How to Plan the Ultimate Friendsgiving Event

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All the steps needed to plan a great friendsgiving event

Pre-Party

  • Planning your space is crucial to hosting a successful event. Make sure that you have enough seats for everyone around a large table.
  • Creating an event page allows everyone to RSVP quickly and easily.
  • A list with who is responsible for what dish is key to getting a wide variety of foods.
  • Extra utensils are paramount – don’t let anyone eat without them!
  • Everyone loves leftovers, and it reduces cleanup on your part. Have everyone bring extra containers

Party Time

  • The day of the event is sure to be hectic, creating a checklist to ensure you don’t miss a crucial item can help to reduce stress
  • A dress code can make things more interesting, but a dress code with your friends is certainly not a requirement
  • Carving a turkey can be a tricky (and dangerous) process, read or watch a few tutorials ahead of time to help the process go smoothly when it hits the table
  • Activities with friends are always more fun. Football, board games, scavenger hunts, or a pie eating contest can make the occasion especially memorable.
  • Holiday playlists make everything feel more festive. Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube have thousands of playlists to choose from.
  • Party favors can be a gag gift, or something more traditional. They always make the occasion a bit more special.

Post-Party

  • Photos of your Friendsgiving should be shared so you can have an even better event next year!
  • Take those leftovers and you’re all set on food for a few days!
  • Prepare for some Black Friday shopping and scout the deals you want to score.
  • Clean up, or save it until a bit later!

3 Winter Break Alternatives

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Winter is not just for relaxing after finals (although that’s all you’ll be thinking about after finals week!). There’s a lot of great opportunities to fill your winter break, but you have to start planning them now! Everything from plane seats to movie tickets sells out quickly during the holiday season, and especially if you’re going to try to coordinate a group effort on a college kid’s budget, you need to start planning … yesterday.

Study Abroad!

Many programs offer small “winter session” programs that you can do over the holidays. Yes, you could probably do this at your own university, but that wouldn’t be nearly as exciting. If you do study somewhere else over winter, it can be a great way to both be productive and travel.

It’ll also cost significantly less than a whole semester abroad. There are definitely benefits to spending half a year in a foreign place; most importantly, you have more time to learn about the culture, the people, the language, and just explore. However, not every place is for every person. Maybe you can’t stand to be cold or hate humidity, or just don’t want to be away from home for that long. Studying abroad during winter intersession can be a great alternative.

Additionally, just because it’s cold in the US doesn’t mean it’s cold everywhere else. The seasons are flipped in the Southern Hemisphere, so places like New Zealand are 50-75 degrees during December. That’ll seem like heaven after going through winter at school! Take advantage of the time and go somewhere a little warmer than where you are at.

Something like traveling abroad takes a lot of planning and precautions.  You need to get your passport, apply for the correct program, and get your health affairs all situated.  It takes time to get your vaccines up to date and verify your insurance coverage.  So it’s important to get started as early as possible if this is something you’re interested in! Go down to your study abroad office now and get this started, even if you have to wait until spring break or next year!

Travel in the US

There are plenty of great places in travel in the US as well. This has the benefit of not being quite so plan-intensive or expensive. Sure, you’re unlikely to practice a new language while you’re traveling locally, but you will still learn something! Depending on the snowfall where you live, a road trip might not be possible, but you can still travel in the nearby area or by plane.

And because you know the country, you might have a better idea of what’s available to do in each location. Lots of universities have community service programs over winter intersession, and they are hosted in nearby communities or across the nation! If this sounds more up your alley than just planning a relaxing trip willy-nilly, then ask your student council if they offer any programs like this.

Job Shadowing

What? Who wants to work over winter break? That’s why it’s a break, right?

That’s true, and you can certainly spend the entire three or four weeks sleeping in and watching Netflix. If that sounds appealing to you, then this section might not be very useful to you. However, if you want to get ahead in your future career or just get a better idea of what you might be getting into, then consider interning for a company briefly or just shadowing one of their employees.

Now, obviously, not all companies offer these sorts of programs, so it’ll behoove you to call well ahead of winter break and set that up. Not only will this give you a definite plan, but it will also give the company some time to consider what to showcase. It’ll give you a great experience, and it will look stellar on your resume. Winter break might not be when you want to think about resume building, but the sooner you start thinking about it, the better. No one wants to submit only a few lines as a resume.

Winter break is the perfect time to relax, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t accomplish anything over those few weeks. Whether it’s discovering someplace new, helping out your community, or even gaining career experience, you shouldn’t waste the whole break. The only part of it— make sure to sleep in a little!

How to Ensure that You Enjoy Thanksgiving Break

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Thanksgiving Table Spread

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited. A short break is all we need to recharge our batteries before our final exams and get some much-needed home cooking. But breaks can be stressful too. With only a limited time to share with family and friends, you might find yourself wishing you were back at school. These seven tips will help ensure that you enjoy your Thanksgiving break and make the most of your time off.

1.     Set Your Expectations

Before you get on the plane or head out for home, be sure your parents are clear on what they can expect from you. This is especially important if you’re a freshman coming home for the first time since moving into the residence halls. You’ll want to let them know in advance if you’ve made plans with your friends or if you plan on spending your time locked up at a library to finish a term paper. Open lines of communication will save you the anxiety of your parents not being on board with your break plans.

2.     Schedule In Time for Yourself

This one is important for everyone. Even if you’ve had a blow-off semester, make time for yourself. Splurge on a mani-pedi, catch up on your favorite TV shows or go see a movie (even if you do it alone). Without a roommate to bug you, classes to get you up in the morning, and clubs to fill up your schedule, you can easily recharge if you plan ahead.

3.     Avoid Toxic Relationships

It can be tempting to go back to the people you have established relationships with who drive you crazy. This may be an old friend from high school, an ex, or a family member. When possible, don’t let these people ruin your break by giving them your precious time. Limit or cut off all interactions. Eventually, they will understand or change their ways.

4.     Plan for Some Wednesday (and Friday) Fun

The night before Thanksgiving has become a bonafide holiday in itself. It’s a day to get together with your friends, unwind, and give thanks for non-blood relatives. And of course, there’s Black Friday which is sacred for shoppers. But here’s the thing — if you’re not into either type of get-togethers or activities, just say no. Remember that this is your break and you’re entitled to not participate.

Enjoying the comforts of home on break

5.     Enjoy the Luxuries of Home

If you don’t have the budget to pamper yourself on break, you can still get the same kind of feel right back at home. Take a long bath (and add bubbles). Sleep on a comfortable, full-size bed. Bake your favorite comfort food dessert. Watch the big game on a large screen TV. These little things go a long way of refreshing your mood.

6.     Pencil in School Time, If Needed

Yes, we’re talking breaks, but if you need study time, you best plan for study time. Thanksgiving break, in particular, moves fast, and before you know it, you’re back at school taking exams. In the midst of turkey, football games, and shopping, force yourself to buckle down and get your school work or studying done. Even 20-minute sessions can go a long way and won’t interfere if you plan it at the right time.

7.     Know Where Your Priorities Lie

Everyone experiences breaks a different way. Some love being active and busy. Others want to sit around with a book and a candle. Whatever your style is, make it a priority. Don’t listen to what anyone has to say on how you should best use your time. This break is your break, and you should be thankful for it.

Layering Basics as the Temperature Drops

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the jacket and scarf combo. A staple for colder months

The cold is finally here, and we’re pulling out all our winter gear and clothing. From stylish sweaters to chic blazers and coats, we’re ready to rock the fall and winter wardrobes. But a fall outfit can go cold fast if you don’t know how to rock the multiple garment look. That’s why we’ve created this list of layering basics so you can stay warm and stylish at the same time.

1.     Master the Double Roll Sleeves

Long sleeves that hang over your wrist are the worst. It makes you look sloppy and not put together. But this fashion faux pas is hard to prevent if you don’t have model-length arms. Instead of looking less than your best, learn how to do the double roll sleeves. Start by unbuttoning any buttons. Then, turn the cuff inside out and fold back once. Use the length of the cuff to determine how wide to make the second roll, which should be near your elbow.

2.     Keep Your Whites Crisp

One of our favorite classic looks is a white t-shirt under a pop of color sweater or a great flannel shirt. The only downside is that white doesn’t stay white for long. Even if you’re not using your t-shirt or tank to work out in, every day, wear and tear can make this look go from neat, to cheap in seconds. Be sure to do a quick bleach bath of your whites about once every other month or so. That, or buy cheap and resign yourself to buying replacements when necessary.

3.     Know Your Textures

The varying of textures is an important part of any stylish outfit. Pairing wool with wool or cotton with cotton isn’t very fashionable, and it can come across as boring or lazy. Try mixing a leather trench with a polyester tank, a fuzzy sweater with a silk blouse, or ripped jeans with a structured flannel and undershirt.

Cardigan, jeans, and boots. A cold weather staple

4.     Add Layers With Oversized Scarves

Scarves have been making a comeback for years now, but they can’t get any hotter this season! While thin or infinity scarves were a thing last fall, this year is all about long, thick, and tri-point style is what you need to be rocking. The best thing about larger scarves is that you can make an entire layer out of them! Add them to a simple long sleeve shirt or tuck them neatly under a casual coat for a daytime look everyone on campus will love.

5.     Avoid Baggy

Oversized is the look to have this year, but it can be tempting to do too much on a smaller frame. The only way to make loose work is to understand how to balance big and fitted. Go with a tunic style dress and add a structured cardigan with pleats or leather cuffs. If you’re wearing gaucho style pants, make sure your layers on top are more fitted to your body to balance the silhouette.

6.     Fit is Key

No matter what you’re wearing, you need to be sure it actually fits. We’ve already talked too big, but an even worse mistake is squeezing into a sweater or jacket that’s too small. Buttons should sit flat, zippers should make it to the top, and fabric shouldn’t pull around your waist or chest. Before you buy or pick out of your closet, do a “sit, stand, and move” test in front of your mirror to make sure everything looks just right on your body.

With these layering basics, you will be ready to tackle those cold mornings and late nights with exceptional style!

Read This if You’re Having a Hard Time Making Friends in College

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Group of girls walking together on an adventure

You’ve made it halfway through the semester, so it probably seems like friend groups have already been established. But if you’re not feeling the love, don’t worry! Making new friends in college can be tough — much harder than in elementary or even high school. It’s totally normal to feel left out or alone when you’re at a new school. If you’re having a hard time making friends in college, we’ve got advice for you to help you establish a new friend group and build some great relationships.

Open Your Doors

One of the coolest parts of college is that, at most schools, dorms encourage an ‘open doors’ atmosphere. In other words, leave your dorm room door open and decorate. Dress up your room, get a cool focal feature, do something neat and fun with your door… whatever you can think of to draw attention to your space. The more open you are, the more likely friends will come to you!

Two friends after their climb

Join the Club

If you don’t want to be isolated, get involved! Find a club that interests you and fits your schedule. Don’t see anything that’s at your level? Look into forming your own group! It could be tabletop gaming or a group to travel into the city and watch plays. Think of what you love and what you want your friends to want to love too and go from there.

If it’s too hard to form an official club, you can always use Facebook events. Advertise around campus and invite your fellow students to join your group. Once in, start some events and see what happens. Even if only one person comes, it’s a win!

Volunteer Your Friend Time

If you’ve got a big heart, you’ll probably want to hang with like, loving minds. Volunteering for causes you care about is a great way to get out there and introduce yourself to new people. From walking dogs at an animal shelter to packaging goods for the holidays, there are endless opportunities for college students to get together, do some good, and build friendships.

Bond Over Food

For introverts, this may be the hardest piece of advice, but sometimes making friends starts with you initiating it. But it doesn’t have to be the terrifying, “Hey! Let’s be friends!” convo. Instead, it could be a simple, “I’m hungry. Are you heading to the cafeteria? If so, can I tag along?” If you’ve got the cash, you can also ask to buy a person a coffee in exchange for help with a difficult class or to talk a professor that’s annoying you. Food is an instant bonder.

Team meeting for group project with coffee

Embrace Group Projects

Is there anything worse than group projects? Probably not. But instead of groaning and whining, look at group work as an opportunity to open yourself up to others. It starts with being a great partner by pulling your weight, making time for the assignment, and listening to other’s opinions. Afterwards, you can all go out and celebrate being done with shared assignments.

Be Yourself Every Day

When you’re not great at putting yourself out there, it can be tempting to want to change your look or personality. But that’s a mistake. Who you are inside is who you should be embracing. People who can’t see how wonderful and great you are are missing out — not you. Continue to be out there, open to new experiences, and positive and the right friends will find you.

College can also be a time to redefine yourself. If you’re nervous or scared in social situations, it is okay. Chances are that many of the people there are as well. Once you are able to do it the first time, it will feel amazing and you will want to continue putting yourself out there. Soon, you will be the talk of the dorm halls!

How to Look Fit for Break

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No one wants to go back for the holidays with the extra freshmen fifteen. While your mom might be too nice to say anything or your dad too oblivious to notice, you want to return from the break looking and feeling your best! On the other hand, it is the time to relax, not to suddenly pick up a fitness or diet regimen. It’s better to focus on that now, so by the time your family picks you up from the airport, you’re not hiding behind flowy shirts and heavy parkas.

Whether you’re worried about facing your family and friends or not, it’s never a bad idea to adopt some healthy habits. If you establish them beforehand, it’ll be easier to keep them during high-stress finals week and the temptation-filled holidays.

Look at the Dining Hall

Just because this is the stuff that the school is feeding you doesn’t mean that it’s the best for your health. The food that is served in the university dining hall probably covers a lot of ground — Asian, Tex-Mex, fast food, sub sandwiches, etc. Having such a wide range of options at your fingertips constantly can overwhelm even the strongest-willed person, especially if this is the first time you’ve ever been entirely in charge of your own diet.

Some university dining halls also have beverage machines. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence, but limitless soda is definitely bad for your health. Furthermore, just moderating your soda intake can help you lose weight. My dining hall even had a limitless milk dispenser, and even though milk is often touted as a nutrient-rich beverage, drinking more than a glass a day is concerning.

It can be tempting to just indulge in all the tasty food at the dining hall, but really examine every option before you eat it. The salad bar or sandwich station might seem like a healthy option until you see that all the dressings and meats are filled with fats and calories. This is where you can find some of your healthiest options, of course, but you need to be mindful of what ingredients you choose. Keep this in mind no matter what station you choose.

Prepare Ahead of Time

Okay, this is probably the most repeated advice ever, and also the least followed. Yes, we all know it’s easier if you plan out your meals ahead of time. Instead of scrounging for the cheapest meal in the dining hall, it’s better if you pack your own salad before leaving for class. But no college student has the time or the willpower for that, especially after a long night studying.

The trick is to prepare something that will last you a long time. That way, you only have to prep once and then you’ve got something to grab for the week. Things like breakfast pizza, a tray of lasagna, or any sort of pasta will keep in your fridge for a long time. Just watch your portions on these!

If you absolutely cannot bring yourself to prepare ahead of time, then there are on-the-go meals you can fall back on, but they’re not always the most satisfying. Don’t always rely on these, or you’ll end up in a food coma once you get back to your mom’s cooking.

Stay Active!

As the weather gets colder, you might be tempted to drive or take the bus to class, but it’s important to stay active. Walking or biking to class can help you offset the typical winter weight gain (which you WON’T have because you’re following these tips!). You’re also probably not moving around outside as much, so try to find some winter sports to participate in.

At the very least, hit your student rec center or local gym. Being active in the winter takes commitment; you can’t just wait around for the next ultimate frisbee tournament like at the beginning of the year. Plus, with more exam pressure, you’ll have to really want it to stick to your plan.

If you develop a consistent workout schedule now, it’ll be that much easier to stick to when you get home as well. Instead of wondering what happened to the fit high schooler they knew, your family will be impressed that you’re managing yourself so well! At that point, you can indulge a little bit in some festive foods, but don’t overdo it. You don’t want to go back to school looking different than when you left either!

Fall Drinks you can Make in your Dorm Room

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Foggy autumn morning

Fall is for warm flannel blankets, fashionable checkerboard patterns, snuggling up by a cozy fire, and enjoying a frothy, spiced drink. If you’re not careful, you can end up spending a fortune at the grocery store or coffee shop on artisan or specialty drinks. Instead, craft your own fall drinks by trying one of these three amazing fall drink recipes — which you can easily make in your own dorm room!

apple hanging next to cider jar

Homemade Apple Cider

You don’t need an apple press or a ton of time to make apple cider. Really, all you need to do is have access to a large pot and a stove to make this recipe happen. Experiment with different varieties of apples and a number of spices until you find the recipe that works for you. We guarantee it’s much better than store-bought versions!

 Ingredients:

  • 10-12 apples, sliced or in large chunks
  • 1 ½ tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. allspice
  • ½ cup sugar

 Directions:

  • Pour apples into a large pot and cover with 2-3 inches of water
  • Add the cinnamon, allspice, and sugar until mixed completely
  • Bring to a boil and keep it there for an hour
  • Cover the pot and let simmer for two hours
  • Strain the apple cider until all of the chunks are out and stir to ensure it’s mixed properly. Serve warm or cool.

Pumpkin Spice Latte in glass

DIY Pumpkin Spiced Latte

At $4 a cup, we’ll pass on Starbucks! This homemade version is easy and fast, and you can serve it up at a party or tailgate! The only equipment you’ll need is a coffee maker, a blender (or hand mixer), and a microwave. It’s so simple and delicious, and this recipe makes 3 mugs so you can share with your roomies!

 Ingredients:

  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 6-8 oz. coffee
  • Whipped cream (as desired)

 Directions:

  • Warm milk in microwave at ten-second intervals until warm
  • Place warmed milk, sugar, pumpkin spice, and vanilla in a blender and blend, or hand mix until mixture is foamy
  • Divide milk mixture among 3 cups
  • Add coffee and stir gently for a few seconds
  • Add whip cream and any extra pumpkin spice as garnish

Tailgating punch with fall inspired flavors

Tailgaters Punch

When you need a tasty, crowd-pleasing drink fast, you could stick with one of those pre-prepared sugar-laden fruit punch drinks, or even DIY the typically bland, overdone homemade kind. But none of those really says fall — definitely not like this seasonal version. Warm and full of apple and honey, it’s just what you need for cooler mornings and afternoons without missing out on that more festive feel. Plus, it pairs perfectly with tailgating foods like hamburgers, hot dogs, and BBQ.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups hot black tea
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 4 cups cranberry juice
  • 4 cups apple juice or apple cider
  • 3 cups orange juice, pulp-free
  • 4 cinnamon sticks

Directions:

  • Blend and stir all ingredients in large pot
  • Bring mixture to boil
  • Lower temperature and allow to simmer for 1-2 hours
  • Remove cinnamon sticks and serve warm or cold

These three recipes will help you sip on fall flavors all season long, without breaking your budget. Let us know which ones you make and what your favorite turns out to be!

Our Favorite Halloween 2017 Makeup Looks

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Clown with red nose

Your costume is only one part of your Halloween look. Where you should really spend your time is with your makeup. Using what’s already in your makeup bag, you can transform your costume using these awesome tutorials! Which one do you plan on trying this Halloween season?

     1. Basic Pennywise

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9sNJhVyYaA

Everyone’s favorite horror clown is going to be the Halloween costume of the year. Getting the makeup right is essential. This vlogger shows how to get the job done and scare all your friends in the process.

     2. Disney Villians

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJfi2AN_rmY

Being evil never looked so good. With looks from Ursula to the Queen of Hearts, you can get in the spirit by recreating your favorite bad girl looks from childhood movies.

     3. Dark Disney Princess

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8K1gLHmC7Bw

If you’re going to go Princess-y, you might as well go dark too. These reimagined princess looks will have you gasping at the site.

     4. Makeup on the Go

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6a24nYM3tT8

Minutes to go and no costume? These easy makeup looks are so simple that just about anyone with a makeup brush and a small palette can do in ten minutes or less.

     5. Gothic Twist

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SjGZzyN81M

Witches, pirates, fairies, and other Halloween staples don’t have to be so innocent looking. With a little gothic makeup, you can paint a more sinister picture while still looking fantastic. You might even take some of this makeup advice to your regular look.

     6. Shining Skulls

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVgQV6v_QKY

One of the more classic makeup looks is to get down to the bone. Using shadowing techniques and vibrant colors, this neon skull is a great conversation look. Pair with an all black outfit or glow-in-the-dark costume.

     7. Dollar Bill Lace Skull

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shzxWIoQ7d0

It’s not hard to find skull makeup tutorials to fit your style. But we especially dig this one for the low cost makeup and the attention to details. It’s perfectly pretty and fits just about any outfit.

8. Basic Zombie

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7xQEG1JMKI

Zombie princess. Zombie president. Zombie football player. Zombie… you name it! Zombie-fy your costume with makeup looks that is as easy as it gets.

     9. Emoji Pro

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21otnaBvQ44

You don’t need makeup to look like the “whatever” emoji, but for the smiley faces, you could use some help from a big bottle of yellow and a tiny bit of creativity. This is a great costume idea, but make sure the person wearing the poop emoji knows what he or she is getting into.

10. Retro Girl

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dau67xQ7oA

Vintage is in and so are 1920’s-1960’s characters. Get your pin-up, flapper, and hippy vibe using makeup tutorials that match the era of your costume.

     11. Superheroes

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYiF_0VFVD4

Some of our favorite movie characters are the best ones to recreate in costume. This tutorial breaks down the Gotham ladies — Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman. You can even find pop art and cartoon versions of these looks if you want to get even more artsy with your makeup!

That wraps up our list of favorite Halloween makeup looks. Hopefully, you are inspired to take your costume to the next level. Let us know which look you decide to go with!

Campus Style on a College Budget

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High-end fashion shopping spree

Staying up on fashion trends is one of our top hobbies. But paying for clothes off the runway, at boutiques, or through our favorite designers has us entirely at a loss. How can you be as fabulous as can be when you can’t afford to wear what’s in? We break down 10 ways we’re keeping our style within your budget — spending little (sometimes not even a penny) on the latest trends.

  1. Throw a Closet Party

We grow out of our clothes faster than we like to think. That’s why throwing a closet party with your most fashionable (and closest-in-size) friends is a fast way to find new clothing staples. The rules are simple: bring clothes to exchange and only take the number you brought yourself. Whatever is left over can be donated to a local charity.

     2. Rent Directly

There are a ton of businesses who make bank allowing you to rent high-end designer pieces. The prices can range from $20 to $100, but you’ll get a thousand-dollar (or more) look without anyone knowing it isn’t yours. For those very special occasions, this is one of our go-to options.

hangers found in closets or thrift stores

     3. Go Thrifting

Thrift stores are everywhere — and with good reason. Many of them specialize in designer pieces, specific sizes, and high-quality goods at unbeatable prices. Make an afternoon out of it, and visit a couple to score some great deals! Find one that fits your style, and most importantly your budget.

     4. Re-sell and Profit

Did you know you can sell your old clothes and then use the profits to buy new pieces? Sites like eBay and Polyvore are crazy-addictive, and they make a great side hustle for frugal college fashionistas with a good eye for what’s on trend.

     5. Borrow from a Fashionable Friend

Find your new BFF: Best Fashionable Friend. Your wardrobe will love the updating, even if temporarily, and you can bond over pieces you see in magazines or on your favorite celebrities. It’s a win-win!

clothes organized in a dresser drawer

    6. Build a Capsule with What You Have

Minimalists will tell you that capsule wardrobes are a must. Build a wardrobe with staple pieces that are simple and high quality. Once you check off the pieces you need, then you can use Pinterest and minimalist sites to make hundreds of outfit possibilities!

     7. Check Resale Groups

Facebook and Craigslist are awesome places to find a deal on new clothing. Just be safe about what you buy. Always use cash. Pick up in a public spot, even bring a friend. And do your research on if the piece is real or fake before you purchase.

     8. Become a Clothing Couponer

While extreme couponing for clothes isn’t as easy as it is for groceries, you can get good discounts on clothing when you know where to look. Ebates, for one, gives you cash back for online purchases. Loyalty programs can alert you to exclusive discounts. And don’t forget your college ID! Stores like J. Crew offer a percentage off when you show it at the checkout.

     9. Hit Up Salvation Army and Goodwill

The time it takes to double check for stains and tears is worth it when you can find pieces like gently worn Lululemon for 75 percent off or Kate Spade dress for under $20! Go on discount tag days for even bigger savings.

    10. Make Your Own

Who says you must wear only designers? Recreate your favorite looks by following patterns and buying a used sewing machine. A class, experienced friend, or YouTube tutorial can show you the basics. In no time, you’ll be designing your own wardrobe!

While in college, staying on top of the latest fashion trends is one of the most important things. Spending within your budget can pose some unique challenges. Let this list serve as a starting point for more creative ways to look fashionable and save money!

10 Halloween Costumes You Can Make In Your Dorm Room

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Making your own costume is a must when you’re on budget. But when you’re a college student living in a tiny dorm room with limited crafting resources, making your own Halloween costume can be tricky. We picked out our top ten creative ideas for college-approved costumes to help you pick out your winning look.

     1.Crazy Cat Lady

Bedhead, mixed matched clothes, stuffed cats pinned to your clothes or carried in a purse. That’s all you need to pull off this nightmare costume!

     2. Candy Crush

There are so many food-related DIY ideas out there. Our favorites are a gumball machine (red skirt or pants and taped fuzzy, colored balls to a white t-shirt), pineapple (yellow dress with green, leafy headdress), and can of soda (dress or single colored outfit with your flavor printed across your chest and a tin colored paper plate hat as the cap). So easy and sweet!

     3. Stickfigure

White shirt and pants and black electrical tape lining the body make an instant stick figure. Add string, battery powered lights and you’re the glow-in-the-dark version! Another twist is to be the women’s or men’s bathroom man or woman using cardboard cutouts.

     4. LEGO Piece

A large Amazon box and glued on containers painted in one color makes the perfect lego you can wear around all night. The trick is finding a box big enough!

     5. Fortune Teller

If you’re into the boho look, you can basically take anything in your wardrobe (crazy colored skirt or pants, bright colored top, knit sweater, and oversized headband) and go with it. Bring a crystal ball (glowing bouncy ball works) to tell fortunes all night.

     6. Game Piece

If you have a suit, you can be the Monopoly man with his monocle and fake money. You can DIY a Guess Who piece with a cardboard frame and some inspiration from the real characters. Add Operations cute body parts to nude colored clothing (and don’t forget the red undies). Or, consider buying the Twister mat and DIY-ing a simple dress for the night.

     7. Work of Art

If you’re great with makeup and a fan of fine art, combine your skills and recreate your favorite painting. Some popular choices include the Girl with the Pearl Earring, a Lichtenstein character, or even a Greek statue.

     8. Emoji Characters

A yellow outfit and some cut out facial expressions makes a quick and easy emoji. You can also be the more expressive emojis out there like the boy running or the girl crossing her arms.

     9. Brand Labels

Starbucks lovers can become a cup of whatever they order with a white or brown outfit and the Starbucks logo wrapped around their waist (giant green straw optional). Flannel loving guys with a beard (or a fake one if you have the patience to draw or glue one on) make great Brawny paper towel men. If you’ve got a yellow raincoat and an umbrella, you can become the Morton Salt girl in seconds! Get creative with your pantry items.

     10. Protesting Halloween

Maybe you’re not in the spirit or Halloween isn’t your thing. That’s okay too. Instead of playing along, make the message loud and clear by dressing in another holiday’s outfit instead. Wear an ugly Christmas sweater or a Santa costume. Bring out the Easter bunny baskets and ears. Go all Uncle Sam. It’ll have everyone talking!