Ballin’ on a budget: Outfits under $50

Lucy Lopez, Culture Editor

As the air gets chillier, it becomes time for some fall shopping.

Sure, you can recycle your sweaters and leggings from last year, but it being the beginning of school and a new season, I always get excited to add new pieces to my wardrobe.

Being a college student means I don’t have thousands of dollars to drop on a Burberry trench coat, as much as I’d like to. When shopping, one of my favorite stores is H&M. I was able to find five different outfits that were under $50 each.

I gave myself this $50 challenge and tried to search for clothes that could go from fall to winter to maybe even spring.

I started with two bottoms. Let’s be real for a second, who wants to be uncomfortable at school? You don’t have to be with dark wash jeggings or a pair of black leggings.

My next target was tops, mostly sweaters. An oatmeal tunic sweater (long enough for leggings!), hunter green cable knit sweater, grey sweatshirt with JCrew inspired jewels, tan shawl cardigan and silky white shirt immediately caught my eye.

H&M also housed a classic navy and camel sweater dress that would be perfect for a pumpkin farm date.

Now comes the fun part: styling. In the morning before school, not only do I prioritize comfort in my outfit choices, but also simplicity. I’ll leave my decked-out outfits for the weekend.

By taking inspiration from Glamour magazine’s mix and match articles that have had a presence in my life since age fourteen, I did some mixing and matching of my own using the two bottoms and several tops.


Outfit one:

JCrew inspired jeweled sweatshirt ($17.95), jeggings ($17.95) TOTAL: $35.90


Outfit two:

Sweater dress ($24.95) and camel scarf ($9.95) TOTAL: $34.90


Outfit three:

Hunter green cable knit sweater ($24.95), jeggings (17.95) TOTAL: $42.90


Outfit four:

Oatmeal tunic sweater ($24.95), black leggings ($9.95), plaid Forever 21 scarf* ($9.80) TOTAL: $44.70


*Forever 21 is one of the best places for chilly weather accessories, I bought a plain burgundy scarf for $5 recently as well!


Outfit five:

Tan shawl cardigan ($24.95), silky cream shirt ($14.95), black leggings ($9.95) TOTAL:  $49.85



Senior fashion merchandising major Elisa Galante said T.J. Maxx is one of her favorite places to shop.

“They have the most adorable clothing and it’s all brands that are marked down,” she said. “I always go in there for three things and come out with three bags.”

Junior Public relations major and hospitality minor Emily Holmes gave some insight into her online shopping tactics.

“I love that the Old Navy and Gap websites are combined and you can shop both while maintaining one cart,” she said. “Old Navy also always a sale going on and oftentimes will offer free shipping. Last week for example they had 30 percent off everything!

“Once you begin shopping they offer free two-day shipping if you place the order that night. It’s great, you just have to be watching for it!”

Another cool tip I’ve discovered through my 3 a.m. “I can’t sleep so I’m going to shop nights” is a website called RetailMeNot. You can type in the name of a store and any promo codes going on will pop up.  It will also give you the option to view in-store sales. There’s an app for your phone, too.

You don’t have to break the bank to have style. You just have to be a smart shopper.

Do you have any shopping tips or stores you want to share? Tweet me at @luciavlopez with the hashtag #RecordFashion!


Go to to see a slideshow of the H&M items mentioned in this article.


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