Balling on a budget: fall edition

From Dr. Martens to mini purses, here is your go-to guide for balling on a budget for fall fashions. Photo courtesy of Style Report Magazine. 


Changing seasons means changing fashion trends — which are usually accompanied by expensive price tags. Trying to keep up with fashion trends without breaking the bank can be hard, but not impossible. Here are a few items — and cheap alternatives to obtaining them — that are sure to garner envious stares as we transition to colder weather.

Leather blazers and statement jackets

Leather jackets are a total must this fall as the colder weather approaches — wearing one can ensure warmth while still looking stylish. Instead of spending a whole paycheck on one jacket Lauren Koehring, a junior health sciences major, said Walmart has leather jackets at an affordable price point.

“Walmart has stepped up its game in clothes like jackets, plaid stuff and a bunch of sweaters for the fall season,” Koehring said.

For students who want to avoid shopping at big businesses like Amazon or Walmart, they can try their hand at thrifting at shops like Broad Ripple Vintage, Goodwill, Naptown Thrift or Plato’s Closet

Mini bags

The mini bag trend became extremely popular in 2019 after Lizzo wore a tiny handbag at the AMAs. Gwen Valles, a senior international studies major, recommends shopping online when trying to find trendy clothing, such as the impractical but undoubtedly adorable mini bags. 

“I like to use the app Depop because it is really easy to bargain and find a lot of unique pieces,” Valles said. “The interface is like Instagram and it’s very easy to use.” 

Koehring recommends Amazon and Walmart for affordable mini bags, which come in a range of colors. 

Amazon has a ton of mini bags,” Koehring said. “It’s not really my style, but they are super cute. I am sure that Walmart also has them.”

Chunky boots

Chunky combat boots, specifically Dr. Martens are becoming all the rage as winter approaches. Hope Wampler, a first-year dance performance and theater double major, acknowledged the high price of the versatile boots, but praised them for their investment value — while we are preaching inexpensive alternatives, if you splurge for the infamous boots, there is no judgment here.  

“I have a pair of white Dr. Martens,” Wamler said. “They are a good brand of shoes and last a very long time. They are usually around $150.”

Puffer jackets and vests

Puffer jackets and vests are non-negotiables for this winter. They provide great layering opportunities, stylistic choices and can enhance any average outfit to make a statement. Trevor Montgomery, a first-year dance pedagogy major, said he likes puffer jackets because he can style them with everything.

The puffer jacket I have is versatile and good for the end of fall to early spring,” Montgomery said. 

Double denim

Double denim is a great choice when wanting to mix and match. This look can be achieved by wearing jeans and throwing on a denim shirt or jacket.

“I love double denim,” Montgomery said. “I buy it from American Eagle based on the stretch, since I am a dancer.” 

While the fall and winter seasons provide a wealth of opportunities for intricate layering, cozying up in giant coats or dressing outside of the box in bold trends. Whether shopping online or in-person, there are endless options to find clothing at accessible college-student-friendly prices.


Related posts