Why is it that when stores email you about a life-changing clearance event, you still end spending a substantial chunk of hard-earned beer money? Not to sound overly relatable on everyone, but let’s be real: none of us young adults on the cusp of financial independence have thirty bucks to spend on a t-shirt. We need that money for other dumb stuff, like food and water.

These cool stores (you know the ones where the models don’t brush their hair and all of the denim is pre-torn in just the right way) claim to be offering the trendiest clothes “at a bargain price.” I’m calling bull on this one. There are plenty of alternative sites offering essentially the same items at a significantly lower cost than the name brand sale prices.

Graphic T-shirt
A successful graphic tee has two jobs: sort out the haters and convince people that you have a winning sense of humor without actually having to speak to them. Despite how essential graphic t-shirts are, however, call it what it is: a t-shirt. This is an article of clothing that we will probably fall asleep in and/or use as a napkin at some point during the day. I’m not saying that buying a graphic tee featuring your favorite character from a guilty pleasure movie is wrong. Stores charging you twenty bucks for that kind of novelty item? Yeah, that’s wrong.


What I’ve provided below are two equally fabulous t-shirts. Both of them feature a masked villain from films that (if you have good taste) made our childhoods better. The difference is, the H&M Darth Vader t-shirt on the left is $17.95. Meanwhile, the Black Knight t-shirt on the right (available at is only $6.00.

Boho Chic Items
Free People, an online clothing distributor describes itself as “the destination for bohemian fashion that features the latest trends and vintage collections for women who live free through fashion, art, music, and travel.” For a site shoving their Indie fever down your throat, they sure know how to kill that retail therapy buzz.


The dress on the left, from, is ON SALE for $59.95. Sadly, it was one of the better deals I came across on the site. To the right we have a similar white dress, with lace detailing and that same boho vibe, on sale for a mere $12.50 at The only substantial difference between these items is the price.

For those of you embarking on the whole “I’m not going to actually to wear this flannel shirt, I’m just going to tie it around my waist” journey, I don’t agree with what you’re doing, but I feel compelled to help you get through this phase in a wallet-friendly way.


Urban Outfitters, perhaps the king of the so-hipster-it-hurts movement, provides the flannel shirt on the left for $59.00. It might make you feel pretty punk to rock an oversized, overpriced plaid shirt every day, but, really? Almost sixty bucks to achieve that look? If you’re feeling guilty right now, calm down. I’m not here to torture you over past mistakes, I’m here to judge you for making new ones. You can, however, avoid these new mistakes by opting to shop on sites like Romwe sells the remarkably similar flannel for only $25— less than half of its Urban equivalent.

This isn’t a personal assault on Urban Outfitters but let’s talk about their $42 dollar 5-panel hat, shown on the right. Back in the day people wore hats to shield their eyes and skin from sun damage. You’re telling me now that times have changed people, and hats can be fashion statements rather than safety precautions, we need to pay almost 50 bucks for one? If you’re interested in paying a quarter of what the Urban hat costs, for its identical cousin, check out the Forever 21 hat on the right– sold for only $10.

A solid pair of oxford shoes is a necessity in any wardrobe chasing that elusive indie-yet-classy vibe. But we have to call out the 20 year-olds willing to spend $90 for the American Apparel oxfords shown on the left the same way we called out those dumb kids in 7th grade who spent the same amount on an Abercrombie sweatshirt. By checking out a new, random site called Urbanog, I found an equally fabulous pair of oxford flats for about a third of American Apparel’s price; they are shown on the left and are only $26.10.

Being a smart shopper will save you oodles of money, help you respect yourself just a little more, and it means you’ll probably make rent this month. And that, my friends, is the type of cool you can’t put a price on.