Blog: Actual Affordable Fashion

Maryam Deeni studies business at Abertay University and has a keen interest and active involvement in community projects and developing her artistic style. She is the guest author and researcher of this blog on fashion and affordability!

Following the latest fashion trends is relatively straight-forward, in a world where high-street shops chug out each line before you can finish saying ‘fast fashion’. On the other hand, there are those who want to break the mould and express their dress in a way to showcase their personality. However, trying to source their style choices amongst the piles of what is in the now – especially within a tight budget (#studentlyf) – may find the process a little daunting. Although, a few have successfully created their own shopping techniques and style hacks to have the best of both worlds of affordability and fashion.

 

Renata Rahneva

Total outfit cost approximately £50 

 

How would you describe your style?

I try to mix different things and colours, what I like to do is play with colours. I like simplicity but at the same time I like colour and what am trying to do is work this out, so there is a balance – not too much colour or too plain.

 

 

What are your 3 key style points?

That’s a difficult question… I mix everything: sometimes I would wear a summer dress in the winter but if I style it with the right cardigan for example or the right jumper or the right shoes. What I don’t like to do is wear too many clothes at the same time… no wait… My three style points would be bold colours, making a statement, simple coordination.

 

 

How much do you spend on clothing or what is your budget on an outfit/piece of clothing?

I don’t have a set budget I buy as I go, the most I would spend on a pair of jeans is £20. But if I see something in a good shop I would spend is £35 but that is on very very very rare occasions. I would never do that unless the jeans are a good quality, you know sometimes it’s good investing in a good pair of jeans. I would spend a lot on shoes because they last longer. I do that because I know the shoes are good, an example, is that the last time I bought shoes was about a year and a half ago. I don’t buy shoes all the time, but I buy good brands that I know will last me – surprisingly H&M, it’s my favourite because every shoe I bought lasted me at least 2 years. I have my converse trainers which I’ve had for 2 years now and they’re still going strong. I may buy something I don’t need right now but most likely later or something I know isn’t going to be there anymore. Currently, what am looking for is a funky pair of shoes, something unusual to add more colour.

 

 

Any style hacks, tips and tricks you don’t mind sharing?

It’s very important for me to clear out my wardrobe every 6 months, basically twice a year. I don’t like keeping clothes too long and to be honest, at the moment my wardrobe is tiny, so I don’t have spaces to keep a lot. I make sure I wear most of my clothes. So just make sure you clear and tidy your wardrobe cause that’s important. And if you want to play with fashion, details and patterns take a look at what you already have because it may be the case that you’ve forgotten and go to buy new clothes when you already have them. With my old clothes I try to donate them to charity shops, but recently I’ve been taking them to H&M because they have this recycling scheme going on and I get a discount for bringing them in, so it goes full circle. As for jewellery, I look at simplicity, for example, if my outfit is mainly one colour I got for less and simple jewellery whereas if my outfit is quite plain I go for big statement pieces like earrings or a necklace but nothing too crazy.

 

Muneeb Shahzad

Total outfit cost approximately £60

 

How would you describe your style?

My style depends on the day and how I am feeling. On most days, however, I go for a smart casual look to balance between work and comfort.

 

 

What are your 3 key style points?

Simplicity, versatility and effortless.

 

 

How much do you spend on clothing or what is your budget on an outfit/piece of clothing?

My budget on any piece of clothing would be £30. For basic items such as t-shirts and vests, it would be no more than about £5/10. There have been occasions I have spent slightly more than this, but its either for shoes or a jacket.

 

 

Any style hacks, tips and tricks you don’t mind sharing?

If you are unsure what style to go for or having difficulty picking an outfit out, look at the store mannequins [for inspiration]. The store will have all the items the mannequin is wearing in-store and they are selected by a fashion designer that knows what they’re doing.

 

Halima Hussein
Total outfit cost approximately £55

 

How would you describe your style?

I coordinate colours according to the seasons: dark and rich colours in the winter and light in the summer. Overall, relaxed, smart but casual. I like to dress in what mood I’m in, I also try to wear trainers 90% of the time with my outfits.

What are your 3 key style points?

Edgy, bold and modest

 

 

How much do you spend on clothing or what is your budget on an outfit/piece of clothing?

Not into designer etc… I try to find something I actually like. I don’t really have a budget as long as I LOVE it and will wear it. I am getting better at looking for things on sale

 

 

Any style hacks, tips and tricks you don’t mind sharing?

Remember to dress in something you feel like you look good in and feel confident in. Don’t worry trying something different and a little edgier, people will look and judge but then they get over it so just do it.

 

 

 

Kristaps Znotins

Total outfit cost approximately £40, excluding £70 investment on vans

 

How would you describe your style?

Eclectic: I mix a lot of different colours and styles together. Like right now am wearing skater shoes with a 70s shirt and two different denims. Plus, my wardrobe, in general, I can dress classy, I can dress trashy and casual as well – I have my hoodies, joggers, sweatshirts and trainers.

 

 

What are your 3 key style points? E.g. versatility, bold, bright, unusual…

Dark colours, occasional statement, character.

 

 

How much do you spend on clothing or what is your budget on an outfit/piece of clothing?

Depends what I find, I can spend £2 on a shirt or £30. It really depends on what it’s for – am I going to wear it often, is it going to sit in my closet. For casual clothes am not going to spend much. I always check what’s on sale, checking charity shops. However, if I see something I really like I’ll spend a bit of money, but I don’t have that many expensive things in my closet. I always invest in jackets, shoes and bags. Am not a rich b*tch. The thing is, if I buy something it will last me for years. I still have clothes from when I was 16. A good investment can be worth it. You’re not wanting to change your clothes if they’re still in good shape. I think of the long-term rather than the short term. I’ve spent that money, so I feel bad throwing it out.

Any style hacks, tips and tricks you don’t mind sharing?

What I tend to do is buy oversized clothes because you can do something with them like – a Primark t-shirt that costs £1.80, when its kinda baggy you can tuck it into your trousers and pull it a bit out or rolling up the sleeves to give it character. Just the little things. Like my glasses are also a great accessory and necessity I have.