College chic – Looking fashionable on a budget

Hi there! My name is Imali and I’m a student blogger from the Midlands. If you are a student, or even if you’re not, I’m sure you can relate to the fact that clothes are expensive. It’s easy to spend £100 on accessories alone, and that’s before the clothes and makeup! As a full-time student, I just don’t have that kind of money but doesn’t mean I have to compromise on my style.


One of my all-time favourite pastimes is thrift shopping, the thrill of not knowing what goodies you’ll find at your local Barnardo’s and that feeling when you find exactly what you want. All that excitement is cemented when checking the price and finding it costs just a few pounds, it’s addictive! I love thrifting, which you can see over on my blog. I try to push the message that your budget doesn’t have to  restrict you, charity shopping makes styling even more fun. Now to qualify this statement, I wanted to show you an outfit I recently put together.

A few days ago, my friend and I went to a local arts festival which was part of a special annual event in my area. The weather in the UK has been stifling this summer but over the last couple of weeks, autumn appears to have arrived. This has given me the perfect excuse to finally wear some of the pieces in my wardrobe that I’ve saved for the cooler weather.

I really like this look because it’s simple yet chic. The jumper has a beautiful lace back, which makes it ideal for weather that is highly changeable as the lace keeps you cool. I have a slight obsession with rolling my sleeves up; I just feel more comfortable this way and think it makes an outfit look ‘put together’. Personal preference here of course, buy I highly recommend learning to do a good sleeve roll, check out Pinterest for tutorials.

I paired this top with some dark jeans, these are the only element of the outfit which I haven’t thrifted. Since I was at a festival, I didn’t need to carry a lot with me, so decided to make use of this small Cath Kidston cross-body bag. I found it about eight years ago at a yard sale for only £11! It’s honestly one of the best pre-loved items I have ever bought and worth every penny!


To complete the look, I added my very groovy pre-loved floral Doc Martins which are my latest thrifted find! I got these online from a student who no longer wanted them – she herself had previously picked them up from a charity shop and so the life cycle of thrifting continues. I am a huge boot lover, and can tell already I won’t be taking these off during my time at college!


I hope this post has inspired you in some way to ‘think thrift’ next time you’re shopping. While it can sometimes take a while to find the exact piece you’re looking for, 99% of the time you’ll find it! When you do, you’re not only buying chic clothing, but supporting the charity you’re buying from too! That’s a win/win situation.

Please be sure to take a look at my new YouTube channel. I am currently getting into the swing of things, but will soon be sharing my some content around a pre-loved look I rocked for prom. Also, please be sure to give the lovely Barnardo’s a follow, their Instagram is full of inspiration to help keep us thrifting.

Thanks guys,


Want to share your top Barnardo’s finds with us and feature on The-Thrift? Comment below and we’ll get in touch!






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