How to look like a million bucks without spending it

It’s safe to say that our culture is obsessed with fashion. We are all encouraged to look nice, smell even nicer, and give off this air of mystique with every outfit we put on. But how can you get that killer runway look while living on a college budget? Here are a few great tips to find affordable fashions in the DC area.

Consignment stores are the first place you should go. These stores, like Frugalista in Mt. Pleasant (map), Secondi in Dupont Circle (map), Encore Consignments off of Wisconsin Avenue in D.C. (map), and Carousel Consignments in Rockville (map), will take your fashions and resell them. This gives you the chance to earn some extra cash in your pocket or, if you prefer, credit to their store. Many of these stores have everything from high-fashion brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton, to trendy clothes for teens and college students. They have annual sales and as for any clothes that they won’t sell, they’ll gladly take it for donation and provide you with a tax form, giving you the chance to save some money around tax season.

The Salvation Army, Goodwill, Pennyworth on Bonifant Street (map), and A Community Thrift Store on University Boulevard (map) are all great choices for our next category: thrift stores. I have found items by Versace, Vera Wang, Ralph Lauren, Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Elie Tahari at all of these locations. Indeed, these are truly amazing finds for very low prices, but you’ll need to make sure you go in with plenty of patience and time to finger through a few hundred Christmas sweaters and t-shirts to find these gems.

Last, but certainly not least, let’s not forget the discount clothing stores. Places like Ross, TJ Maxx, eBay, and Amazon all have fabulously inexpensive items to add to your wardrobe. These places are able to sell many branded items for a discount to you because these items are usually out-of-season or  have a minor factory error.

Have some fun! Try starting a trade circle with your friends and seeing what comes out of it. Make sure to keep an eye out for sales and sales sections. You’ll never know what you can find until you go out and explore.