The student, the budget and the wardrobe

Fashion is ever-changing. When a new season rolls around so do sloughs of new (and sometimes expensive) ‘must-have’ trends. This fall is no exception. From oversized wool coats to embroidered pencil skirts, it’s not hard to rack up a pretty steep bill. Most college students do not have the luxury of purchasing every trend, but rather we need to pick and choose the few pieces that really communicate our style to the world, or in our case, to campus.

So, yes, it is important to do a little splurging on new clothes at the start of a season, but don’t forget about shoes and accessories. You can usually find accessories for a much cheaper sticker price than blouses or skirts, and they have the power to completely alter an outfit. Technically, if you wear the same outfit with different accessories and a different pair of shoes, you aren’t an outfit repeater. Genius!

Personally, I love to hunt for accessories in small shops and boutiques so they are unique. A great place to do that in the Quad Cities is the Village of East Davenport. For the most part, you won’t spend any more money at a boutique than a chain store, but the chances of someone else owning the same piece are slim to none.

For shoes I have the most luck shopping online. I have a few go-to websites that have great shoes for any season, and many of them offer free shipping. I figure my shoe size is the one thing that hasn’t changed in years, so I might as well take advantage of shopping in bed. A few websites worth checking-out are hautelook.com, shoemint.com and ideeli.com. The collections on HauteLook and Ideeli change all the time, since they are discounted sites, so check often!

A few of my favorite shoes for fall, and eventually winter, are my tried and true riding boots. I’ve had them for almost three years and they are still going strong!

Another big player in my rotation are my beige suede booties that are great with a skirt or cuffed skinny jeans.

My red, tan and black ankle-strap heels are my favorite Ideeli purchase to date. They’re my favorite paired with my go-to leather skirt.

Finding great accessories at a great price is a heartwarming feeling that only another female would understand.

I scored this bracelet (layered with my gold watch) at Von Maur for $4. Squeal.

I purchased these earrings at a boutique near my house in Chicago over fall break called Two Sisters. They’re great for dressing up an otherwise casual outfit.

Now remember, next time you head to the mall for some much needed (and deserved) retail therapy, stop and check out the accessories. Your therapy session will be a lot less expensive if you buy new earrings instead of that new outfit. Style on, SAU.

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