STYLE ADVICE: Balling On a Budget

This Fashionista—warmly known as Curly Jo among friends on campus—describes herself as a curl enthusiast, realist, and trendsetter. She is the perfect example for this week’s style advice because she has mastered the art of balling on a budget.

She’s currently in a long-term love affair with New York City’s art, fashion and culture. Her style is an electric mix of prints and patterns derived from various inspirations found on the streets of NYC.

Every week, she dedicates hours of her time to sifting through various thrift store racks and bins to purchase distinctive pieces that you wouldn’t find in your average department store. DIY ensembles are her calling; what better way to be unique than purchasing the old and making it new and even better? This way, nobody will own the same exact article of clothing as you—it is truly your own masterpiece!

Her favorite go-to DIY is finding vintage, fitted yet baggy men’s T-shirts and cutting/tying them to her liking. She’s been personalizing her wardrobe since high school and has transitioned her shopping habits from Urban Outfitters and Anthropology to Salvation Army, where she can buy more for less.

She effortlessly rocks a pair of corduroy high-waisted pants with Steve Madden boots (a similar pair you can find here), a colorful scarf and a men’s T-shirt she discovered at a local thrift shop.

Another word of advice: splurging on makeup is not necessary to create your signature look. This Fashionista used to purchase expensive brands like Mac, but when you’re living off Ramen noodles and shelling out extra cash for textbooks, it’s hard to keep up with pricey products. The cat eye she rocks comes from an affordable eyeliner from Maybelline.

There’s a misconception that you need to buy the newest items that hit the shelves, but history repeats itself and pieces you pick up at thrift stores can be recycled time and time again into a multitude of looks.

So go ahead, be bold. Cut up your pants, let your personal style shine, and never let anyone make you feel unfashionable just because you didn’t pay hundreds of dollars for your outfit. Anyone can be a baller on a budget with a little bit of cash, patience and creativity!