For a college student, extra money is hard to come by; digging in couch cushions, diving in the pineapple fountain at Waterfront Park for spare change, or even worse, getting a part time job aren’t always popular options. I set out to prove that you can find three outfits within the price range of two cases of Natty Light ($20). I gave up on thrift shops after too much time spent digging through packed racks and finding nothing — shopping was never so tedious. Instead, I focused my attention on the sale racks at local stores and found stuff for almost as cheap as the sloppy seconds Goodwill was offering — and I was in and out in a much quicker time period.
Board shorts: Old Navy, $8.99 (-$5)
Tank Top: Target, $2.75
Sunglasses: TJ Maxx, $7.99
For most guys, getting ready for the beach is a one-step process — boardshorts. But due to the “no shirt, no shoes, no service” threats, you’ll need some extras. Old Navy had hundreds of beach options for under 10 bucks. And since I was not asked to apply for a store credit card on my way to the dressing room (tsk, tsk!), I was awarded a $5 gift card I used toward my boardshorts. Blank tank tops are a good choice because you can put your own design on them. Find a stencil and some spray paint, or find a friend who owns a screen printer and go nuts. You’ll be watching the sets through your new shades with a one-of-a-kind shirt — a perfect conversation starter with that blonde beauty.
Vintage khaki shorts: Children’s Cancer Society Thrift Store, $3.49
Billabong collared shirt: TJ Maxx, $9.99
Sandals: Old Navy, $4.99
When you’re walking into class late (because you can’t afford a watch), all eyes are on you, and you’ll need to look good. Vintage khaki shorts from the thrift shop are always a good choice. And TJ Maxx has great deals on name brand clothing — the Billabong collared shirt was marked down from $34. The sandals are versatile enough for beach, class, and going out, and can be used in Charleston until Christmas or later.
Jeans: Old Navy, $9.99
Snap button shirt: Urban Outfitters, $9.99
The clothes needed for heading out for the night shouldn’t max out your credit card. With an outfit under $20 you’ll have money left over to get into that one last bar or buy your even-broker buddy a pint. Once again, Old Navy’s sales are impressive. I found a pair of dark jeans for $9.99. Searching the upstairs sales racks of Urban Outfitters, I found a snap button shirt that worked perfectly for the party scene or a movie date. And remember, if you go someplace that won’t let you in because you’re wearing sandals, you probably don’t want to be there. (You can’t afford the watered down drinks anyway.)