Wear It So Well: Student Fashion Hacks

Make your own face masks out of porridge and PVA glue! Turn those jeans into really unflattering hotpants! Fed up of getting rubbish advice when it comes to saving money? Here at The Skinny we like to keep things a little more real

Feature by Jess Hardiman | 15 Sep 2016

DON’T listen to the fashionistas

They’re the ones who told you to run out and buy capes (!?), wear neon and scrape your hair into tiny little man-buns. They may seem srsly fash at the time, but these people are not your friends, and they really don’t have a freaking clue. Ab Fab’s a parody for a reason.

DO buy kids’ clothes

Quick tip for you here: children’s clothing isn’t taxed. What a way to screw the system! Stick it to the man! You’ll be best off going for the plainer pieces (‘Cheeky Little Monkey’-type slogans are nauseating even on children), like stripy tees from the little boys’ section in Primark that cost £2, and will look exactly the same as ‘grown-up’ ones under a dungaree dress or over some jeans. Kinda.

DO buy kids’ shoes

In the same vein, many children’s shoe retailers stock styles up to size 5 or 6 – handily, the size that many of us wear (mostly women’s footwear we’re talking about here, we’d imagine). And in a somewhat timely twist of fate, it also seems trainers with light-up soles are back in fashion! If you’re a total tit, that is.

DON’T underestimate how lazy you are

We don’t want to be the ones to kill your creative dreams, but let’s face it, not many of us are particularly adept with a sewing machine… and the rest of us can’t be arsed. Don’t buy pieces you have to re-work if you know it won’t happen, and if you do, keep it simple – new buttons on a cheap cardi can sometimes make all the difference, for example – and save the bigger ventures for Halloween.

DO use your student discount

Boy, you’ll miss it when it’s gone. Use it at ASOS, Topshop, Topman, Urban Outfitters et al., though if you’re in a smaller, independent shop, don’t be afraid to ask if that’s the lowest price they can do. If they look at you like the tight-fisted cheap bastard you truly are, you’ll lose only your pride – and frankly, you don’t need that for adult life anyway.

DO rely on classic staples

Fast fashion straight-up sucks if you’re on a budget. Sometimes it’s not so bad to be basic – think like the French and stick to Breton tops and skinny jeans, which will work for decades to come. Standing out from the crowd is overrated and, er, bloody costly.

DO buy pre-loved

Second-hand clothes that someone may or may not have died in? You’ll get waaay over that once you’re broke. If you’re going to go vintage, try Blue Rinse in Leeds and Manchester or Pop Boutique in Liverpool, or if you’re heading down the charity shop route, remember to be picky; charity shops in well-to-do areas will have the good shit you’re after. Just remember to wash it first, yeah?

DO repeat outfits

You’ll soon realise everyone’s too busy looking at themselves to realise you wore the same thing yesterday. In short: play on people’s vanity. It’s one of the few things you can always rely on. Deep.

DON’T go to the sales

Sounds counter-intuitive, no? But you’ll end up buying some really weird stuff that’s in the sale for a reason. Sometimes sale-shopping is better online, as you can leave bits in your virtual basket for long enough to realise how gross they are. And if they still make the cut after an hour or two? Go wild.