How To Shop

How to Shop like a University Student…

I love shopping. Wait let me rephrase that… I live for shopping; literally! Well perhaps not literally, but you catch my drift. And as a University student my bracket of available funds to spend on retail therapy (or any therapy for that matter) is rather limited. However, like most women in this world (and some fabulous men), I have a need to express myself through fashion, to explore my style; my features and most importantly appear trendy and fashion forward to the people around me. But how could I possibly do this with the few dollars I have left in my wallet after a full week of wasting money on coffee, parking, lunch, public transport fare, that totally green totally healthy-clean eating smoothie I bought last week, magazines that I do not need to own and other pointless miscellaneous items…? Well the answer is simple. I, my dear friends, am a bargain hunter…

Being a bargain hunter is not simply about walking into a shop and sifting through sale items trying to find a gem amongst last season’s mess. Being a bargain hunter is about having a very keen eye for style. What I like to do is pretend I have $1000 in my wallet. With this fake money I will walk around the entire shopping centre ticking off things I would buy if I had the funds. I will then note these items down, crossing off things that are really not a necessity (like a second pair of black wet-leather zara jeans… one pair is really enough… well for this month anyway). Then I will go home and I will think about the items for a couple of days. After a couple of days I have usually completely forgotten about majority of items on my list and it is usually only 1 or 2 pieces that I cannot stop thinking about. With this knowledge it is clear to me… Okay I need to own these items otherwise my life will simply have no purpose (or something along those dramatic lines). I will then return to the shop/s and perhaps one of those items is only $100. I will ask how long the item has been in stock for, and taking into consideration what the shop is/ how often they have sales, I may wait confidently knowing that in approximately a week the shop will have a 50% off sale and that fabulous item will be mine. Having previously worked in the retail world, it is safe to say that this will almost always happen. Things will always go on sale. And if they don’t and you don’t have the money to afford the item you are so desperately desiring… well then sacrifice eating for 2 weeks and buy it… I am only kidding. That probably means you weren’t actually meant to own the item of clothing… it was not in your stars to have it. So move on and find something else.

Another bargain hunting trick I like to use is that with my fake $1000 I may have seen a really beautiful pair of leopard print boots which have my name written all over them for $250. From personal experience, leopard print boots are not something that will always be in fashion… in fact as I write this post it is likely they have already lost all credibility in the fashion world. Leopard print boots are a phase, just like ‘all black everything’ and ‘pale pink coats over lingerie-like dresses’. This is not something which is worth wasting $250 of your hard earned cash on, hell they aren’t even worth spending $100 on. So in this case I will keep my vision of the item in mind and I will go forth in search to find something relatively similar, for a fraction of the price. If it is an ‘on trend’ piece, it is likely to be in every outlet shop or in shops which offer rip-off/ faux versions of pieces. I would head straight to one of those shops, pick those little babies up for $20 max, wear them til my feet burn from the faux leather and leopard print fur and then throw them in the bin a couple of weeks later.

I should probably mention however that these little tricks really are not relevant to everything you want to buy. Some things you simply do need to invest proper money and time into finding the right piece. Essential wardrobe must-haves include a thick black winter coat (preferably made in Italy), a pair of solid black leather boots and a pair of 6-inch nude stilettos (nude coloured shoes make your legs look skinner), a couple of pairs of good jeans, a black and a white t-shirt, black tailored blazer and most importantly a very well made, versatile, Italian leather bag. Obviously it is impossible to go out one day and find all these pieces and just buy them. These pieces are investments in yourself, they take time and consideration. They are expensive purchases so choose wisely and choose simply… there is a reason why most of those items are black; black goes with everything.

So once you have the perfect wardrobe of expensive essentials, it is very easy to make cheap rip-off, on trend items look far more expensive then they are. If you have your beautiful nude heels on, with a solid pair of jeans and a lingerie-style top that you picked up for $5 at an outlet, it is likely that people will recognise the quality of the shoes, the quality of the jeans and just assume that the top is of the same quality. To conclude this is how I attempt to appear as though I am not a struggling university student who wastes all her money on $30 brunch dates every second day. I hope this was of some benefit to my fellow shopaholics out there.

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