A generation that has learnt its fashion mantras from closely watching celebs, reading blogs and surfing the internet can probably never err with trends.

The life of college goers has changed tremendously, as looking good and scoring good are both a priority. However, a hurdle that continues to dangle over their heads is money. Dependence on parents and lack of an income to buy cool, trendy clothes is still an issue for today's young. The good part is, unlike a decade back when there was a serious dearth of stores that offered trendy clothes at thrift prices, today there is a world of options to choose from.

Going kind on pocket

When it comes to buying chic apparel, college goers have no rival. Globally, this age group is most open to experimenting and easily embraces colours, designs and textiles that are in vogue. According to Nacs.org, on an average, college students spend US$ 69 for fashion clothing in a typical month, reflecting the importance of affordable clothing market. Young men spend US$ 90 per month on clothes, compared to the women spending US$ 57.

According to Paul Himmelfarb, managing director at Youth Marketing Connection that helps the marketing team of various brands to connect with college students, "College students are wary of old-school marketing. You have to take a brand and incorporate it into the college lifestyle by peer-to-peer marketing."

As a young consumer group, college students are of significant importance. They have easy access to credit cards and many students have part-time jobs to make quick bucks. College goers are mostly enticed by fast fashion brands, as these stores offer inexpensive products with variety. The dramatic drop in prices of apparel sold by fast fashion chains and their quick adaptability to changing fashion trends have helped in the growth of these brands. This Gen Y market is used to availability of apparel just a click away, so they are also impatient. Retailers constantly try to grab their attention, offering lowest possible price points on products.

Brands in business

Companies like Limited, Express, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Victoria's Secret and Gap pay close attention to the needs of this group. However, the most popular brands that are affordable and up-to-date include Zara, Forever 21 and H&M. Japan's Uniqlo that targets young college goers is also looking to open 200 stores in the United States of America by 2020. H&M has 55 stores there.

The marketing strategy has changed, as many regular stores and brands like Urban Outfitters, Target and Macy's that catered to the needs of young college goers have reported dwindling sales. Companies like Delia's are running up losses. Delia's has filed for bankruptcy protection in 2014. Deb Shops and Delia's are extremely kind on students' pockets, but these stores are finding it tough to survive competition from Zara, H&M etc.