“It costs very little to look this expensive”.
Many fashionistas/Magazines all over the world have this misconception that REAL fashion and REAL style only consists of designer labels and 3 figure prices. I am here to tell you that those misconceptions made by so-called “fashionistas” or “fashion experts” is complete and utter bullshit.
Excuse my grammar but I am tired of seeing women over expose their red soles and preach about how they starved themselves for an issue of Vogue. Sure I like the magazine, would I starve for it? NO. Does anything in the magazine appeal to me? Sure the styling and creativity is great but are these models wearing anything I can afford? No.
Most magazines only promote designers which is understandable because they are paid a hefty amount of cash to promote these brands. Without it, print media is dead. I get it, I understand, but the only reason I open up an issue of Vogue is to be inspired by the creativity and styling of the models. That is what I love, nothing more, nothing less. Fashionistas all over the world depend on Vogue to dictate what they should buy, wear, and throw away because it is soooo last season. Its really sad that many of these girls often forget who they really are because they are trying to live up to the expectations of these magazines. Many of the women who read these mags think the “life” is smoking ten packs of cigarettes a day to lose weight and emptying their bank accounts to look chic. This is not what fashion is about. It isn’t about following trends or being stick thin, it’s about personal style and how creative you can be with your look whether you are tall, short, big, small, black, or white.
Magazines like Lucky sit here and tell us that we are lucky they picked out a whole bunch of designer goods that are on sale that we STILL can’t afford. These magazines only cater to women who make 5-6 figure salaries every two weeks. Basically, that means all of us who don’t make that much money can’t really afford whats in those magazines. I guess that means we aren’t so lucky after all and that $5 we spent on that magazine could have been a blouse at the salvation army that looks 50 times better than the Gucci one in Lucky Magazine on sale for $395. It also could have been 2 junior bacon cheeseburgers, a baked potato, a chocolate frosty, and a sprite at Wendy’s for just about that much because my ass is not starving for an issue of Vogue or Lucky for that matter.
I have tons of designer goods, does that mean I gave my entire rent to buy it? no. Did I buy it because it was by a designer? no. I buy what I like and I only spend a lot on the things that I absolutely love. I have a closet full of designer and vintage goods, some costing less than $1 and some costing me more than $350. My point is, I buy what I like, not because a designer made it. You don’t have to be a puppet of magazines or spend tons of money to look expensive. I told myself that if I ever bought myself a pair of Christian Louboutins that they would have to be extra special and at least 75% off. I now own two pairs of which I love but wear in moderation. I do not go around prancing in them exposing my red soles in every single picture I take, nor do I go around emphasizing that I wear designer labels. I think that its tacky to drench yourself in monograms and designer labels that aren’t so subtle but that’s just my opinion. If you do wear a monogram make sure your outfit isn’t too busy with the matching scarf and hat. I also think that it is more admirable when you can take a pair of $10 shoes and style them with your outfit and make the entire outfit look like its worth $1000. How many times do you come across people who have nothing but designer labels on and they look poor and cheap? Fashion isn’t how much you can spend, but what you can do with what you buy.
You can make any non-designer outfit look expensive. I do it all the time, I can find an entire outfit at the Salvation Army and make it look like it’s from some store on 5th Avenue. You can too if you put your creativity to work. Many stores like H&M, Urban Outfitters, and Forever 21 provide fashionable clothing at decent and reasonable prices too. I rarely shop in those stores but not because of its reputation or the opinions of others, I don’t shop in them because I rather shop in thrift stores, where I can find tons of H&M, Urban Outfitters, and Forever 21 garments even CHEAPER. Also the best part about thrifting is the vintage things you find, every piece is unique and rare. I like to have unique pieces in my closet. I just like knowing I don’t look like anyone else, and when you shop in stores that have 21423445 chains all over NY, you kinda don’t want to buy something everyone is wearing. This is why I only shop in stores like H&M moderately.
Most of my designer goods are from sample sales or consignment shops. If you want yourself a great pair of Christian Louboutins, go to wasteland in LA where they sell them for $200-or-less a pop. If you want Betsey Johnson dresses at 75% off, visit your local Buffalo exchange as they have a steady rotation of BJ pieces for CHEAP. Buffalo exchange also has a variety of designer and vintage clothing. Its my favorite store. You really just have to look and explore if you want to save yourself money. I don’t go directly to 5th Avenue shops to buy my goods, I maneuver around them. I don’t go looking for designer pieces in particular but I always stumble across great designer items in the shops I listed above and regular thrift stores.
Here are some examples that will shock you. Most people assume that I wear nothing but designer labels or that I spend a lot on my clothing but they aren’t entirely right. I am going to show you fashion on a budget.
For Fashions Night out I wore a vintage yellow suit that cost me $20 at Salvation Army, a patent leather belt that cost me $2, a Chanel Bag I found at a thrift store for $25 (Yes, you heard correctly), a vintage fur stole that cost me $15, and a pair of YSL pumps I purchased at Buffalo exchange for $100 bucks. Total cost of outfit=$162
I wore this outfit to a Gay Pride festival in Queens. I’m wearing a John Paul Gaultier dress from Target that cost me $25 at goodwill, A pair of Betsey Johnson shoes that I got at a sample sale that cost $25, a vintage purse I bought in a vintage store called Slow for $35, and my hat was $5 at a Coney Island Flea Market. Total cost of outfit=$90
This outfit is one of my favorites and super inexpensive. My jacket is from Zara and cost me $100, my pants are vintage from Salvation Army $7, my boots are also from Salvation Army for $10, my purse is from Slow $35, my hat was $2 at SA, and my sweater is $10. Total cost of outfit=$164
This outfit is all designer BUT with REAL sale prices. My dress and jacket are both Betsey Johnson, however, my dress was originally $295 but I got it at a sample sale for $50, and my jacket was $30 at Buffalo exchange, my shoes are Dolce and Gabanna and cost me $100 at a friends and family sale, and my purse is vintage from Salvation Army and only costed me $4. Total cost of outfit=$184
As you can see, you don’t have to spend tons of money to be fashionable. Here are my rules of the fashion game.
1. Be Patient. Know where to shop, get your lazy butt up and visit some thrift stores. I understand being an impulsive buyer and just buying something there and then but if you have a little bit of patience, you will always find what you want at a better price, designer or non-designer goods.
2. Do not be afraid of thrifting. Yes there is a huge bed bug epidemic in NYC. Here’s a tip- put your newly purchased used goods in your freezer and leave it there for 3 days. Kills bed bugs instantly. Also Goodwill is a thrift store that sterilizes everything that comes in, I know, I’ve done my research. lol
3. Do not buy designer goods just because its designer goods. I’ve seen many of you Christian Loubouton-boasting-broads make those Louboutins look cheap. It’s about how you style your outfit, not what designers you are wearing. Buy what you like and if it is a designer piece and you have the money, go for it, if not..wait for that motherfucker to go on sale. EVERYTHING in the end…goes on sale.
5. Dont starve for an issue of Vogue, do not let it dictate who YOU ARE. Its stupid and food is much more luxurious sweetheart…trust me. Buying an issue of Vogue will not give you more importance. If you do buy it, buy it for the right reasons, to be inspired by the latest looks and how the models are creatively styled.
6. Do not be concerned with what’s last season or “in” and “out” of fashion. Continue to have your own style on your own budget and you will never go wrong.
I hope this will inspire many of you to start doing your research on sales and thrift stores and also start saving yourselves some hard-earned cash for rainy days that matter the most. Or you can hire me to be your personal shopper for a day ;). Its your call.