There are only three things guaranteed in life: death, taxes, and being broke in college. It’s almost a rite of passage; “How to Survive on Campus with $17.42 in Your Pocket.” Looking back at my experience I should’ve listened to my elders, because I went through some serious financial struggles. I was so broke in school, a homeless man gave me $4.00 and said, “Keep working hard.”

While that last story is absolutely false, it was definitely plausible. Despite these struggles, my friends and I always found a way. We still ate well, had a great time, and looked cool doing it. Don’t let your television and radio stations fool you; you can be quite debonair on a budget. Oh yes, I said “debonair”. Here are a few notes I jotted down to help look good on the yard amidst fiscal adversity.

Looking good on campus? As Pharrell says, "You can do it too."

Find Your Style.

It is important for us to diffuse (in my “Conspiracy Brother voice) the myth being PERPETUATED in the URBAN COMMUNITY. Looking fly starts in the mind, not in the pocket. Start with identifying what you look good in. That doesn’t mean watch TV and say, “Hey, Lil Wayne has on teal jeans. That’s my new style!” That’s not creating, that’s co-signing. Take a moment to check out some style magazines, guys ask some pretty ladies, and experiment with some clothes. I like to call my style “Motown Brown” or “Sammy Davis, Junior Jr.”: smooth, charming, and sophisticated. Blazers, ties, cardigans, and the like make me feel at my best.

Find Your Stores.

After you have gotten your look perfected, it’s time to go the appropriate stores to find what you need. Prior to heading out, create an “inventory” so that you don’t buy what you already have (That’s just dumb.) Following that, you want to gather an idea of some stores that you can find your style at a price that caters to your cash flow. Macy’s, Urban Outfitters, and H&M are a few places that I like to dabble. A place that provides a lot of different and inexpensive threads is a Salvation Army store. Don’t sleep…don’t sleep. The Salvation Army store allows you to keep money in your pocket for more important things. Think of it like this: if you spend all your money to look good, what will you have to spend if your clothes get you a date? You got to save, baby! Remember, don’t shop for brands, shop for style. While you shouldn’t go buy a Dewey Vuitton bag, if Macy’s has a nice purse that is $70 instead of $270, cop it! Now remember, when you get to the stores, play it cool. You want to browse and see what the store has. Treat your shopping like you (should) treat your dating life; you don’t just scoop ANYTHING, you have to get to know your clothes. While the clothes may look good, you must see if the “Price is Right”…Bob Barker. OHHHHH! Drake Flow!

Find Your Sale Rack. 

Even B herself looks for the deals. Be sure to keep your eye out for nice threads on discount.

A lot of stores try to keep their sale racks on the hush…forget that; find your sale rack. The racks provide great opportunity to add important accessories to your closet. More importantly, it allows you to find clothes that rely more on your look than the specific season. That vest for 6.99? Not bad, buddy. Nice pair of jeans for 19.50? Miss, they look like a million bucks on you. You better work them jeans, girl (That’s what I say to a PYT.) Way too often, we put value in overspending. Why spend $200.00 on one pair of sneakers when I can get two outfits and some sneakers for that price? Ladies and gentleman, that question right there, that’s what people in business call “Cost Benefit Analysis”. Use it, know it, become it.

These tips are a great beginning to look your best even when your wallet doesn’t agree. Always keep in mind: It’s all about the presentation. As they say, “The clothes don’t make the man, the man makes the clothes.”

Long live the Boogie,
Ceddy P