Here’s the scoop. I’m in college, I’m broke, I’m in
debt, I’m out of milk right now and can’t afford to go buy any groceries until
Friday… I’m sure a lot of you know where I am coming from.
Additionally; When I say I love clothes, that I’m addicted to clothes, that I
obsess over clothes, that my body is simply a display, the runway makes me tear
up, a magazine is my favorite read… I bet a lot of you still know where I am
But again, I’m that broke college student. So how does this coincide with
my fiery passion for really amazing clothes? Um, more often than not, it
doesn't. As a Dedicated Follower of Fashion, I’ve learned a few lessons
in my pursuit of all things sartorial. I’ve decided to share some wisdom
I have garnered that has helped me stay sane, balanced, and well dressed.
1. Play a lot of dress up.
When I was little I had this crazy purple taffeta prom dress in my dress up box
that all my friends coveted. Everyone wanted to wear the dress so
naturally we all took turns. The dress could be sassy, it could be
elegant, it could be romantic. It kind of depended on your attitude and
especially what cape or hat you wore with it. It was the ultimate dress-up
Anyway, keep playing dress up, I command you. I’m totally going to
admit to major nerdiness, but I spend a few hours every week with my clothes. I
love to turn on my iTunes, open up my magazines, and get inspired by what I already have in my closet. I especially
do this if I get something new. I will take that new item and pair it
with anything in my wardrobe it could possibly match. I make complete
outfits and usually write them down or take a picture. The pictures go on
my computer or the list goes in my closet and I refer to it later. ACTUALLY WEAR
THE OUTFITS YOU MAKE UP. That’s key. Create it, wear it.
2. Thrift effectively.
Thrifting is kind of an art form; one that I don’t totally have right and that
sometimes takes a lot of inspiration.
Some things that help me when I thrift are:
– To have a list of things I’m looking for, that way I don’t
have to feel overwhelmed by the racks and racks of clothing and can go straight
to the sections that have what I want.
-Go only AFTER you have checked that you are wearing an
outfit you can try stuff on easily in (a skirt and bodysuit is my favorite
thrifting outfit) just in case there are no dressing rooms. Also, go pee and pack a snack and some
water. Don’t let anything interrupt your
creative thrifting flow.
-Think creatively, try on everything that strikes your
fancy, you won’t know if you like it or if it happens to be that transformative
“oh my god, you got that WHERE?!” piece unless you do.
-Don’t buy stuff you aren’t actually going to wear. I have, in the past, spent money on things I have
never worn that seemed cool or quirky in the store but then don’t really float
my boat later. Be brutal with
yourself. Don’t buy anything you don’t
love, just as if you weren’t buying second hand.
-Find your favorite spots and haunt them. I love perusing the Salvation army, Goodwill,
etc. Also, here in LA there are TONS of
amazing places to thrift. I love to go
to Jet Rag on Sundays for their dollar sale (I found a 1940’s green velvet
fitted jacket for a buck!!!), to American Vintage, and one other place that
shall remain nameless (I can’t give away ALL my secrets!). Anyway, you will find that certain stores
have buyers with a style you just love.
So keep going back, again and again and again.
3. Go Ahead and Wear
that Weird Item.
If you have something in your wardrobe that is so ugly it’s
cute, kinda’ bizarre, or just plain hard or complicated to wear…but you LOVE
IT….Please, just wear it. Play dress up with it. You are probably the only one who owns it within
a given radius so be the one looking original and cool! Besides, fashion is about risks! Rock that
weird item until you just own it and it screams YOU! My friend Alicia gave me this crazy leather,
crocheted, short sleeved sweater. I
totally was afraid of it, it’s kind of weird, but I decided to rock it to
school, to the grocery store, to a concert and now its totally wearable simply because I feel confident in it. I have a feeling your “weird item” is just as
4. Retire it for a while.
Sometimes, no amount of dress up will make an item work for
you. I mean, maybe the piece works, but
not to the affect that you desire. In my
book there is nothing worse than leaving the house in an outfit you dislike or
doesn’t represent you. You can get rid
of said item, or just retire it for a few months. You may find that you have new eyes later or
that your style has evolved for the piece. Only time will tell!
5. Just because you
can’t afford it, doesn’t mean you can’t look.
Stay on top of those trends. Discover what is coming into play that you
love. Take the time to see how you can interpret a look for your own personal
style (“personal” is the key word. Don’t be a clone). Stay aware. Don’t be frustrated, be creative!
Example: 90’s, if you
didn’t know, are big right now. But not
everyone knows this…really! It’s weird!
I am personally making it my mission to find every cool 90’s item I can
before everyone else wants that mission too. My favorite finds lately are a
blue, tie dye mesh body suit, floral flowy pants, and brown lace up boots. Mmmm… so good. And super cool.
Ok, that’s it. Look
fabulous AND stay in school. Haha, that education is important and may get you
some Balmain or Chanel someday!
Oh, you have captured my spirit in this.
I play dress up quite often, my friends will text me, and they’ll ask what I’m doing, and I’ll say playing dress up, and they’ll think I’m joking. Anyways, this summer I splurged on some nude heels. And when I mean “splurge” I am 16, just got a job, and used to be completely living off my allowance. However, I was reading some magazine and found this diy to make a body suit out of an old slit. So of course I run into my moms closet and find the laciest most out of date slit possible and honest to god couldn’t cut that poor thing up. So I start playing dress up. I slid it up my waist realizing it would look too adultish if I was to wear it out in public like that. SO! I figured, I guess I could wear it as a dress. HAH. So end product after about an hour of dress up: nude heels, teal self-destroyed tights, slit-dress, topped with a gray slouchy shirt, and some extra fabric tied in a bow around my waist. I was so proud of my latest invention I sent a picture to my best friend, who immediately replied with a compliment. (She compliments all of my self-designed outfits, not realizing I’ll be wearing them out in public). I walked around in the house feeling so confident being able to pull of a get-up of such non-sense. The next day I went to a community college I’m taking art classes at and got stares and a few “that’s awesomes”. It feels so amazing to have compliments in something you feel terrific in.
I just spent way too much time describing you a tiny situation.
But this is why you are my homepage. I can relate.
Brittan Salisbury says
Yay! Im so glad that you enjoyed the article! And Im glad you are being creative with your clothes! It totally is amazing to get compliments on something completely you becasue it is an absolute extension of who you are :)
Keep it up! yay!
Alexa f. Sonk says
dropping a line to say hey to my fave friend. that was awesome…
one of the best parts was your instruction to bring a snack. so good.