It’s not rocket science: the fashion industry is a consuming industry. It wants you to buy, buy now, and buy again. Its interest is far from your bank book. Instead, the industry would rather have you over for an all-you-can-consume feast, at your expense, while you can entrust them with your brand loyalty. (Indeed, very smart on its part.)
Certainly, there is an exchange of benefits. You get to wear its trends; pose in front of your friends or blog (which ever you prefer), and in turn, the industry gets more customers. Once the next collection is out, the cycle begins again. I’m am reminded of the shallow, but true-to-life, movie, Confessions of a Shopaholic, where a financial journalist is going into debt for fashion.
So how can you stay on trend, while consuming without being consumed?
Note the Trends!
Lookbook.nu is the best for street style and so too are indie blogs! Ask yourself: what’s my favorite look or element of that look? Keep this in mind as a reference.
Shop vintage (even newer vintage – a whole other debate).
Trends recycle. Truth be told, if you look around, vintage-inspired looks is where it’s at. Take a look at this fashion trend.
From slouch tops, bowler hats, and aged denim, This is THE thrift store look!
Vintage from all over can be found on a dime. Paruse local re-sale shops. (Note: the fancier the store, the easiest to shop–at a cost.) You can search for specific items on sites like Etsy. Ebay is great for cheap, unique vintage accessories!
What are you looking for? Special items, of course. I like grungy designer and graphic T’s. But most importantly, KEEP AN OPEN MIND. You never know what you’ll find. Just be sure to edit your selection before check out. (It’s easy to get carried away!)
Don’t be afraid to modify!
- Old mom pants make great high-waist cut offs!
- Adding fabric such as lace to a simple ribbed tank will create interest and texture on a dime. (The dry cleaner will do it inexpensively.)
- Be daring by fringing an old cotton top!
Do look for designer-inspired.
Example: Jeffrey Campbell, Sam Edelman, John Varvatos, … all have their modern version of saddle shoes, ranging from $99 to $550. While $100 is not completely unreasonable for a good pair of shoes, why not try for it less when you can? Vans & Stussy has teamed up to create their version of the saddle shoe ($65) to be release in July.
If you want something a bit more authentic, check these ultra designer French pre-loved shoes ($55)!
Statement Pieces – tricky, tricky
Here’s where it gets tricky. One could easily argue that a statement piece should be the item to splurged on. That very well could be so. On the other hand, your splurge maybe someone else’s bargain. It is important to realize your fashion budget and STAY ON TARGET. Choose statement pieces with chameleon-like qualities, so it could be worn with many looks!
Remember: key pieces can be found on ANY budget!
I was reading NickiNoel’s blog recently and saw this really cool piece of jewelry that she scored on Ebay for 5 bones. So I did a quick search. Here’s what I found:
Quality & Care
While H & M and Forever 21 are cheap, fashion sensible items to weave into your wardrobe, the quality BITES! Consider what items you are buying and how you will use them. The last thing you want is to spend any $$, only for that item to disintegrate by the end of the season. I suggest that you wash ALL clothing on delicate and hang dry whenever possible. NEVER EVER wash Dry Clean only items. But I’m sure you already knew that.
It’s What You Stand For
Last but not least, fashion is an extension of who you are. I am thrifter, partly because my budget says so, but also because it’s a creative outlet that I can appreciate. The art of thrifting, in a quiet way, seems to oppose consumerism but still values out-of-the-box thinking, fashion, and old pieces once forgotten.
What’s your fashion stand?