High Heels and Finance: Frugal Fashion

High Heels and Finance: Frugal Fashion

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Ladies, it is a rare opportunity when the latest fashion trends allow us to be stylish and save money. But I am delighted to say that, after reviewing the fall runways, that is exactly the opportunity we have!


According to Vogue, “Fall 2013 is a season of duality, of opposites attracting. For every beaded, bejeweled rocker chick shimmying in an extravagant fur and short skirt, there’s a minimalist sporting a sober dress that gives maximum coverage. For every over-the-top fur scarf, there’s a discreet, long-closet-life purse. For every menswear-inspired tweed, there’s gleaming velvet. The humble coat has suddenly ramped up the action, roaring down the runways from New York to Paris in versions beaded, zippered, embellished, and richly plush. There’s also been a gender swap as Savile Row tweeds morph into Hitchcock heroine–worthy clothes that echo the mystery and glamour of the forties, fifties, and early sixties.” In short, just about anything goes. So, select your personal style, invite your girlfriends over, shake the martinis and build your fall wardrobe from pieces you already own.


To offer some further guidance, I compiled a top ten trend list. After reviewing many of the published “Top Ten Trends of Fall 2013” lists, from The Fashion Spot (www.thefashionspot.com), Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, In Style and others, I have boiled down the overlaps to the following short list.


1. Dark Neutrals
2. Touches of Fur
3. Modern Plaid
4. Leather
5. White Tops/Black Bottoms
6. Quilting
7. Cinched/Statement Outerwear
8. Distinctive and Repetitive Patterns
9. Deep, Rich Greens
10. Winter White


If carefully chosen, you can hit enough of the top ten to be on trend without spending a dime. Who doesn’t have a couple of white blouses and tops to pair with black skirts and pants? If you look carefully through your closet, you will probably find a statement belt to use around a boxy coat. If you’re lucky, your coat might be quilted. For the modern plaid trend, the key will be careful mixing of multiple plaid items you already own. This is where the help of girlfriends may be required. Take advantage of the dark neutral trend and feel free to wear out your grey and camel pieces.


Use the inspiration on Vogue.com to create pairings that are fresh, creative and on trend. If you simply must indulge in one or two of the season’s must have items, try stores like H&M and Forever 21. Sure, it’s not Chanel, but let’s face it, are you going to wear a leather, peplum top more than 10 times?


In an interview, Issac Mizrahi said, “The key to dressing well on a budget is to temper your expectations. If you think you’re going to buy lots of expensive clothes and stay on fashion, it’s not going to happen. What good is, is relative. If you like something, regardless of the price, it’s good. If your pantyhose cost more than your skirt it works well because that’s what makes you feel good.” And, as we all know, the key to being stylish is feeling good about how you look in the clothes you wear and yourself.


So don’t blow your budget on clothes that are on trend but don’t suit your shape, your style or your personality. At the end of the season, when you aren’t tossing the unworn, price tag bearing, “must have” items from your closet, you will be proud, guilt free and that much closer to your financial goals.