I’m talking your and my kind of “affordable”

I love fashion, and I love to shop, but let’s face it – I am a broke a$$ college student.  Sure, I’ll admit, at one point Mommy and Daddy helped a lot with my wardrobe funds.  But those days are long over (growing up sucks).  And since I can’t get a job while I’m in grad school here, I am surviving off of what I saved over summer working my retail job + student loans.  Which honestly (and unfortunately) is not leaving me with much to work with.

In the same boat?  I feel you, I do.  But honestly it’s not so bad.  I’ve come up with some tactics of my own.  For one, I have become really good at mixing and matching what I do have to create completely new outfits out of what I thought were just old stuff that I’ve worn a million times.  And I only was allowed about 40 pounds of luggage to bring over from the states.  My closet is pretty barren. So if I can make it work, so can you.

But then the trends change, and yes, styles usually end up coming back, but there are new things that I see that I WANT.

Case in point, every piece of Doutzen Kroes’ ensemble here at the 8th Annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards:

A.) I love the sheer, lace top exposing the black bra underneath.  B.) How gorgeous is the bottom of the dress?  Glamourous flowing satin with the front slit on the skirt, which is definitely a current trend.  C.) The shoes!  God knows I’m obsessed with shoes.  Classic black, chunky wedge (so comfortable), ankle strap, pointed toe.  Beautiful.

The entire look is from Theyskin’s Theory Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear line.  I seriously love everything about this whole collection (I can’t help it, you know how obsessed I am with black). I really want the shoes (Theyskin’s Theory Ankle Strap Wedge).  Awesome discovery?  They’re on sale at Barneys!  Sad reality – the sale price is about $300.  You know, I wish I could say I could drop that kind of money on a pair of shoes right now, but reality of the situation suggests otherwise.  One day…when I’m ballin’.

So for all of us out there who are in the dream-chasing (low cash flow) stage, what do we do?

You just need to do your research. There are so many affordable versions sold elsewhere based on the same styles inspired by runway looks.

Like Doutzen’s outfit, for example.  Let’s break it down.

1.) TOP IT OFF WITH LACE

Seeing the lace top in the Theyskin’s Theory dress actually reminded me of the summer going-out creation by Tash and I for nights out in Downtown San Diego and perfect for Vegas trips.

Primary ingredient being the Stretch Floral Lace Long Sleeve Mini Dress from American Apparel for only $55.

I bought the dress with the intention of wearing it as a dress, but I’ve actually worn it more often as a top.  I think pairing it with a skirt or pair of shorts is much less boring than the dress alone.  Plus, you can create so many different looks.

Dress up the dress.

Everything else pictured above: $40 or less. I know you love it.

2.) A LITTLE BIT OF LEG

Dresses and skirts with a slit or in the fishtail style are everywhere, and I love it.  There have been so many that I’ve seen that I love, but why are they all at least $150??? Ugh.

BUT WAIT. Alas, I spoke too soon. Check out these steals, all $55 or under:

   

Or, if you’re crafty, try this: A Pair and A Spare did a tutorial in collaboration with Free People on a DIY Fishtail Skirt!  YES!  So read it here, then cruise on over to a thrift shop to get some cheap-o skirt and turn it into a gem for a teeny weeny fraction of what it would cost you to buy one elsewhere.  Thrift shops are the bomb.

3.) WEDGE OUT

I would post an array of amazingly-priced black wedges for you to drool over, but I’m way too obsessed with these right now. These black, chunky, suede, super-comfy-looking wedges:

THEY WENT ON SALE. FOR JUST €27.95 ($40)!!!!  AND, the Top Shop by my apartment has one pair left. Guess whose size. Yeah, um, needless to say, they’ve been calling to me.  But the rational, money-saving, practical me (yeah, where the hell did she come from all of a sudden) always ends up  convincing me that I don’t need them and I walk out empty-handed.

But I just went in today and THEY ARE STILL THERE. fjkdwjfeowfjdsgj It’s got to be a sign, right?!

Anyway.

Moral of this story: you don’t have to be living large to cop the newest designer style that you drool over from the other side of the store window.  Just do your research.  Be resourceful.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way.  And I said it before, and I’ll say it again: thrift shops are the bomb.

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