - I'm talking four inches plus on the daily here - but the reality of having to walk to Uni everyday quickly set in and I was yearning for comfortable flats.
As much as I hate to admit it, practicality is very important when it comes to style choices as a student. When you're rushing out of the house to said 9 am lecture the last thing you want is to be restricted by clothes which are just wholly inappropriate.
4) Versatility is key
I've always been a bit haphazard when it comes to buying clothes. I tend to simply pick up what I like and try and figure out how to wear it when I get home, or let it sit for a while in the hope that next time I'll remember to buy something that goes with it. As a uni student, I've learned this is a pretty effective exercise in wasting time and money - neither of which I have!
It's important to think of versatility when making a clothing purchase. I always apply the three outfits rule - if I can't think of three ways to wear something, with existing pieces in my wardrobe then I have to put it back. I cannot tell you the amount of time I waste trying to incorporate my "showstopper" pieces because I didn't consider how versatile it was when I bought it.
3) Accessories are superheroes!
They can change any outfit! You can buy cheap accessories which make a bold statement and add detail to any outfit. I'm a big fan of statement jewellery especially statement necklaces. Plus accessories are a great conversation piece.
5) Always critically try things on.
This is more of a general lesson I've learnt in the past year. Trying things on and really assessing whether or not something suits you and fits well is pretty damn important. As a student, I'm always pressed for time so if I'm going shopping, I always make sure I have time to try things on because I know I won't have time to return it if it doesn't fit. Also when you're spending a little bit more on your clothes you want to make sure that the fit is 100% perfect.