Your key to affordable fashion: accessories

By Ashley Alagurajah

Balling on a budget? Wanna look iced out? Look no further, we're talking ACCESSORIES people!

The year is 2008, you’re at Claire’s with your mom — this is paradise. It’s been downhill since then: the accessory section has been long forgotten, but I’m about to show you how investing in a few complementary pieces can enhance your outfits (maybe not from Claire’s though.) There’s no need to go out and replace your entire wardrobe. Here are a few suggestions to make your looks Insta-worthy without blowing through your Starbucks money. 


I thrifted this scarf from Black Market on Queen Street West a few years ago. Sitting at five dollars, it's one of the most versatile pieces I've ever bought because it brings the slightest pop of colour to any look.

(Ashley Alagurajah)

I usually wear it with a white blouse and jeans, a timeless look made a bit more fashionable with the bright reds and blues. I can even pair it with a blue purse or a red fanny pack to tie the whole look together. Also, tying the scarf in my hair is one of my fourth-day hair secrets — you should try it sometime! 

You can find a duplicate of this scarf from Urban Outfitters here.


Dangling earrings — specifically hoops — have come back in style and luckily, you can get them for cheap!

(Ashley Alagurajah)

These three pairs are from Ardene and were part of a three for $15 deal. Talk about a steal!

Popping them in takes virtually no effort, and will bring your look from zero to ten real quick.  

My favourite thing about hoops is the fact that they can be worn at all times, whether I’m going to church or to dinner with my friends. The hoops cannot be institutionalized — they cross every fashion border. Shop them here!


Goodbye fedoras and paperboy hats — I think we’ve fully exhausted those looks. You can never go wrong with a good old baseball hat. I used to think I couldn’t wear hats because they don’t sit right on my head (I have really thick and curly hair), but I found out that if I put my hair in a low bun, the baseball hat looks très cute

(Ashley Alagurajah)

It’s always better to invest in a good quality one, with a strong brim, it might run you a 20, but it’ll last you much longer than a cheaper alternative. Want something more playful? Tie-dye a white bucket hat for an affordable and unique piece. So VSCO-chic! 

You can check out some hat options here from Adidas.


Have 20/20 vision? No worries, these clear aviator glasses are non-prescription. I bought mine a few years ago from Urban Outfitters, but don’t worry, they've always got a bunch of new specs in their accessory section.

(Ashley Alagurajah)

If that’s not your style, they've also got sunglasses, which you can indeed wear in the winter too. As embarrassing as this is, I'm one to wear glasses on my head more than over my eyes. I prefer them as a make-shift headband — don’t judge me. 

Check out some cool glasses from Urban Outfitters here!

Pro tip: they tend to go on sale after a few weeks, I snagged mine for $5!


Clips are simply the latest trend making a revival. Big clips, small clips, it doesn't matter. Pop them right onto the sides of your head and play around with how they hold up your hair. H&M has some really cute ones that even come with matching earrings —

(Ashley Alagurajah)

they're basically doing all the work for you for under $20! As a child, I used to deck my head out with coloured barrettes, and it’s both concerning and exciting that I can rock my 2003 hairdos all over again. Will velcro sneakers be next? Check out some clips from H&M here!

These are just some suggestions, but feel free to continue browsing accessory sections! They are filled with hidden gems that will help you pull together looks in an easy, low-effort and low-cost way. Not only is it important to be saving money, but also the environment. Opting for more accessories than clothing pieces is sure to help minimize fashion waste.

Go for statement accessories that bring in texture, colour and pattern— they’ll pair much easier with a casual, minimalist wardrobe. Trust me, you'll wind up looking much cooler than you thought you ever could. 

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