Back To School Wardrobe Guide ON A BUDGET – For Older Students

Hey gorgeous people! This post is all about building a back-to-school wardrobe on a budget. I’ll be sharing all my tips and tricks – as well as some cheap clothes shopping ideas. Be prepared to clutch your card close!

Technically, I don’t need to buy Back-To-School gear. While I am planning to go to university next year, this September I’m still going to be smack-bam in the middle of work. Look, I need to save – life as a British student is expensive. That being said, I love using September as a chance to almost have a mini New-Year – a chance to set new goals and get some more focus.

Back to school is a time where everyone is thinking about setting goals to be more productive and learn more – where the internet is flooded with planners (love.), cute stationery (also love.) and tips on how to manage time and whatnot more efficiently (cue awkward silence). Even for us non-school-goers it’s a great way to regain momentum in taking charge of our lives. Whether you’re a blogger or an office worker or a school-goer, utilising the energy of the “Back To School” to harness in your life is always a great idea. And, yes, I’m aware that it’s a fake rush pushed on us by advertising and media companies, but let’s get the best out of this shallow world that we live in.

Regardless, we’re going to go one better – today, we’re going to be talking about cheap back to school shopping. This guide is all about saving money and buying your back to school gear on a budget. For college and university students, life is expensive – and, as a student, your income probably doesn’t support living costs. And if you’re in London is doesn’t matter if you’re a student or not, no income supports the living costs. Woes aside – this post is a mix of tips and tricks to help slay back-to-school . . . on a budget. I’m writing two parts to this; cheap back to school fashion and cheap back to school stationery shopping. Welcome to today’s post – back to school clothes shopping on a budget!

Cheap Back To School Wardrobe Tips

Your back to school wardrobe, as much as your parents may want to deny it, is insanely important. Once you reach college and above (in the UK at least; you poor American babies have this stress much earlier) you start wearing your own clothes to school every day. This means that you need to have a versatile wardrobe at the ready. Comfortable, ready for the seasons and, if you can swing it, fashionable is always a good shout too.

However, what you don’t want is to spend a ridiculous amount of money buying clothes – and then be too broke to wear them anywhere other than the classroom!

Tip #1: Stock your wardrobe up on basics

When you’re buying clothes for a back-to-school wardrobe, my top tip is stick to basics. Not only are basics cheap – but they’re so versatile that you can wear them the entire year and not look like an unfashionable turnip. While unique and pretty pieces may seem like a great idea at first, they’ll be more expensive – and they’re what’s likely to sit at the back of your wardrobe for the longest time.

Cheap Back To School Wardrobe Essentials

(All items linked below)


1 – Lace-Trimmed Black Cami – ROMWE – $11.49 – £9 // 2 – Bow-Back Black Cami – ROMWE – $6.99 – £5.48 // 3 – Red V-Neck Cami – ROMWE – $11.99 – £9 // 4 – Asymetrical Hem Cami – ROMWE – $11.99 – £9 // 5 – White Lace Trimmed Vest – ROMWE – $9.99 – £7.84


6 – Purple Drop Shoulder Jumper – ROMWE – $17.99 – £14.11 // 7 – Naps, Netflix & Nutella Sweater – ETSY – $18 – £14 // 8 – Plant Friends Sweater – ETSY – $16.79 – £12.99 // 9 – Cry Baby Sweater – ETSY – $20.47 – £15.90 // 10 – Red Jumper – ROMWE – $20.99 – £16.47 // 11 – Blush Pink Jumper – ROMWE – $16.99 – £13.33


12 – Cami Overlay T-Shirt – ROMWE – $10.99 – £8.62 // 13 – Striped Top – ROMWE – $6.99 – £5.48 // 14 – “Beautiful” Embroidered Top – ROMWE – $9.99 – £7.84 // 15 – Girl Power Pink Tee – ROMWE – $7.99 – £6.27 // 16 – Contrast Raglan Tee – ROMWE – $9.99 – £7.84


17 – Ripped Jeans – ROMWE – $13.99 – £10.97 // 18 – Side Stripe Camo Leggings – ROMWE – $7.59 – £5.64 // 19 – Dark Grey Jeans – ROMWE – $17.99 – £14.57 // 20 – Wrap-Around Ballet Style Leggings – ROMWE – $11.89 – £9.33 //


21 – Black Denim Skirt – ROMWE – $11.99 – £9.41 // 22 – Embroidered Gingham Skirt – ROMWE – $14.99 – £11.76 // 23 – Camel Skirt – ROMWE – $11.99 – £9.41 // 24 – Black Pleated Skirt – ROMWE – $16.99 – £13.33 // 25 – Tie-Waist Checked Skirt – ROMWE – $14.99 – £11.76


26 – Starry Night Bag – ROMWE – $14.99 – £11.76 // 27 – Retro Camera Bag – ROMWE – $18.99 – £15.40 // 28 – Pink Ribbed Backpack – ROMWE – $13.99 – £10.97 // 29 – Grey Velvet Backpack – ROMWE – $13.99 – £10.97 // 30 – Two Tone Satchel – ROMWE – $14.89 – £11.65


The first basic wardrobe item you need has to be camis – they’re cute and perfect in both summer and winter. In summer, you can wear them as a top in their own right and, in the cooler months, layering them up with a massive cardigan is an instantly adorable outfit. On top of this, camis go with pretty much anything – so that’s an instant lazy-day outfit for you.

Velvet Cami – ROMWE – $6.99 – £5.48

White Button Down Cami – ROMWE – $7.99 – £6.27

Don’t forget – the great thing about basics is that places like Topshop and ASOS often do offers on them. All of the below vests and camis are part of Topshops 2 for £10 deal. (Images are linked and all styles come in loads of different colours.) Utilising deals and offers like this on basics is another great way to save money on back to school shopping!

Offers On Basic Vests On Camis


T-Shirts are most definitely a college staple. Throw a T-Shirt on with jeans, shorts, a denim skirt, leggings, a slip dress . . . you get the point, right? T-Shirts are insanely versatile – and an instant easy outfit. Especially for those fellow lazy souls who just know that half the time they’re going to roll out of bed like “I don’t care enough to dress properly”.

Not Bullies T-Shirt – ROMWE – $13.99 – £10.97

Heartbreaker Embroidered Tee – ROMWE – $8.89 – £6.97

Babydoll Tee – ROMWE – $6.99 – £5.48

New York Tee – ROMWE – $8.99 – £7


Leggings are like the Ready Salted (or original) flavour of crisps. They’re a comfort food; a solidly reliable wardrobe staple. You might want to go for more flavourful and outgoing clothes first . . . but we all know that you’re going to have those days when you just need to veg out in a pair of comfy leggings.

Grey Side Stripe Leggings – ROMWE – $8.99 – £7

Tip #2: Shop at Cheap Clothing Websites

On top of this, another tip for some (read: some) basics is to go for cheap sites like Romwe. I’ve ordered a few things from Romwe before and the quality is pretty good – with items that can’t go wrong. My top tips is avoid the sweaters (while not bad, the material is thinner than I’d like) and heavily printed things. The printing quality isn’t always amazing – slogan tees are fine, tees with a photograph on probably aren’t. The main issue is sizing – however, they do have very detailed size guides so read them. Things like embroidery and knitting are very high quality.

Cheap Online Women’s Clothing Stores

  1. Missguided.
  2. ROMWE
  3. Forever 21
  4. Boohoo
  5. ASOS

Tip #3 – Spice Up Basics With Pins

Okay, now I know that you’re probably a little confused as to why I’ve included Pins in my cheap back to school essentials – but this is more of a British thing. Before we reach the ripe old college age, we’re forced to wear ugly school uniforms to school. Now, while I actually agree with school uniforms (can you imagine the additional pressure on kids and parents and all the bullying that would result without them?) they are very soulless and boring. Individuality is very difficult to achieve with them . . . but it’s not impossible!

Enamel pins are cute way to spice up any uniform. You can stick them on your blazer, or even just on your school bag.

1 – Harry Potter Enamel Pin Set // 2 – Self Growth Enamel Pin Set // 3 – Boss Ladies Pin Set // 4 – Anime Eyes Pin Set // 5 – Toilet Pin Set // 6 – Gothic Romance Pin Set // 7 – Blue Glitter Hands Set // 8 – Dreamer Pin Set // 9 – Feminist Pin Set

Enamel pins are a cheap way to add personality to any wardrobe. A lot of us like to use our clothing to showcase our individuality and our personalities – but buying a whole bunch of unique clothing is bloody expensive. A cheap way to make a wardrobe more exciting is to add pins.

Here are a few of my favourite pins!

It’s lit enamel pin – £8

Hand Snake Enamel Pin – £8

Polaroid Ghosts Pin – £9.67

Make Something – £5.92

Let’s Make Awkward Conversation – £6

And those are my main tips for shopping on a budget while building your back to school wardrobe! Our next back to school post will cover stationery (yay!). I hope you enjoyed this . . . I’m thinking of posting a few back-to-school outfit ideas of my own! You know, as research for university next year. Totally not an excuse to just dress up in fun clothes.

Okay, kids, let me know what you thought of the post below – have you ever tried any of these tips? How do you save money when investing in your back to school wardrobe?


18 thoughts on “Back To School Wardrobe Guide ON A BUDGET – For Older Students

  1. Enamel pins are such a quirky idea, and they’re so cute! If you have time, I’d suggest cutting up and repurposing old clothes into new shapes, e.g. new crop tops from old hoodies, booty shorts from jeans etc. Saves money 😉

    1. It’s really, really good! I came across it a few years ago when they approached me for a collab on my old blog and was really pleasantly surprised by the quality and the prices 🙂 Thank you lovely! x

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