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9 Most Affordable Clothing Stores For College Students

Your wardrobe during college is super different from what it was like in high school. While balancing other expenses, you need to know what affordable clothing stores for college students are out there. Also, what you wear now is going to be different than when you enter the workforce.

It may be disappointing to avoid places like Urban Outfitters and American Eagle Outfitters until we pass out of this uncomfortable life stage as young adults. Granted, those retailers do have some sales worth finding but it is not a great place for a budget conscious college student to frequent.

We get it. As a college student you want to look fashionable, but be comfy, all while not trying to break the bank. You need to keep funds available for textbooks, food, and for fun nights out. But these might not be the only reasons to consider hunting affordable prices.

Affordable Clothing Stores For College Students

Reasons to Shop at Affordable Clothing Stores as a College Student

Regardless of your major and any work you currently do, you may relate to some of these reasons to shop for great deals on clothing. A lot of the stores listed later will meet these needs with reasonable prices and the latest trends.


College students often have limited budgets, so buying cheap clothes can help save money for other necessary expenses like textbooks, school supplies, and living costs. It is stressful juggling all the components college life brings.

Self-care is finally becoming more recognized as crucial to our success as college students. Sometimes this looks like booking that massage or a fun night out which means being able to spend less on clothes is helpful.

Trendiness and Events

Cheap clothes allow college students to try out different trendy clothes without breaking the bank. And, there is so much wonderful exposure to new cultures and people and you can explore and experiment with new styles.

Also, if the current trends are not what you expected, you can indulge without fear of wasting a significant amount of money. Plus, there are so many themed events in college and greek life for you to dress up for. So, why would you want to spend a ton on something you’re just going to wear once?

Variety and Options

Inexpensive clothes often come in a wide range of styles, colors, and sizes. As a college student this is a great way to diversify your closet without hurting your bank account.

Additionally, we each have the opportunity to express individuality and personal style without spending a fortune. And with so many options, its easy to find clothing items that make us feel both comfortable and confident.


College is a time of change and transition, whether it’s in terms of personal style, body shape, or lifestyle. Buying cheap clothes allows you to adapt to these changes without feeling guilty of wasting money.

Many clothes you buy as a college kid will be replaced with interview clothes and then later job-specific formal wear. Even throughout college life you’ll need outfits for reasons you never imagined and then be glad for the flexibility of affordable clothing stores.

Less Attachment and Stress-Free Maintenance

When clothes are inexpensive, college students can feel less attached to the. There is so much less worry about maintaining their condition.

You can alleviate the stress of accidental spills, stains, or wear and tear that are common during the college years. Again, through the various events and activities you participate in clothes will come and go frequently.

Yes there will be some clothes you keep for many years even with the stains because of the amazing memories they hold. But, when it comes to passing along those other clothes for a new phase of life, you can do so without blinking an eye.

Affordable Clothing Stores For College Students

Most Affordable Clothing Stores for College Students

Whatever your reason to need affordable clothes, the good news is there are a ton of clothing stores that will meet that need. Some even have student discounts to take advantage of.

Which stores should you be shopping at? Here are the most affordable clothing stores for college students.


No matter what your style is, or what style of clothes you’re looking for, H&M probably has it, and at an affordable price. Plus, they have all of the latest styles, too, so if you’re looking to be on trend, you’re in the right place.

They have anything you may be looking for from sweaters and sweatpants to shorts, jeans, and shirts. If you have an internship or need more professional looking attire, they have some great options for you, too.

Another perk of H&M? They’re found in so many malls across the country. They also have an online store and free shipping over $40. They offer a wide range of clothing with everything from crop tops to the staple denim jacket to more formal workwear.


ASOS became a huge online fashion haven. The difference is that you can find a large selection of brands, including popular brands you may recognize, on ASOS. You can also find fashion trends here from a bunch of different styles and cultures.

They also give college students a 10% off student discount if they register until they graduate making this an extra affordable clothing store. If you order more than $49.99, your shipping is free. Another perk? Returns made within 14 days of receipt are free.

Thrift Stores

If you have thrift stores around you, take advantage! They may not be new clothes but you can find so many nice, quality pieces of clothes here for much cheaper than retail.

You never know what you’ll find at a thrift store, which can be half the fun. On the flip side, you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll find some basics there, such as jeans, belts, skirts, basic tees, ties, long-sleeves, etc..

So if you’re in need for basics – or if you want to have an adventure on a budget – check out a thrift store. You don’t need much money to find some stylish pieces. If you don’t have any near you, try second-hand online clothing stores such as Poshmark or Mercari.

cheap clothes for college


You’re probably already using Amazon to get things for your dorm. But have you used them for your closet, too? Amazon is one of the best places for so many cute and affordable clothes perfect for the searching college student.

You can find both name brand items and Amazon Basic items all at reasonable prices. You can also find items that’ll fit whatever theme party or spirit week theme you need to dress up as.

The best part, you can easily get it shipped straight to your dorm and easily return it, all without needing to go to a store. If you don’t have Amazon, they do offer a six month trial for students that you may want to take advantage of.

Old Navy

Did you know that Old Navy is owned by the same family of brands such as GAP and Banana Republic? You can find lots of cute and comfortable clothes like theirs, but on an even cheaper level. Bonus, they’re good quality and match current trends.

This is one of the best stores because they also frequently run sales where you can find shirts for around $4 each and jeans for around $10. Be sure to sign up for their mailing list so you know when these sales are happening.

Plus, you can find Old Navy in a ton of different malls and you can shop online. If you sign up as a rewards member of theirs, which is free, you can get free shipping over $50.


You’re already shopping at Target anyway, aren’t you? Well, have you checked out their clothing section? They have some super affordable prices, and they’ve had pretty trendy clothes lately, too.

Especially if you’re looking for jeans, shorts, or graphic t-shirts, you’ll find plenty here. They also have more stylish options options, if you want some wardrobe basics or some internship options.

You probably have a Target near you, but if you don’t, you can get free shipping on orders more than $35. Certain card programs they offer also provide discounts.


Don’t sleep on Walmart clothing as an affordable clothing store for college students! There are tons of TikTok accounts out there that show clothing dupes you can find at Walmart.

Don’t believe me? TikToker Lolly Jane shares that Walmart had a $10 dupe of the popular LuLulemon Scuba sweats. That’s just one of many dupes you can find at Walmart, for less than half the price!

Fortunately, this is also one of the online retailers too if there isn’t one near you. you can get free shipping if you order more than $35 worth of items.

TJ Maxx/Marshall’s/Nordstrom Rack/Saks Off Fifth

If you’re looking for brand names but can’t spend brand name prices, try one of the off-price retailers! TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Nordstrom Rack, Saks Off Fifth are just some of these options where you can find the brand names you love and want to wear, but for cheaper.

They also have all different types of clothes you need, from loungewear to casual to work appropriate to formal. All of these clothing stores are online retailers too if there aren’t stores close to where you are.


And finally: let’s talk about Uniqlo – the go-to spot for effortlessly cool threads without breaking the bank. Born in Japan in ’84, this brand is like the Jedi master of minimalist fashion. Picture this: you stroll into a Uniqlo store, and it’s like a zen garden of clothing. Clean lines, neat stacks, and colors that just make you feel at peace.

Now, what’s the deal with their clothes? It’s all about simple, functional, and comfy vibes. They’ve got this knack for taking your everyday essentials – T-shirts, jeans, hoodies – and turning them into a fashion statement. Quality is their jam, too. Those fabrics aren’t just materials; they’re soft, durable wizardry that makes you want to live in your Uniqlo gear.

Oh, and collaborations? Uniqlo’s like the cool kid in school who’s friends with everyone. They team up with designers, artists, and even Disney to drop limited-edition collections that make you wanna snag them ASAP.

But here’s the best part – it won’t leave your wallet crying. Uniqlo’s all about making fashion accessible. So, whether you’re after a killer winter coat or just a solid pair of jeans, you can bet Uniqlo’s got your back, keeping you comfy, stylish, and financially sound all at once. Total win!

college student looking at clothes

Final Thoughts on Affordable Clothing Stores for College Students

Overall, buying cheap clothes as a college student provides financial flexibility, fashion exploration, and the ability to adapt to the ever-changing college lifestyle. This is one of the most wild times of life and you will be glad for every break that comes your way.

Fortunately, these affordable clothing stores are a great option for us needing those breaks. Explore which ones work best for you and let us know which ones are on your list!

About the Author

Michelle Ioannou

Michelle graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelors of Arts '13 and a Master of Arts '14. She's currently working in corporate America with a side of freelance writing. She wants you to learn from her experiences and mistakes so your 20s can be your best decade. When she's not working, she's likely planning her escape to a tropical island.