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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Real Talk: Shopping for Fashion Week

Hello my lovelies!
So as you probably know, New York Fashion Week starts tomorrow!

Fashionistas from all over the country will convene to view the Fall 2008 collections of designers from Diane von Furstenberg to Herve Leger. It's an exciting time for the Fashion Bomb, as I'll be in the house delivering Real Style, pictures, and interviews.
Even though I swore to temper shopping in the New Year, I knew I just had to get a few special somethings for the occasion.
Keeping my budgetary concerns in mind, I figured $200 was a low, yet reasonable amount to go shopping. I told myself I'd try to find items below $100 each (per my New Years resolution), and truly be a budget fashionista.
With my vision of how fashion week attendees should look....
...I set out last Saturday to find a few diamonds in the rough.
I started local, walking down Flatbush Avenue until I hit one of my favorite boutiques, Harriet's Alter Ego (293 Flatbush Avenue between St. Marks and Prospect Place)...
I was informed that the rack in the back...
...held items for $30.
My eyes immediately settled on this vintage Chanel inspired tweed jacket...
...with a great stand up collar and a short style that was mildly reminiscent of Victoria Beckham's jacket from the Roland Mouret show.
I tried it on...
...and it was a little tight, but for $30, it was definitely a steal! I reasoned I could perhaps get it let out at my trusty tailor. If anything, I'd wear it unbuttoned over a sleeveless dress for shows, then gift it to one of my grubby sisters!
Running tally: $30.
I had a meeting in the city, so I raced off to the East Village where I wandered into a French Connection (700 Broadway at West 4th Street)...
...I was lured in by their promise of 60% off their fashionable wares.
I grabbed *way* too much stuff, and made my way into the dressing room. Turns out all the items were an extra 50% off their sale prices, so dresses normally $200 were marked down to $60-$70--definitely within my budget!
I tried on this wine colored number...
...and though I thought it could maybe work with tights, I felt it was too short and night clubby for an aspiring fashion editor like myself.
This sweater dress was only $70 (marked down from $200)...
...and with a white collared shirt underneath, it could look smart, professional and appropriate. I liked it a lot, but still wasn't convinced.
Then I tried on a wild card, a winter white coat with a stunning fur collar ( I thought for sure it was misplaced on the sale rack). Still, I tried it on.....and was sold! As a sidenote, a little bit of fur is the rule, not the exception for editors. Take Andre Leon Talley, par example...
...fur is just an accent, but it's there. I looked at the tag on my winter white wonder and realized it was only $140 (marked down from $378). Not under $100, but a deal nonetheless, and within my overall $200 budget. It was mine.
Running tally: $170.
With only $30 left, I figured I couldn't really get much. Shoes of quality were out of the option, as were most bags. Walking around 5th Avenue the following day, I came upon Zara (659 Fifth Avenue at 54th street)...
... the perfect place to find affordable yet chic clothes. They advertised a 50% off sale, so I stopped in...
...and it turns out they, too, were slashing everything. I quickly found a rack full of editor-esque dresses for only $30!
I tried on a few...
...but was unimpressed until I tried this one on...
... a slate gray cowl neck sheath, also reminiscent of Madame Beckham. The dress was a little big, but with a belt...
... it worked! And if anything, I could get it tailored in time for the big week!
I ran to the register with my $30, and that's all she wrote!
Total: $200.
So let's review: I purchased a tweed jacket, sheath dress, and a knee-length wool coat for only $200. And the colors are neutral, so they'll fit seamlessly into my wardrobe.
Here's to fashion on a budget!
Now, on to the tents...
Smootches!
Fashion, News, and What Nots
*FYI: I visited my tailor, and it turns out the jacket could not be let out, but the dress could be taken in...for $35! Ok so tailoring costs more than the dress, but I'm sure that that $65 will probably look like $300! And lesson learned: it's easier to take things in than to let them out. If you must buy the wrong size, make sure it's too big, not too small.
*On my fashion plate tomorrow: BCBG Max Azria, Erin Fetherston and Baby Phat! Stay tuned for updates:)
*Fashion Bomb Friend Tia Williams...
... is featured in a New York Times article on Beauty Bloggers! If you haven't yet, check out her dope blog, Shake your Beauty. It's all about makeup for brown skinned babes! Think 'The Beauty Bomb.'
*Another newspaper looks at the absence of color on the runway. [Newsday]
*According to Ruth La Ferla, fashion will harken back to the 50’s and 60’s in Fall shows:
A quote, “Fashion is supposed to be about change,” said Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst with NPD Group, a market research firm, “[Once a standard bearer of the vanguard], fashion has become the most conservative of all industries.” [NYTimes]

15 comments:

Brianna said...

Claire! I LOVE all the choices you picked out and decided to purchase. They looked great on you. The Fur Coat is fab on you! LOL. And with the dresses, the gray onestood out distinctly from the rest, and pairing it with the belt-you make it looke easy :) HAVE a blast at Fashion Week. I SOO want to go but I am not an industry insider. If you can though keep us in the loop about some after parties or something, so that those of us who live close to the city can try to check some out.

PS-I was just on youtube and BadBoyTV (Diddy) put a vid up about looking for models for the Sean John fashion show on the 8th. He must have gotten the "memo" that people want to see more blacks in fashion... :-) Check it out

Anonymous said...

I loved your on a budget your fashion trip. Its always great to recreate a look for tons less. Please do more

LexyB said...

that white coat is the business!!!

TT said...

Thank you for taking us shoppin with you! I'm always looking for places to shop when I'm in NY!

KiinKee said...

Great Post Claire & Great Picks, even if the jacket is too small, it looked really sharp!

Zara is my store (although the quality isn't always great)!!!! We are having that same sale here in Toronto and the prices drop every Thursday... shoes 19.95, great funky collard shirts 9.95, trench coats 19.95, winter coats 29.95, sweaters 9.95, dresses 29.95, 19.95, 14.95, belts 5.95, 9.95... and the list goes on... a fashionistas heaven!

Looking forward to your Fashion Week Posts...

Monique said...

these are the kinds of post i remember you doing and why i originally became a dedicated reader to your page love the bargains you found. love that tweed jacket though looks like its more then what you paid.

Charlé said...

I love everything you chose!
This is so exciting. I look forward to living Fashion Week vicariously through you!!

Niesha said...

The knee length coat is FABULOUS!!!

A*E* said...

You're my shopping inspiration!

Ingrid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Monie said...

Claire, you are so adorable. I loved this post! Great finds!

Mikele said...

I am so hating on you right now!! I'm jealous of your fashion finds!! :) Great job and great post! I too, remember the old days (from last year) when you took us shopping with you on a regular basis!

Elle Woods said...

arghhhh...im so jealous right now!
with that being said, you definitely got really good deals.....harriet's looks different now compared to last time i was there.....i need that dress and the coat in my life:(

XXX said...

I absoluteley adore HAE and the last dress you bought. But the FCUK fur lined jacket seemed like an impulse buy. Dont let the four letter word fool you--SALE. There's a reason why these items dont sell out in the first place...

coco_fiere said...

The coat is fabulous! Love the dress and jacket too but I'm really diggin' on that red tote/purse sitting on the fitting room floor. Where did that come from and does it come in other colors? Thanks!