Love shopping but don’t know what are the best stores for college students? Want to know who has the best student discounts?
Shopping and retail therapy is one way I cope with stress. It’s not the best way, but hey… But as a known frugal and sometimes cheap stake, I hate spending money. It’s a weird quirk about me.
Being a college student also does not help when I love shopping. You have no idea how many websites I have a basket full of stuff.
Here are the best stores for students.
The Best Stores For College Students:
These stores tend to have student discounts and reasonable prices!
1. AE & Aerie
Hands down, my favorite store is American Eagle and Aerie. Why? Because just like what I said on my recommendations page, Aerie is all about body positivity. Their message is one I can get behind. American Eagle and Aerie have tons of sales all the time.
I’ve also saved tons of money by being an Aerie Real Rewards member. It is a credit card; so manage it wisely. But you get a 10% discount when you use the card, and it also can be placed on top of other coupons and promo codes you get.
What To Buy From A&E and Aerie:
Bras and Bralettes
Aerie has a wide selection of bralettes in several sizes. They also have many bras to select from. Some of their bralette designs include Halter, Racerback and Sports Bras. I love how their bras are designed to fit your body snugly.
You’ll definitely find what you need at Aerie!
Click this link to receive a discount on AE+ Aerie!
American Eagle is one of the best places to purchase jeans, second to Levi’s. I only buy jeans from here. They have tons of pairs and often have sales. American Eagle’s jeans fit me so well and are more comfortable than other brands.
You can also use their student discount through Unidays as well.
Aerie is the main place I purchase leggings. I recommend getting a pair of leggings for campus because walking around in hot jeans is not fun. Even in the wintertime, you will be sweating through those jeans. Aerie’s leggings come in many colors.
One thing that they have is POCKETS. My life changed when I invested in Aerie’s pocket leggings. I could be both productive and comfortable with these pocket leggings. Some of my favorite pairs are the High Waisted Legging Pocket Leggings from Aerie’s Offline Collection!
Outerwear (I love their Sherpa jackets)
Sherpa jackets changed my life. Both Aerie and A+E have collections of them. Sherpa jackets are warm and not bulky. I must admit that they are hard to wash, so please read their washing tag.
But I have one sherpa jacket from Aerie that I ADORE. This jacket keeps me warm even on the coldest days. It has tons of pockets and a hoodie. I recommend you get one because it’s not too elaborate and perfect with any outfit.
H&M is one of my favorite stores. It probably sits at second place in where I buy most of my clothes, especially business casual clothing. H&M also has a wide variety of clothes. If you want a cute graphic t-shirt, they have it. If you want a fun sundress, they have it.
What To Buy From H&M:
When rebuilding a wardrobe, I’d recommend going to H&M to find whatever basics you need. I personally love H&M because they have one of everything. Their basics can go with several different styles and can be dressed up and down. H&M’s clothing lasts a while and depends on well you take care of them. I still have a few pieces when I was in high school that still fit.
H&M has saved my butt for events where I had to wear a skirt. They are my to-go place for skirts. Why? Because they have any kind of skirt you might need. From maxi to mini skirts, they have it.
Any business casual clothes
H&M is the place to go when you need clothes before an interview! They have a wide selection!
I’ve recently have started checking out ASOS. I’ve read great things about them and have a few things in my shopping cart on their website. Their clothes aren’t my first choice, but their Unidays discount is 10%. Anywhere I can get a discount, I’ll check out. They have a wide variety of clothes and targets college students. ASOS also has sales all the time.
What To Buy From Asos:
I really love their tops
ASOS has amazing graphic t-shirts. I also have tons of their tops in my shopping cart. Warning: they do sell out FAST. I love their lack back, yet chic style.
Shoes (They have several top shoe brands)
ASOS has tons of brand name shoes. I recommend them because they also have tons of styles that are not that expensive.
4. Urban Outfitters
If I was a store personified, I’d most likely be Urban Outfitters. They lean on the more expensive side on a few items, but they are good quality. I’ve purchased a few home items from their website, like my mini waffle maker (that I love more than myself.) Urban Outfitters doesn’t just sell clothes and home items; they also sell vinyl albums and beauty products.
I can not recommend enough Urban Outfitter’s kitchen supplies. They are one of a kind. I got this mini waffle maker for barely $20. It is a quick way to make breakfast and it’s so cute.
Urban Outfitters has been one of the places to buy home decor. One of the best things about Urban Outfitters is that their home decor includes furniture.
If you are a music lover, like yours truly, or need some cute wall decor, then Urban Outfitters’ vinyl section should be your first place to go. Urban Outfitters has tons of EXCLUSIVE vinyls that you can not find anywhere else. They run on the higher end, but they have tons of sales from time to time.
Urban Outfitters’s clothing section is one of the most stylish and trendy. It is also super comfy and of good quality. I love their clothing aesthetic so much. Click here to go to Urban Outfitters’s Women Clothing page.
Target is one of the best stores for college students. They have a whole section dedicated to students during the back-to-school season. I go to Target for everything. You do not understand how much I love Target. I wouldn’t recommend shopping at Target for groceries because they run a bit higher compared to local grocery stores and farmer’s markets. However, Target has great clothes. Lately, I’ve been buying more of their clothes, especially from their Wild Fable line.
Target also has a coupon system on its app called Target Circle that gives you personalized coupons. Once you start consistently shopping at Target, the app gives you special discounts on items. Just remember to scan your barcode every time you shop!
What To Buy From Target:
Target is one of the first places I go to purchase kitchen supplies. I love their brand, Room Essentials because they make so many affordable, quality products. Target has everything you’ll ever need for your dorm or apartment. Honestly, I think I got the majority of what I needed for my apartment at Target during my sophomore year. Its products also last long.
Here is a link to all the Room Essential products here.
Bedding & Home Supplies
Target’s bedding is also great. I got a few items for my dorm and apartment here, such as sheets and a mirror. Target’s home department is extensive and you’re going to find whatever you need at a low price.
Clothing & Shoes
Target is one of the best stores for college students due to its affordable clothing. Unlike most department store’s clothing brands, Target’s selected brands are so stylish. They last a long time. I also saved money shopping here instead of other department stores. I also love their shoes and bought my rain boots here. Wild Fable is my favorite brand because it helped me rebuild my basic wardrobe and gave me so many cute pieces, as well.
Excuse my Target bias.
Overall, just buy everything at Target, but groceries. Beauty supplies are great, too, but I prefer to go somewhere such as Ulta or Sephora to get a better deal. Target is amazing. I love it. 🙂
6. Bed, Bath and Beyond
Bed, Bath and Beyond is surprisingly one of the best stores for college students. Why? Because it has a whole section just for college students during the back-to-school season. I know that Bed, Bath, and Beyond runs on the expensive sides at times, but they have tons of items at a lower price. Bed, Bath, and Beyond also have tons of coupons to get discounts on your purchase.
I purchased a lot of my kitchen utensils from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. They have tons of cute decor for the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. I personally love their kitchen cookware.
I bought my bed rest pillow from Bed, Bath, and Beyond and still have it to this day. I love their bedding as well. It’s worth it because Bed, Bath, and Beyond’s bedding is of high quality. Seriously, go into the store and sit on one of the comforters. You will want to buy the whole set!
Appliances are one of the best things at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. This photo shows only four of the hundreds of appliances available online, but Bed, Bath, and Beyond has tons of appliances across all price ranges. Try to go to one of their huge sales and save money on them!
7. Ulta Beauty
Ulta is one of my favorite places to buy makeup and any beauty products. I love going to Ulta. I have a shopping issue, but Ulta is amazing! Ulta is one of the first places to go to buy makeup. I love their sales and discounts (they have so many!) No matter if you are a beginner or been doing your makeup for years, Ulta has what you need. Students can benefit from their sales and wide inventory. Ulta also sells hair products and hair styling tools.
Don’t let the prices of the makeup on the photo turn you away. My local Ulta has a section for higher-end products and drug-store products. Ulta’s makeup selection has a diverse range. I recommend brands such as NYX Professional Makeup, Ulta Collection, ColourPop, Juvia’s Place, and Milani for beginners and those who do not want to spend a lot on makeup. On the other hand, for higher-end products, I recommend Anatasia Beverly Hills, Benefit Cosmetics (I LOVE BENEFIT), and NARS.
Ulta also has sales regularly. Ulta is one of the best stores for college students who love makeup!
Over the years, I’ve become a skincare junkie. At one point, I have too many skincare products. Ulta has tons of skincare products from face masks to anything oil or serum for your skin. Again, their prices range from $1.50 for a face to nearly $100 for a gift set. You will find anything you want at Ulta.
8. Local Thrift Stores or Poshmark
Thrifting and buying clothes second hand has become a trend amongst Gen Z and Millieanls. Poshmark is the place where I buy most of my shoes. I don’t like spending so much on shoes, so that’s where I buy every pair of Adidas shoes I owe.
Most clothes lose so much value once they leave the store. Also, tons of people on Poshmark will sell you designer brands for way lower. People want to sell their clothing so badly that they will steadily give you discounts and lower the price.
Also, thrift stores are some of the best stores for college students.
What To Buy on Poshmark:
If you ever see any piece of clothing you want from a designer brand or clothing store, Poshmark is bound to have it. People are always selling things because they are either the wrong size and does not fit, not the right color, or out of season. I can guarantee that you will save some sort of money shopping on Poshmark.
This is the best college hack for shopping. Poshmark has tons of shoes that people sell for lower prices. They usually give constant discounts because they want to get rid of them.
You have no idea how many handbags are on Poshmark. I end up scrolling the app for almost an hour looking at all of the bags people sell. You can get some of the most popular brands’ handbags for maybe 50% off and it’s almost brand new.
I have been a fan of ColourPop since high school. They have grown so much over the years and have gotten better. ColourPop collab with so many influencers and celebrities. ColourPop’s quality also has improved and so has their shade range. ColourPop is also cruelty-free and does not test on animals.
What to Buy From ColourPop:
ColourPop’s has some of the best drugstore makeup around. They have everything you will ever need for makeup.
I recommend that if you are a beginner at makeup, you should start with ColourPop. They also have a 10% student discount on Unidays!
Some of my favorite products from them include:
Nude Mood Eye Palette
I personally love nude colors because I mainly wear natural makeup on campus. Nude Mood has some of the best natural colors. Nude Mood is also only $14 and you can get a discount from Unidays for 10% off.
I went through a whole phase when I loved highlighter and used to wear it every day. Parasol is one of my favorites! It is on the golden side and blends so well.
Amazon Student Prime has saved my butt for book shopping. I will miss it when I graduate. If you don’t know who Amazon it, then you have been living under a rock. Amazon is the to-go place for shopping online. They have everything on there. Seriously.
I know that some people don’t like Amazon for their own reasons. I believe that they offer the lowest prices for some items that are clearly overpriced. Though, I have to warn that some beauty products can be knockoffs, as well as clothing ideas. You have to do research sometimes, but I purchased my textbooks and books on Amazon.
College students can benefit from Amazon Student Prime. They offer a 50% discount on their Prime service. I love it. Amazon Prime is one of the best deals for students.
What To Buy From Amazon:
But Amazon reigns the best place to buy:
Amazon Rentals has saved me a lot of money throughout college.
I buy most of my fitness equipment from Amazon because I’m a beginner at working out. My passion for working out increased this year, but I’d purchased most of my equipment from there.
Sometimes beauty products
Like I mentioned before, Amazon’s beauty products are iffy. I buy tons of products, BUT only if it is a recommendation or from products I’ve used before. For example, I can not find my conditioner ANYWHERE. Amazon is the place I have to go because it is the only place I can find it. It’s also the same for my exfoliator because it’s a Korean beauty product that was recommended to me.
11. Old Navy
What To Buy From Old Navy:
Old Navy is one of the best stores for college students. They have some of the best prices for clothes. When I have to find clothes last minute, I go to Old Navy. They also are always having sales.
Every year, I go on Black Friday and purchase a ton of Christmas pajamas or nice shirts to go with my business casual outfits!
This blog post was all about the best stores for college students.
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