Where do college students shop? According to an informal poll conducted by WWD in 2003, Gap is the number one spot. Here, we sent six young women shopping with $200 and minimal instruction: Spend $150 at Gap, and $50 anywhere else. Each came away with lots of merch perfectly suited to her distinctive sense of style.


TAM TREN, ’06
UCLA, Los Angeles, American literature
Her Style: “Moody. What I wear reflects how I feel that day. One day it may be a little punk rock, and the next, more of a relaxed bohemian vibe.”
Favorite Labels: Express, Lux from Urban Outfitters, vintage.
Gap Picks: Dip-dyed sweater ($38), distressed jeans ($58), khaki cuffed pants ($49.50). “I chose things that are a little different from what I already have, but still with hints of my own style.”
Next Stop: Urban Outfitters. “You can find things that fit whatever look you want,” says Tren, who buys a two-toned halter top ($38).
Final Tally: $157.51 at Gap; $41.14 at Urban Outfitters. She also spends her own money on a pair of $4 earrings at Urban.

SAMUNA THOMPSON, ’05

Purdue, West Lafayette, Ind., hotel and tourism management
Her Style: “Accessories, accessories, accessories! You can wear flip-flops, a
T-shirt and shorts and still look heavenly with the right trinkets.”
Favorite Labels: Gap, H&M, Benetton, Ralph Lauren.
In the Dressing Room: Thompson spends a long time trying to make a pair of khaki trousers and white trench coat work, but finally gives up.
Gap Picks: A floral print circle skirt ($64), chartreuse ribbed tank ($9.99), white cotton blazer ($49.99, on sale).
Next Stop: Hot Line, an accessories store in the local Tippecanoe Mall, where she picks out an eight-pack of gold bangles ($8), gold drop earrings ($8), strappy nude heels ($49.99).
Final Tally: $131.42 at Gap; $69.91 at Hot Line. Thompson’s accessories addiction caused her to to go a tad over budget at Hot Line.

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