Here are a list of my top 5 fashion rules, you have probably read similar advice before, but I feel that this is because often these rules are popular for a reason as they work.
1. Don't buy something just because it is this season's trend
Basically only buy something because you like it and it looks good on you, by all means dip and out of trends if they work for you, but don't be a slave to a fashion as you (and incidentally your credit card) probably regret later on.
2. Be brutally honest with yourself if clothes look good on you or not
Admittedly easier said than done, especially if you see an outfit in a magazine and develop an image in your head of how you will look in real life. Case in point, I had a vision in my mind that leather leggings were going to make me look like Sandy at the end of Grease, the reality of it was that they made my thighs look like elephant's legs wrapped in bin-liners. Sad times indeed.
3. It is better to buy one expensive, well cut piece than to clear out the stock in Primark for the same price.
Again, I have often failed regarding this rule. The smug joy of thinking 'Yes I have spent £50 in Primark and will have enough new clothes for the rest of term' has often over-ruled the thoughts on 'I could buy one top from All Saints and wear it every day for a term to justify the cost of it'. However, as I get older and wiser, I regret buying all of those Primark clothes, which often had terrible cuts on them, and fell apart after a couple of washes, and wish instead I had just been more sensible and bought one beautifully made thing instead. Also my consumer conscience is slowly catching up with me, some how the 'economies of scale' argument of Primark doesn't seem to be true, bottom line someone somewhere must be getting ripped off if we can buy a top for £4.
4. Accessories are often more important than the clothes you wear.
Accessories are so important, but in my opinion vastly overlooked, and really undervalued by students. On a tight budget you can relatively cheaply update and transform an outfit to make it look like a new outfit each time, very useful if you are getting to the end of your student loan....
5. Shop around for designer bargains
Yes I hear you cry, it is all very well advising to buy expensive well made pieces which will last forever, but how can I do that on a student budget? Well in my opinion TkMaxx is your new best friend, especially with their 'Gold Label' section, with designer clothes with often up to 70% off. I love Tk Maxx in general though, as there is much less chance that you will see someone wearing clothes from there than say Topshop, and individuality I think is so important in fashion.