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Students master art of looking good for less

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No money for fashion? No problem. Bermudian college students aren't letting a tight budget stop them from looking good.

Morgan Simons, a public relations, advertising and media major at Middle University in London, regularly thinks outside the box when it comes to style.

The 19-year-old limits the cost of staying on trend by shopping at less pricey stores such as Primark, or at charity shops.

“Don't be pushed away just because it isn't Topshop or Zara — that doesn't mean a thing,” she said. “Go for the low-budget stores, you always get more for your money and are still able to be fashionable.

“Now, don't go to these places for things you should be spending your money on, like a winter coat or a good pair of shoes, but do go there for accessories, T-shirts, anything that is essential and simple.”

The teenager isn't afraid to spruce up her clothes with scissors and bleach, courtesy of easy tutorials on YouTube.

“You can cut a pair of old jeans into a pair of shorts for summer, or even turn an old dress into a headband,” she said. “The point is never to just throw anything away. I won't call myself a fashion designer, but there is always a way to revamp clothes to turn them into something new.”

Her other tip for sticking to a budget? Window shopping.

“You don't always have to buy things right when you see them because chances are you can find them or something similar somewhere else for a much lower price. Window shopping allows you to get a sense of what is in style because you won't like every trend that is current or every trend that you see.

She describes her style as “very diverse”. One day it might be “very 90s with mom jeans and a bomber jacket”, the next she will rock her Dr Martens or an edgy pair of leather pants and a high heel.

“Then there are times when I want my ethnicity to shine through so I'll put on a headwrap and an outfit I feel makes the statement that I embrace being afro-centric,” she said. “Dressing two days the same for me is no fun, so being able to switch it up when I want to makes shopping more enjoyable.”

She gets inspired by stars such as Rihanna, Solange and Zendaya, who's known to try different things with her hair.

Perri L Furbert's style secret is mixing and matching. She wears the same things, but will try to style them differently each time for a different look.

“As I've gotten older I built my wardrobe to have more solids — mainly white, black and grey — in it to act as a base,” said the marketing student at George Brown College in Toronto.

“I encourage others to do so as well. Anything from tees to dresses — this helps to create a polished look and makes it easy to incorporate print for a seemingly different ensemble altogether. Don't be afraid to repeat; you bought it, so get your money's worth. Also, I love thrifting. I know it's not for everyone but I find unique items for reasonable prices. It's definitely student budget approved.”

The 25-year-old describes her style as “girlie with a bit of androgyny”.

“It's a bit of a contradiction, right? I love glamour and glitz but my wardrobe is definitely inspired by menswear as well,” she said.

Miss Furbert, who has her own fashion blog www.goldthelabel.com, is inspired by current trends, but doesn't stick to them.

“As much as I love wearing all black, my wardrobe is filled with bold colours and prints, which I often like to mix with other prints. My daily outfits truly depend on my mood. I definitely draw inspiration from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

“I used to be a big W Magazine fan, but these days being a blogger, I stumble upon so many stylish sites. Of course, with Instagram making the world into a neighbourhood, I also follow style inspirations from all over on there as well.”

Brittany Wolffe, a fashion design student at London College of Contemporary Arts, is able to keep her fashion budget low by thinking carefully about what she buys.

“I don't shop often but when I do it's never a ‘just because' type of purchase,” the 26-year-old said. “It's more like ‘Perfect! This sweater will go with anything' or ‘I know exactly what I'm going to make with this fabric'.

She encourages people to stretch their clothing and accessory budget by sticking to the basics when they shop.

“They go a long way and can be paired with anything,” she said. “Also, try shopping sales — you can't go wrong — or making it yourself.”

Miss Wolffe calls her style “ever-changeable”. It's based on how she's feeling on any particular day, except for when it comes to special event wear.

In those cases she plans far ahead.

“I admire people who's creativity shows through their wardrobe. People who aren't so stuck on trends and enjoy mixing it up a bit,” she added.

Style secrets: Perri L Furbert, a marketing student at George Brown College in Toronto, saves money by pairing pieces in her closet with carefully selected new items (Photograph supplied)
Thinking outside the box: Morgan Simons, 19, a public relations, advertising and media major at Middle University in London, says you can get more for your money at budget stores (Photograph supplied)
Stick to the basics: Brittany Wolffe, a fashion design student at London College of Contemporary Arts, keeps her fashion budget low by thinking carefully about what she buys (Photograph supplied)
Unique look: Perri L Furbert describes her style as “girlie with a bit of androgyny” (Photograph supplied)
Glitz and glamour: Perri L Furbert has her own fashion blog (Photograph supplied)

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Published November 27, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated November 27, 2015 at 1:29 am)

Students master art of looking good for less

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