Spring/Summer 2023 trends on a student budget

George Metcalf on 8 February 2023
A person wearing a cheetah print fluffy top, reminiscent of Y2K fashion

New season, new look? Here’s not how to break the bank when going for those Spring/Summer '23 fashion trends.

Can you feel that? The days getting slightly longer, the birds are starting to pipe up, and f-f-fucking f-f-freezing is becoming kinda chilly; spring is nearly here.

With this change in season comes a change in wardrobe as well. Gone are the winter coats, incoming layers, jackets and inconsistent temperatures. Here are a couple of ways to stay fashionable on a budget.  

New Britannia 

Say what you want about England, but those old-school subcultures hold up. Mods, Skinheads (the nice kind) and Punks have had a lasting effect on British fashion, and with heritage brands like Dr Martens and Burberry getting an injection of innovation for 2023, now’s the time to take inspiration from these looks.

How to get the look: 

For the cleaner, more Mod-inspired stuff the fit’s gotta be impeccable. A cheaper way to get around this is to find second-hand items and then get them tailored to your specifications. 

As for the footwear, DMs go for pretty cheap on platforms like Depop and Vinted and often turn up in random vintage shops. If you don’t want to pay for the brand then just shop the silhouette. 

Finally, bomber jackets, harringtons and band tees can all be found on the second-hand market for pretty reasonable prices, even more so outside of major cities.


Seemingly on the other end of the spectrum, the early 2000’s look will continue to be a big one for 2023. Baggy trousers, cropped tees and vintage sportswear make up a big part of the uniform, as do motorcycle jackets and wrap-around shades. See Bella Hadid and Marc Kalman for more details. 

How to get the look: 

Thankfully, a lot of this trend is just what people used to wear in the 2000’s so it’s all mostly in charity shops. For the sportswear and trainers you’ll wanna hit up Instagram and shop around different vintage store pages, eBay can also be pretty good for trainers. 

If you’re not feeling charity shops, budget-friendly brands like Weekday are harnessing the Y2K look for their new season.

Business Casual

Thanks to the introduction of remote working and cooler bosses your average person has less restrictions on workwear than ever before, which makes the Business Casual trend all the more ironic. 

Oh what, I don’t have to wear a blazer to work every day anymore? Well, now I want to. Tie optional? Damn right I’ll be wearing a tie, but it’ll be vintage. 

How to get the look: 

An M&S blazer ain't gonna cut it, instead, you’ll want something a bit more elevated. Two options there; you can find one second-hand and have it tailored, or you can find a relatively affordable one from the likes of COS, Zara, Weekday or Arket. 

Either way, you’re looking for an elevated take on the classic look, better materials, a more fashion-y fit, anything you wouldn’t see in a boring office. The same goes for ties and shirts, you want the most elevated, left-field takes on these things. For bonus points, pair formal gear with informal pieces like jeans, trainers, caps and beanies. 

Back to Basics 

In times of recession and cuts back it’s only natural for creative expression to take on a more minimalist approach. Design gets stripped back, art becomes less in-your-face, and the same is true with fashion. 

There are certain basics that will continue to stand the test of time - blue jeans, white tees, non-offensive trainers like Chuck Taylors, Stan Smiths, Adidas Sambas - and if you can pull those off correctly you’ll always be in style. 

How to get the look: 

The key here is to build a solid foundation of staple pieces like a good pair of black trousers, a solid pair of blue jeans and some nice plain t-shirts. Places like Uniqlo are great for this kind of thing and tend to be more affordable than other high-street brands. 

In terms of layering (because it is still cold), you’ll wanna grab some good quality crewnecks and some basic jackets; one waterproof, one canvas, and one overcoat. These can be the more expensive purchases, but shopping around is half the fun (Editor's note: I bought a waterproof jacket from Weekday for £20 like 5 years ago and it still holds up). 

What are your favourite fashion trends for 2023? Join the Student Hut Opinion Panel and let us know. 

George  Metcalf
George Metcalf on 8 February 2023