How to Slay Back to Campus Shopping

Top (old) similar | Shorts | Sandals (old) similar here and here | Necklace

As i'm sure you all know, we are approaching a very bitter sweet time in every student's life...
Back to school! And if you're anything like me, then you know that back to school also means back to school shopping. I have to admit, this time of year is always such a relief for me. It's a little reminder that yes, the 100 degree temps will in fact be coming to an end soon, AND that my closet is about to get a little (okay... probably a lot, if i'm being quite honest) of an upgrade... And yours can too! Keep reading to find out all of my tried and true shopping tips and tricks. This post will teach you how to shop smart - and how to get the most out of your money!

Tip #1: Take Inventory

This is probably the most important tip I can give someone before school shopping. I am so guilty of spending a day out shopping and bringing home things that are nearly identical to things I already have at home, and i'm sure i'm not alone on this one. So yes, take inventory. Figure out what you have, what you need (yes, I said need), and what you want. However, it's important to remember that there are some things that you should have multiples of - jeans and leggings for example.

Tip #2: Set a Budget

Figure out how much you want to spend and what you want to spend it on. Remember, there are a lot of things that need to be purchased for back to school - tuition, parking passes, books, laptops, school supplies... The list is endless, really. So set a budget! Make a list of things you're going to be purchasing, how much they're going to cost, and how much you can spend.

Tip #3: Shop Smart

If you've read any of my previous posts, then you know I pretty much shop at TJ Maxx, Marshall's, and Ross exclusively. This is because you can find all the cute stuff you can find elsewhere for a discounted price. ALWAYS check these places before you shop elsewhere. They can be hit or miss but I swear by each of these places. Pro tip: Check these stores often to find some really great stuff.

* I have a few rules when it comes to buying clothing, and I stick to them most of the time *

1. I wont spend more than $15 on my shirts.
2. I wont spend more than $30 on jeans and pants.
3. I wont spend more than $10 on accessories (jewelry, scarves, hats, etc.).
4. I wont spend more than $40 on non-designer shoes and bags.

These are all with the exception of designer and high quality wardrobe staples that I will have forever.  Some examples of items that I will splurge on include my Tory Burch York Tote, my Tory Burch riding boots (mine are last year's version and brown), my LL Bean duck boots, and my Hunters. I wear my tote almost every day (I even use it as a backpack for class), and the shoes are classics that will never go out of style. I recommend checking out Poshmark for deals on designer items - you can also sell clothes on there, which is pretty great. I've made a lot of money using Posh! Use my code HCRZX to get a $5.00 credit when you sign up! - I bought my TB Tote and got a matching wallet for free through that app... Let's just say it's one of my biggest fashion secrets lol. I also recommend trying consignment and second-hand stores like Plato's Closet. Sometimes you can find brand new clothing for a fraction of the original price. Again, this is pretty hit and miss, but it doesn't hurt to try. Some of my favorite clothing has been picked up from a store like these. After trying all of the above, look for sales at all the other clothing stores out there. Subscribe to email alerts, check sites, check newspapers. Do it all, because I guarantee you, every store will have some kind of back to school sale going on. Seriously, guys, I do NOT pay full price for like, anything. But, if you must, make sure you've tried all of the above options and make sure it is something you will wear. Make sure the item is versatile. I repeat: Make sure you will wear it!!! I say this because I am so guilty of buying stuff that I think i'll wear... Then I never do.

Tip #4: Basics to Statement Pieces

I recommend starting your shopping with any basics that you don't already have. Basic tees, tanks, denim, leggings - things like that. Then, after you've got the basics covered, start adding fun statement pieces that make your look really stand out. Add fun necklaces, funky scarfs, hats, cute socks, honestly anything detail oriented. I can honestly say that the little things are what really makes an outfit. Even a dainty necklace or some pearl earrings can really complete a look.

Tip #5: Be YOU

The best advice I can give to anyone who is buying clothes: Buy clothes that represent you. Sure, trendy pieces are the best (I'm obsessed with the off the shoulder and cold shoulder trends going on right now!)... But don't forget to add your own personal style to everything you wear. Like headbands? Incorporate them into your looks. Like bright colors? Add one into every outfit. Just do you! Find looks that you love and add your own flare.


Okay, now you're a pro shopper! Get on that back to school shopping and own it! *insert hair flip emoji here* Now, all that being said, I have put together a few outfit ideas below. These are all different looks that can easily be changed around and made to fit your own personal style. Here are a few of my favorite back to school looks!

Look #1: Comfy Casual

I love this look so much! It's comfy and cute, and it's a very wearable look. This is my go to look for those days where I just don't feel like getting ready. Throw on a tee, leggings (long or cropped - both are cute), a pair of your favorite converse, and a baseball cap (I love repping UNM with my Lobo caps!). I like to add some bling like a pair of CZ studs and a blingy watch to make it look like I tried at least a little. Then of course, no back to campus look would be complete without a tote to carry all those books!

Look #2: Keep it Basic

This has to be the cutest and easiest look ever. Basically, take any cute tunic you have (I love white and olive green!) and dress it up  with a cute pair of distressed skinnies, a pair of neutral lace 
up sandals, a matching tote (I seriously need this Tory Burch one in my life!), and some bling. 
I love all things Kendra Scott and I really think adding a piece of her jewelry to any look just completes it. I love the Elle earrings because they're big, but not heavy. I have them in three colors and they go with everything! I recommend starting with the pearl if you're considering purchasing your first pair - I haven't found an outfit I couldn't wear them with. I've also found that a good monogram necklace and a good watch are major wardrobe staples that you can wear every day and that will never ever go out of style.

Look #3: Rompin' Around

I love this look because it's functional and totally fab. Rompers are my fave because not only are they super girly, you don't need to be careful in a romper like you would in a dress. They're just so fun! I also love that a romper can be dressed up or dressed down. Add heels or wedges and you've got a more formal look. Add gladiator sandals and a hat (like I did) and you've got a super cute boho look! This is a great back to school look because it works with the hot pre-fall weather. Again... Don't forget your tote bag!

Look #4: Dress It Up

Dresses are my favorite thing to wear. Why? Well, I don't have to put pants on. Also, because dresses give the illusion of max effort even when minimum effort was put out. Want to look like you tried? Wear a dress. Trust me. I also love how even the most simple dress can make for a super cute outfit with the help of the right accessories - like a little bling and some great shoes! I love this Lush dress, I could wear it everyday. This last outfit idea is like a two in one... Two different dress looks that you can mix and match!

***Disclaimer: I know these outfits don't perfectly follow the 'rules' I have listed above. These outfits are just examples and are meant to be used for inspiration. I like to shop online at stores like Nordstrom, but I always try and find the same or similar pieces at places like TJ Maxx. Also, as I mentioned previously, I do splurge on designer items and wardrobe staples***


Well, that's it for this post...
Now you know how to totally slay back to campus. Hope y'all enjoyed reading! Feel free to leave me a comment with post suggestions, I would love to hear from you all! Stay tuned for a post all about backpack / school bag essentials coming soon!



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