STYLE GURU BIO: Ashley Liddell

Hello beautiful people! My name is Ashley Liddell and this is my second semester writing for CollegeFashionista. I am a Retail Merchandising major, studying at the University of Minnesota. College has been a long, and often trying, period in my life. I’m wrapping up my sixth year of school, and I am happy to say, there is light at the end of the tunnel!

For as long as I can remember, I have had a mild shopping addiction. When I say mild, I am definitely being modest. Being a full time student has made it hard to successfully fulfill the retail craving I often get. However, it helped me learn the best tricks to finding incredible finds, without breaking the bank.

When it comes to shopping on a budget I have four simple rules. First, never be afraid of the men’s department. Some of my favorite fashion items are actually intended for men. The Levi’s denim vest I own is one of my closet staples. Denim jackets for men are often much more substantial and higher quality than women’s garments, yet run around the same price point.

Rule number two: never focus on one place to shop. Avoid “fashion blinders” and try many different retailers. I got these pants at a store I normally wouldn’t shop, trends are often repeated everywhere. The infamous Brandy Melville T-shirt dress, you can get at Forever21 for a third of the price. Be sure to look at all your options, after all, true style is being able to find inspiration anywhere.

My third rule is thrift, thrift, thrift! Thrift stores are the holy mecca for the fashion enthusiast on a budget. You can find great, vintage or throwback pieces here, and pay a fraction of the market value. My go-to racks to hit when thrifting are denim, dresses, jackets and accessories. These areas are usually where the true treasures lie.

Finally, get creative! How often do you impulsively purchase a garment that ultimately sits in your closet, untouched? To avoid this being a waste of money, get creative and turn it in to something you love! If you’re over the high-low dress trend, simply hack off the bottom and create the perfect shift dress. Recreate garments to be exactly what you want so no money is wasted.

With these tips, you can look incredibly RAD this semester, while still living on the “broke college student” budget. Remember, look for inspiration everyone and never be afraid to be exactly what you want to be!