Gotham Girl

As I end the Budget section of BODS I hope you've been left with the impression that there are no end of bargains out there for any Spashionista willing to be diligent and resourceful.

In this post we wave goodbye to frugality and plunge head first into major label elegance. New York City is my birthplace and where I spent my early childhood years - when I was actually cute.

Although it's been many, many years since I called Gotham my home it will always be a part of who I am. Even living on the outskirts of Nashville you can take the girl out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the girl. So let's go back to NYC and do it dressed to the nines.

Love the top? Me, too. It's a Vivienne Westwood Green Boeing Blouse in khaki silk from the Autumn/Winter 2012-13 collection at viviennewestwood.co.uk for $320. The skirt, an ALICE by Temperley Dita lace-paneled jersey, is an expensive iteration of my Ilyse Hart LTD black and white lace pencil skirt. This one can be had from net-a-porter.com and is much pricier at $300. The fox fur trimmed, wool/silk blend pashmina is $543 worth of stunning Gucci style. You can find the Spanish red suede Chie Mihara Sour Floral T-Strap Pump shoes at Neiman Marcus. They'll only set you back $470. The clutch comes to us from Harrod's. A McQ Alexander McQueen Albion Envelope  for $740 (£470). The bracelet and rings are both Alexander McQueen as well. The pearl bracelet is from Bergdorf Goodman and the gold finish brass Quad Band Skull ring from alexandermcqueen.com; $2565 and $265, respectively. The Jazzy Power chair will keep you moving in style for $3529 from Amazon.com.

Grand totals? Without the chair, $5203; with, $8732. Either way this is more than I'll ever spend on an outfit. But I think I'd look amazing in these pieces. Now, where are the cheap knockoffs?

Spashionistas Wanted

The outfits that I put together for Fashion Friday are based on my BODS profile. Sure, some of the items I use are beyond my price range but I’m certain I can find reasonable equivalents within my budget. I would love the opportunity to put some together for you for the next installment of Fashion Friday. If you’re interested email me with your BODS profile and we’ll make it happen!

It's A Cinch To Pinch Those Pennies

Last week I promised to share with you where I found the bottoms in this picture.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

I got these jeans at a thrift store for $4.98. In fact, I purchased everything you see below at one of three thrift stores I periodically pillage.

For my fellow disabled Spashionistas and anyone on a tight budget or a fixed income secondhand stores can be a boon. You're letting somebody else pay full price for a garment that has the potential to make you look fabulous when you score it for a lot less money. There are obvious downsides to the thrift store experience. You have to be willing to wade through a sea of so-so clothing to find that rare piece that's perfect for you. You also have to be willing to have it altered if it's a close fit.

Take these jeans, for example. These happen to be Nine West and fit me perfectly except for the length.

Given the fact that I'm on the short end of petite I expect any pants I find are going to be too long. I paid $6.98 for the jeans and another $9 to have them hemmed (you didn't really think I could sew, did you?). For around $16 I have name brand jeans that fit like a glove. The Westbound Petite I'm wearing in the photo above, along with a pair of Old Navy Sweetheart Jeans purchased for $5.98, are the only pants I've bought that didn't need to be taken up.

Other notable summer tops include the pink One World ombre  for $3.99; the RXB turquoise embellished tunic, also $3.99.

The black and white "mystery"  label-removed tunic for $2.98.

The gorgeous Ilyse Hart LTD black pencil skirt with white lace looks like a million bucks but only cost me $3.99! The third black and white item is a Sangria dress that I purchased for $5.99.

Fall picks start with the Sarah Arizona Petite dark sage top for $4.99 and the Worthington Petite black wrap top at $3.99.

This Ann Taylor Loft grey fringe wool skirt with appliqued flowers was a steal at $8.98.

Winter clothes are hard to find secondhand. This is especially true for sweaters that can't be altered and tend to arrive at the thrift store stretched, snagged, or pilled. When I find a great sweater I pounce on it. Take these two for instance. The white is a Raphaella angora/lambswool blend for $7.98. The pink Valerie Stevens is cashmere and set me back $10.99.

By my calculations that's a total of $84.81, including the $9 alteration fee, for 13 items. That averages out to $6.52 per piece. Is there any sceneario by which this does not qualify as awesome?

Please excuse the quality of these photos - I lent my photography rig to Vogue magazine. They promised to have it back in time for this shoot but, well, you know how that goes!

What's your best thrift store/charity shop/consignment boutique find?

Maxx-i-Mart-Shalling

Yes, I know it's not a real word, but it's how I save big bucks on new clothes.

Forget about the mall with it's pricey department stores. Unless I'm having a Cinderella Moment I'm not paying full price for anything I find in a major mall. The real savings are to be had in places like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Stein Mart, and outlet malls. Of course, it's still important to be choosy because even at discount prices it's easy to break the bank. Having said that, let me show you a few recent examples of my most notable acquisitions from the outlet stores.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Let's go clockwise and start with the fuchsia print blouson dress. I bought it in May during the grand reopening of Opry Mills Outlet Mall at Express. It was already on their clearance rack at $29.99 but with the added mall promos I got it for an additional $8 off. The white dress is Solitaire by Ravikhosra from Marshall's. I wanted a lace dress and tried on several at different stores, some of them much more than I wanted to spend, but none of them were flattering. This one has more of a flare in the skirt, was a better fit all around, and at $24.99 was too good to resist. Next we have a lovely Max Studio french navy top on seasonal clearance at TJ Maxx for a whopping $6.99. Because I'm petite I'll wear it loosely belted over leggings or a pencil skirt. Last, but not least, this gorgeous empire waisted Live and Let Live multi-colored top was $11.99 from Stein Mart's clearance rack. I am admittedly biased towards that store and may do an entire post about them in the future. So let's see, by my calculations the total for all four items comes to $65.96. I don't know about you but I think that's perfectly respectable in terms of the bang-for-your-buck factor. Oh, and the bottoms in the last picture will be part of our next destination. Aren't you just dying to know where I got them? Find any great bargains like these lately you'd like to share with us?