Young, cute, and living on a strict budget? It can be challenging to afford both your necessities and wants when you're a college girl who is balancing a job, a full academic course load, a social life, and a few side hustles which fall under the categories of either resume-boosting or career-propelling opportunities.
Whether it's tuition, textbooks, or rent, the majority of your salary is presumably managed in a way to cover your education and living expenses before any other costs come into play. However, the obligation of leading a life that won't break the bank does not need to be equivalent to never having a bit of fun with your style, either. Who doesn't want to own a few crop tops, bodysuits, sundresses, jeans, sheer and sparkly things, or other apparel for the next party, event, or family outing?
For the moments we realize there are a few spare dollars available for spending, updating our wardrobes is a great way to treat ourselves for all our grinding. Wondering how you can afford trendy and stylish clothes? Here's a list of sixteen online boutique stores capable of turning your window shopping endeavors into a reality.
Although the clothing offered on all these websites can be found at a reasonable price, please remember that is never a reason to settle for subpar attire quality! Reading through customer reviews about whatever romper, jumpsuit, or accessory can also assist you with deciding whether it's a cop or drop. After all, it is your money, and the whole point is to get more than enough bang for your buck.
Zaful is at the top of my list because it is the most affordable, and reminds me of a cheaper Urban Outfitters with tons of cute clothes. Unlike other digital boutiques, this is an actual store with an unlimited supply of options. From sundresses to fall dresses, bathing suits to activewear, practically all of the items I clicked on had reviews of 4 and 5 stars. Besides a sweater or two, it is rare to find something for over $30.
Admittedly, I did not find everything offered on SHEIN a "wow" find. However, that does not mean there aren't GREAT pieces to choose from. SHEIN is another digital store with an expansive closet and offers great deals on clothes. (FYI: There is a huge sale going on at the moment for over 50%-off storewide). My only suggestion is to make sure the clothing quality feels right! Buying clothes for around $15-$30 can be a risky bargain in terms of product value. Yet, that shouldn't automatically imply settling for purchases with lousy-feeling fabric.
However, if you're ever looking for sporty-inspired clothes DO buy from here. Their leggings, one-pieces, and other activewear look-a-likes all caught my eye.
Wild 'n' Chic is a fashion blog where online visitors can purchase items from the website as modeled by influencers featured on WNC's Instagram page. Their closet is limited and does not carry a lot of options, yet their quantity doesn't mean their clothing is not worth the buy. From the two pages of clothing that are on display, they have just about convinced me to buy almost everything offered. Accessories such as rings, bracelets, rings, and bralettes are all reasonably priced and all appear to be of good value. Their clothing is a bit pricier lying around the $30-$50+ range, but I would definitely save up to buy my favorite items.
4. Pretty Little Thing
Pretty Little Thing is comparable to a European Forever 21 and has an overall style that is just as fun. The majority of their clothing is modeled after the latest trends and has a general price range of €15-€40 (around $17-$47). Similar to Zaful, PLT is another virtual store that will have you filling your entire basket to the brim because their collections are filled with must-haves.
5. MISS GUIDED
Besides having major sales for back-to-school season and Labor Day Weekend (each of which is available for a limited amount of time and offer either 30%-40% off storewide) Missguided has a limited amount of clothing, the majority of which ranges between $30-$45. Although it may be a bit more expensive, it probably means that the material is of better value and will survive more laundry cycles and be worth every penny.
6. My Pride Apparel
Are you searching for t-shirts that go perfectly with those Adidas sweats, leggings, and sneaker days? I fell in love with My Pride Apparel for one reason: They do not carry the same cliche Tumblr sayings that are plastered on many graphic and basic T's. As pictured above, all of their phrases are melanin-inspired with expressions like "Yellow Was Made For My Skintone," "Dipped in Chocolate," or "Moisturized, Hydrated, and Minding my own Business."
If your style is urban or street rather than Boho-chic you'll like Sorella Boutique. I love that their clothing is curated in a way that creates their brand's own look rather than having a closet that intently copies the latest trends and styles of other designers. Whether it's camo-print bodysuits, cargo pants, or slim-fitting biker shorts their look is good for all streetwear ideas. Their price range is anywhere between $20-$60.
8. 12th Tribe
If the name 12th Tribe didn't lead you to believe that their closet resembles that of a modern-day hippie with a love for maxi dresses and wide-legged pants, hopefully, I just did! 12th Tribe is a store that is for the girl that loves to sport a comfortable, carefree, and gentle type of appearance. Their price range starts at around $50, and depending on the item can be purchased for more or less.
9. Princess Polly
What rhymes with Molly and features pretty pieces of clothing? Yup, you've got it. Princess Polly will have you feeling all kinds of adorable in their clothing selections. Their prices may not be the cheapest, with a general range of around $50 or more, but have clothes that remind me of anything from a rocker-chick to a country girl.
10. Pepper Mayo
Pepper Mayo is another store that has just begun trending but deserves way more hype. Their clothing offers a plethora of different styles from boho, country, minimalist, to urban. PM is not the cheapest store, but if you're willing to spend the extra $50-$70 on a good pair of jeans or a dress for a special occasion they are definitely a boutique to consider.
Did you know that Zara has an online outlet store? Neither did I until a couple of weeks ago! Needless to say, it resembles its sister store in both style and product value. Named "Lefties" to hint at being the store that sells "leftover" pieces from previous Zara collections that may not have done well during their prime, price ranges can begin at only €8 (which is about $9.20).