Be Stylish on a college budget

It’s a chore to wear the latest fashion trends when, in reality, you live off only a few hundred dollars a month. Here are some tips on how you can build up the wardrobe, but still hand in the rent check on time.Despite Burlington being a relatively small city and being hours away from most fashion Meccas, there are still plenty of shops to visit. There’s an essential destination for anyone on a budget: the thrift shop. The beauty of thrift shops, aside from the prices, lies in the fact that many of the articles of clothing were, at their time (we’re talking decades ago), not mass produced, and thus, extremely rare today. This means that not only are you paying a reasonable price, but you’re immediately guaranteed a unique look that few can replicate. A timeless piece of vintage clothing sure beats paying $48 for an Urban Outfitters shirt to look old and worn out. One such thrift shop is Battery St Jeans Exchange, located on 7 Marble Avenue, on the corner of Pine St. This retro boutique not only serves both women and men, but also contains other goodies like furniture and collectibles. They take consignment clothes too – so do us all a favor and sell those horrible Bohemian skirts you bought in 2004 and go for something much more attractive.There’s also Jamba’s Junktiques, located on 274 North Winooski Ave, in the Old North End. What this store lacks in size, it makes up for in quality. Its amazingly eclectic merchandise ranges from clothes to furniture and Super 8 cameras. But one of the city’s best thrift shops is also one of the city’s best-kept secrets: the Ohavi Zedek Sisterhood rummage sale, located on 188 North Prospect St. When I moved into Burlington, I was told about it and to my surprise, this shop had every item almost in brand new condition and all of it cost one dollar! Jeans, shirts, coats, even fine Italian leather boots! It’s only open Mondays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and it is still absolutely worth checking out.If used clothing isn’t your cup of tea, then the Church St marketplace has an array of places to shop and save.If there’s a surer bet than finding a Gap within every college city, it’s finding a sales rack in every Gap. Make no doubt about it: if you’re shopping retail, the sales rack is your best friend. If you’re a devotee to American Eagle or Urban Outfitter’s, waiting three weeks for a price drop couldn’t possibly hurt. Some other sales currently going on: Aeropostale, whose tops are 50 % off and Charlotte Russe’s Labor Day Week sale is a can’t miss.If you want to take advantage of your status as a student, then bring your school ID down to American Apparel during the month of September and you can enjoy 15% off of clothes. A perk to this is that the clothing line is sweatshop free. Also their limited edition clothing is entirely organic (if clothing texture matters to you). Another shop that seems to have a sale everyday is Express, located in the University Mall in South Burlington. Their selection of jeans and shirts is simultaneously classic and modern, all for a reasonable price.Don’t forget those feet of yours. If you’d like to complete your new wardrobe with some amazing shoes then pay a visit to Tootsies. Their selection is modern and within a moderate price range.