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Top fall trends on a budget

Vintage polka-dot blouse provided by rose, found at
Vintage polka-dot blouse provided by Rose, found at

The Gazette takes on every fashion-forward student’s yearly challenge—how to look stylish while strapped for cash.


This season’s designer looks usher in an urban adult look, replete with a subdued colour palette and clean silhouettes. But if that sounds a little stuffy and expensive to you, don’t worry. There’ll still be plenty of room to have fun with the trends, even on a student budget.

How? That’s where the Gazette comes in, with hints and tips on how to pick up the designer look on the cheap.

First to tick off the shopping list: this season’s bag. The trends call for structure and geometric shapes—a true “ladies” purse. Instead of Prada, try the cut-budget version from Aldo. You can find a wide range of prim and proper handbags from as low as $30.

Next: the cocktail dress. This style, seen lately on models and movie stars alike, is the simple but sexy white shift. Think sleek, with a high neck-line and short hem-line. Trend leader H&M offers some adorable interpretations in the $40 to $60 range.

Polka-dot has re-entered the trend cycle this season, becoming the go-to pattern to consider when your outfit lacks a little oomph. Try going vintage with a sheer blouse—we shopped to find this little number.

As for shoes and accessories, try out some in the colour of the moment: purple in the plum-burgundy spectrum. Try Spring, Ricki’s or any boutique accessory store.

The all essential winter boots—a must-have for every east-coaster—is a great item to splurge on. Buy good quality and you most likely won’t be returning to the mall for a new pair a mere month later in holey, salt-warped monstrosities. So keep expectations high and shell out for a stylish, sleek and sexy black leather (or pleather) pair.

The black leather trend has been with us since last season, seeing hugely popular outbreaks of leather items such as skinnies, vests and shorts. At this rate, it looks like it’ll be with us a while longer. Jump on board if you haven’t already—besides, how can you go wrong with a classic pair of long black boots?

We suggest looking at Aldo, Spring, Payless Shoe Source, or even entering your nearest department store, such as The Bay or Sears, both of which can surprise with high-quality and stylish footwear.

To go along with the boots, snag a jacket made out of another very popular fabric this season: grey wool, in a docked trench or pea-coat style. If grey wool is in short supply, grey tweed and herringbone are great substitutes.

So go forth and shop, all you shoe-string students out there. Just remember, you don’t need tons of money to look fabulous—all you need is a little creative interpretation.


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