When the cold weather hits, the Christmas decorations go up and the party season starts, it’s really easy to get carried away and start buying everything warm and cosy you see as the shops get seasonal and everything looks festive.
Of course, you need to keep warm and you need appropriate clothing for everything December has to throw at you, but you don’t need to break the bank to do it.
There are two key pieces that are worth investing in for Winter, as they’ll see you through for at least a few years: shoes and a coat.
Schuh offer a 10% student discount and stock a range of fantastic boots that can’t be beaten on durability or appearance –https://
Dr Martens and Timberland are both brands rarely discounted but make boots of a really superior quality, so you’re saving in the long run as you don’t need to buy lots of replacements.
Get toasty warm with a proper jacket
For a coat, you need to pick something that’s warm (duh!) but also something that can be dressed up or down – for parties, occasions and work.
Lots of high street stores do cheap coats and jackets but if you do opt for something a bit more budget than usual, give it a once-over for quality control: with coats you do often ‘get what you pay for’!
House of Fraser offer a student discount and frequently do weekend-long discount events, so you can get double bang for your buck.
Superdry also offer 20% off for students (although be smart with this and work out if it’d be cheaper to buy their items from House of Fraser) and JD Sports now offer money-off deal alongside an unrivalled brand list.
Don’t forget the accessories & combining your old items
Smaller items such as gloves, scarves and hats can be shopped around for – or ask for them as gifts over Christmas!
There’s now earmuffs with headphones inside and touch-screen compatible gloves, so you don’t need to stop whatever you’re going just to get from A to B. These items also make great gifts as stocking fillers or Secret Santa presents.
If you don’t want to invest in lots of new warm clothes, just use what you already own… and layer up!
T-shirts, jumpers and other tops can be layered up or down to keep you warm.
Your student housing will likely have heating on a timer (and nine times out of ten, one you don’t have access to) but if it is a bit chilly, layering will be a godsend indoors too.
Christmas jumpers are a must!
If you’re after a novelty Christmas jumper or outfit that you’re not intending to get lots of wear out of but would like to have for occasions.
Boohoo – is perfect for men and women with affordable festive-wear in loads of colours, designs and styles at some really great prices.
As ever when shopping online, be sure to have a quick Google to find any relevant discount codes and work out what gives you the best deal – it may not be just your student discount and you may be able to ‘stack’ offers!
Party season dresses to sparkle
It’s easy to dress up outfits from daywear to night-time ready for student house parties and festive drinks just by accessorising.
Cheap costume jewellery can easily add a bit of glitz to any outfit and armed with a quick make-up refresh, you’ll be ready to dance the night away!
Dorothy Perkins offer a student discount and stock an ever-changing range of jewellery, as do New Look, Claire’s Accessories and Next.
Accessorize is a little more expensive (even with discount) but host fantastic January Sales that are worth splashing out on, so keep an eye on their discounts and offers. Other than for special occasion jewellery, there’s really no need to spend heavily here.
Festive make-up to make those parties pop
For festive make-up looks, use your student discount at stores such as Superdrug; but be clever, and buy gift sets.
These often retail for less than the total of their products and can be split up – for you to take out and use whatever you like, and give the rest away as gifts! These too are often discounted heavily in January sales, so buy ahead for next year while you can.
Shop at charity shops to bag bargains and do good
Even when you are armed with an NUS card to claim discounts, it’s important not to ignore those shops that don’t offer money-off deals – especially if they’re cheaper! Charity shops can be an Aladdin’s Cave of bargains; if you know how to shop them.
Did you know you can shop at Oxfam online? It’s a lovely site, really well organised and lots of bargains to be had.
When browsing charity shops, you really need to take your time, and you need to look around the whole shop; even the racks of other sizes and genders, as things are often put back in the wrong place and left where they shouldn’t be by unruly shoppers.
It can be a good thing, though, if you’re willing to look around properly as you may find some bargains that have been hidden nestled in the racks that no one else can find.
The interiors of charity shops are rarely inspirational, and so it can be difficult to find context for an outfit or piece, so you need to day-dream and get imaginative. Don’t just buy something because it’s cheap, as that negates the point of bargain-hunting in the first place! Instead just keep looking – you’ll find something sooner or later.
No matter where you shop for your winter wardrobe this season, be sure to ask if they offer a student discount. Retail workers are asked all the time, so there’s no need to be embarrassed, and if they don’t, they should be able to offer alternative cheaper products. A small sale is better than no sale at all!