Spring is here. It’s time to pack away that 50-pound The North Face parka and those Timberlands boots and prepare for bright, sunny days and the abusive New York City heat. As you transition from Winter to Spring, you have to change the wardrobe up a bit. I realize that most college students are broke after taking out financially crippling loans, but that doesn’t mean you can’t attempt to look a little more presentable. No more oversized cargo shorts and tank tops that have ironic marijuana jokes. Everything in life is expensive, especially clothes, so I curated a list of items for broke college kids.
Button Down Collared Shirt — (H&M, $25)
Even if you choose to forgo everything else suggested, this is the one thing every girl, and really everyone, should have. Make sure you invest in one that is 100% cotton or linen, materials lightweight enough to keep you from overheating. Pair this with jean shorts, cuff up the sleeves and leave the first two buttons undone for a casual look, or opt for a dressier look by buttoning all the way up and adding a statement necklace and dark jeans.
Lightweight Utility Jacket– (Forever 21, $35)
A piece of outerwear that looks good with just about anything and is super functional whether you’re going on a road trip or just going to class. Look for one that has a cinch or drawstring that hits your waist, the smallest part of your torso, when you wear it. This key detail will help maintain structure in what is otherwise a casual jacket. You could also invest in one that’s waterproof, unless you prefer wearing a bright yellow raincoat. Forever 21 has options that come in good neutral colors, but aren’t that shade of army green that was everywhere in 2014.
Trousers (H&M, $30)
Yes trousers, or pants that aren’t made of thin cotton, nylon, or denim. It sounds sort of dated but a good pair of trousers that fit you well will look exponentially, substantially, like, galaxies better than a pair of too-tight or worn out skinny jeans. Search for ones which have back pockets that lay right on the center of your butt. It’s not a good look to have pockets that look like they’re trying to climb up your ass. Look out for a slight taper towards the ankle. I suggest opting for dark navy blue or black if you’re new to the trouser game. Let your leggings rest this spring.
G.H. Bass Oxfords ($70)
Or really any close-toed shoes that are not sneakers. Oxfords comes in a myriad of styles that range from boot-like and menswear-inspired to more girly and streamlined. Select a pair that reflects your own personal style and make sure you truly like every aspect of the shoe before you invest in it. If you’re not sure where to begin looking, G.H. Bass & Company offer a pair of Oxfords that are a happy medium between feminine and masculine.
An interesting headband ($5-$20)
Not everyone has their ears pierced; bracelets can be annoying in class; sometimes you don’t have time to struggle with a necklace clasp. Accessorizing in general is such a personal touch so go with a headband that suits you but don’t settle for plain ones that have no appeal other than keeping hair out of your face. Asos offers a student discount and has pages of options that range from simple bows to studded statement pieces.