Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Classic pieces for the frugal shopper

Must being frugal prevent you from being a fashionista? Of course not! You can easily update your wardrobe with the latest trends (even from some high-street brands) if you know the basic items to have and where to get them.

Look a million dollars at minimum expense. This doesn’t even mean buying cheap clothes. Lucy Torres herself told FemaleNetwork that we must buy even just a few classic, quality pieces instead of a lot of cheap disposable ones.

A term used now is “credit-crunch shopping” (or buying fewer but better quality clothes that give maximum return on your money). According to an article in TimesOnline, you must choose pieces that are best in value in terms of quality (will last for more than a few washes), versatility (can stand alone and go with anything), and capacity to update your look (must never go out of style). The article suggests visiting high-street labels Zara, Topshop, Banana Republic, The Gap, and Marks and Spencer when you want to do some CC shopping.

In the list below, high-profile stylist and boutique owner Dawn Del Russo tells what fashionista pieces you must have to look fabulous at “frugalista prices”:

Accessories. Check out local stores for glam accessories that don’t cost much. Layer necklaces (with some pieces from your mom or lola’s jewelry box) or create your own by stringing together funky beads into a bracelet or necklace, and you add instant spunk to your look.

Sunglasses. In a tropical country as ours, having a pair of shades is essential all-year-round. Didn’t you notice it adds instant star-power to your look (the way it does to celebrities who hide under them)? There are a lot of chic pairs to choose from in department stores and local boutiques that will cost you less than P500.

Heels. If you’re not used to wearing heels (at least three inches, mind), maybe the notion that they are wardrobe essentials that upgrade your look for less will change that. They make your calves look slimmer and add instant oomph to a t-shirt-and-jeans attire.

“It” Bag. It need not be a designer bag. Just research on the designer labels’ trims, buttons, straps, zippers, and colors and get the affordable version of the trends. Never sport the fake versions, please. If you can’t afford the real thing then never even attempt to go faux. Check out showbiz magazines to see what celebrities are carrying and take a cue.

Denim. This has always been a wardrobe essential that can last a long time. Look for a great pair from stores like Levi’s or Guess (which are on sale now until August 31).

Coat and blazers. Especially with the cold weather following the rainy season, this is the time to invest in outerwear pieces that instantly add sophistication to a basic outfit. Try buying a double-breasted coat or over-sized knit sweater from The Gap, a bomber jacket from Topshop, or a jacket with military detailing from Zara.

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