I can’t count how many times I’ve looked into my wardrobe and thought, ‘I have NO clothes!’ Just like many of you, we have been students ourselves. We’ve been through some hard times too; living on (other people’s) pasta. Just pasta. However, even at the lowest of times, we’ve always managed to maintain a certain level of style. Many would have thought we had bank accounts similar to Sir Phillip Green, but they’d be wrong.

When our backs were up against the wall, with no money for new clothes, our creativity kicked in to rescue our reputation. Here are five of the best ways to jazz up your existing wardrobe while saving you a buck or two…or possibly three. Enjoy.

  1. Change the Buttons on Your Blazer

 You may have a certain jacket that you stopped using because you don’t like the buttons on it. Or even worse, it has one missing altogether. But fear not; by taking it to your nearest tailor, you’ll be able to pick out what buttons you’ll like them to replace it with, and hey presto, you’ve now got a newly-customized jacket.

By making the button style more apparent, you can totally change the look of a jacket. Remember to experiment with your choice of buttons. There are many haberdasheries (fabric stores) situated around Central London, all offering a wealth of colours, textures and materials. Don’t be afraid to show off your ‘Individualism’.

  1. Cut Your Combats into Shorts

If you have any old combats (cargo pants) or jeans that you never use, why not give them a new lease of life by cutting them into shorts.

  1. Firstly, calculate where your knees are, and cut them down, leaving enough space for mistakes.
  2. Once cut, fold them to where you really want them to drop and mark it with a pin or chalk.
  3. Thirdly, draw a straight line with a pencil and then fold over, cutting both legs at once. (This will make sure both sides are evenly cut.)
  4. If you’re a perfectionist, you can get your tailor to hem the bottoms for a nice, smooth finish. I left mine with that scissor finish look. Your call.

Don’t worry if they aren’t perfect, cargo shorts are meant to be rugged and distressed. The DIY element gives it that much needed character.

  1. Create a Pocket Square Out of a Shirt

Have you got a shirt that is on its way to the charity shop because it has a stubborn stain or it’s simply too worn out to wear, but you still like the pattern or its texture? Why not turn it into a pocket square. Cut the shirt into a large enough square so that you can fold it four times and to put into your top pocket. This will save you money while adding some flavour to your look. Combine it with some Tom Ford sunglasses (or knock off ones from Amazon if you’re really skint!), and you’ll have the perfect look!

  1. Change the Laces on Your Shoes

By changing the colour of your laces, you instantly breathe a new lease of life into your trainers without breaking the bank. Laces can be purchased cheaply and come in a variety of colours and styles. You can even change them to help co-ordinate with your outfit.

  1. Use your Shirt Like a Jacket

By using a shirt as a jacket, you’ll open the door to so many new outfit combinations. This tip in its simplest form is about understanding layering. I recently found an old shirt that I hadn’t worn as it was too big. I decided to layer it on top of another shirt and it looked great.

Jackets and coats are usually simple in design and pattern but shirts are different; they come in different shapes, colours and patterns. Try a few combinations; you’ll be surprised with what you come up with. Military-inspired shirt with epaulettes (those shoulder folds found on trench coats) are a great place to start. Just make sure the outer shirt isn’t tighter than the one beneath and you’ll be fine.

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