Fashionable Finds for Less

With the new changes made to the dress code, what better time to revamp your closet! Here are 10 affordable items you can purchase for under $20.


Photo Courtesy of Bry Holguin

You can purchase American Eagle Jewelry for as low as $3.50.

Bry Holguin, Columnist

The new dress code allows high school students to wear sweatpants, flip-flops, and tops with logos on them. All 10 of these affordable items are at everyday stores like Forever 21, Cotton On, and Pacsun.

Flip-Flops and Sandals-

Who doesn’t love a good pair of flip-flops? They’re comfy and easy to put on, especially on those mornings when you’re running late. Although most flip-flops can tend to be flimsy, I found a variety of stores that offer good quality sandals. For girls, Pacsun is currently having a sale on Havaianas for only $15, and American Eagle has sandals starting at $9.95. Or if you’re looking for a stylish pair of sandals, I highly recommend checking out Forever 21. You can find a fashionable pair for as cheap as $8! For guys, you can find nice flip-flops starting at $19.95 at American Eagle, and $10 at Forever 21. Both stores offer a variety of designs and colors.

Graphic Tees-

Graphic tees are essential to have, especially next year. Not only are they versatile, but you can make many different outfits with them. For girls, you can tuck one in a skirt and add a funky piece of jewelry, or simply wear it with your favorite pair of jeans and sneakers. Cotton On, Forever 21, Pacsun, and Tilly’s all offer low-cost tees for both girls and boys. Cotton On has shirts beginning at $14.95 or you can buy two for $25. Forever 21 carries these tees starting at $8.90 for girls and $12.80 for boys. Tilly’s offers graphic tees for as low as $15 and Pacsun for $19.95.


Sweatpants are great when you’re feeling lazy, and just want to be comfy. Luckily, you don’t have to splurge and can purchase a pair at a small cost. Forever 21 offers sweats for girls as low as $12.80 and, for boys, $14.90. Cotton On also offers reasonable prices. You can purchase a pair of sweatpants for $14.95 or two for $25. These pants vary in different materials and designs that will be sure to fit your preference.

Graphic Tanks-

For those hot Arizona days, graphic tanks are a necessity. You can throw one on and pair it with a lightweight cardigan or sweater. You’ll look great while still managing to beat the heat. As usual, Cotton On offers the two for $25 deal or one for $14.95. If you’re looking for something more comfy and casual, American Eagle has tanks starting at $14.99 for girls and $19.95 for boys. For those people who like more fitted and vivid designs, you can purchase a tank at Tilly’s beginning at $14.99 for boys and $16.99 for girls. Forever 21 offers affordable prices and unique designs you can buy for as low as $9.90 for girls and $10.80 for boys.


Denim can be pricey. Most people invest in a good pair of jeans, but with these stores, you won’t have to. All Forever 21 denim including jeans and shorts all start at $17.99. They provide a variety of different washes and styles, and are still highly affordable. Cotton On offers different fits and striking colors for those of you who prefer a more bolder take on denim.

Prom Dresses, Skirts, and Rompers-

Dresses and skirts are great for when you want to be comfy, but still look good. Dresses and rompers are a quick way to get ready, and you can always add a belt for bit more of a polished look. Forever 21 dresses start at $12.80, and they have a huge variety to choose from. For a more casual look, Cotton On offers dresses and rompers for $14.95. Skirts are also a fast way to get ready. Tuck in a nice shirt, or pair it with your favorite tank and cardigan. Forever 21 carries skirts for as low as $5.90 and Pacsun for $19.95.


Accessories are a necessity when it comes to getting ready. Adding a scarf or jewelry can easily remake your whole outfit. Forever 21, Love Culture, Tilly’s, and American Eagle are all places that carry extremely affordable jewelry. Forever 21’s rings, bracelets, and necklaces all start at $1.90. For more simple jewelry, American Eagle offers dainty pieces for as low as $3.50. If you’re looking for statement necklaces, I recommend checking out Tilly’s. You can find bold, colorful necklaces for as low as $5.99.

Hair accessories can easily hide your bed-head. Pulling back your hair with a stylish headwrap or headband saves you time in the morning and adds a little extra to your outfit. Forever 21 has hair accessories for as low as $1.90. They carry bows, barrettes, headbands, and headwraps.

Scarves are a great way to stay warm while still looking stylish. A nice top and boots would look great paired with a colorful scarf. Cotton On scarves are more lightweight, and start at $3. If you’re looking for more warmth, Forever 21 carries scarves starting at $5.90.


Basics are vital to any closet. Classic v-necks or tops can be paired with any outfit. Forever 21 offers these tops for as low as $3.80 ranging in style. Hollister tops start at $12.95 for girls and $9.95 for boys in a variety of colors. If you’re looking for a more relaxed fit, Pacsun tops start at $16.95 for girls and $19.95 for boys.

Baseball tees make a quick and simple outfits. When you’re in a hurry, just slip one on along with a pair of shorts and sneakers. At Forever 21, these tees start at $8.90 for girls and $9.90 for boys. If you want more of a variety of designs, Cotton On tees start at $14.95 or two for $25.

Camis and tanks are a must-have to any girl. Sheer tops, oversized sweaters, and pullovers are some of many items that require them to be in dress code. They assure coverage to your body, and come in many colors. Forever 21 is known for their affordable camis. They offer a huge variety of colors and different styles for as low as $1.80. Another store that carries low cost camis and tanks is Hollister. They carry flowy tanks and basic camis starting at $9.95.

When you’re not in the mood for jeans, leggings are the next best thing. A flowy tank along with a cardigan or an oversized sweater look great with leggings. They’re incredibly comfy and easy to put on. Forever 21 leggings start at $3.80 and come in multiple colors. Hollister carries leggings for $14.95 and up. For more of a variety, check out Target, their leggings start at $8 and they carry many colors and lengths.

Flowy shorts are great to have laying around. They’re so versatile and you can make many outfits by mixing and matching them. Solid tops go along great with a patterned pair and vice versa. For patterned shorts, Cotton On shorts start at $14.95. Forever 21 carries more solid colors for as low as $10.90. Hollister offers more dressy shorts starting at $19.95 in different styles and designs.


Sweaters come in many different styles. Cardigans, kimonos, and pullovers all go with a ton of outfits. Cardigans go great along with a dress or a flowy tank. For a simple button down cardi, Forever 21 carries them for as low as $8.90 for girls and $14.00 for guys. For a more oversized look and feel, H&M cardigans start at $12.95. Forever 21 also offers guys cardigans at a low price beginning at $14.80.

Pullovers are easy and simple. You can wear one by itself or just pull one over your outfit if you get chilly. Not only are they soft, but they’ll keep you warm and cozy. Cotton On girl’s pullovers are only $10, and come in different colors that you’ll be sure to like. For a more casual and simple pullover, Forever 21 carries them for only $8.90. For guys, pullovers start at $14.00 at Forever 21 and $17.95 at Cotton On.

Hoodies and sweatshirts go great with any laid-back outfit. Lightweight hoodies are essential to bring along to that one chilly classroom. Girls hoodies begin at only $19.99 at Tilly’s and $12.90 at Forever 21. For guys, Cotton On is currently having a sale on hoodies for as low as $10.

In Arizona, heavy cardigans aren’t really an option in the summer, so swap your cardi for a lightweight kimono. Kimonos look great over a dress and paired with a pair of nice sandals. They come in a variety of lengths, colors, and styles. Cotton On is currently having a sale on kimonos for only $10. Forever 21 also carries them for as low as $15.90 in different materials and patterns.

Flannels come in many different styles. You can tie one around your waist, or simply wear it over your favorite tank. They range from warm and cozy, to light and cool. Forever 21 flannels start at $15.80 for girls and $17.90 for guys in a variety of designs. For a more fitted flannel, Tilly’s carries them beginning at $19.99 for both girls and guys.


Shoes can change the look of a whole outfit. You can pair a bold flat with a simple outfit, or vice versa. For a more dressier look, you can wear a nice pair of flats, and for a more casual look you can wear a pair of sneakers. Sneakers start at $9.80 for girls and $17.90 for guys at Forever 21 and $12.99 at Tilly’s. Flats are available for as low as $10.80 at Forever 21 and $16.99 at your local Target. Be sure to check out stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls that also carry a variety of shoes at a low cost.

With these items you can fill up your closet with fashionable pieces that make up many different outfits. Also, don’t forget to check out any sales going on or clearance racks. You’ll be surprised at what you can find on sale. Just remember to stay within your budget and only buy things you’ll be sure to get use out of.