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Chic Geek: Equal Opportunity Shopping


A blogumn by Delia Hauser

I have been accused of having unaffordable taste in clothing, and not just because of my last article, which featured a necklace the price of a small mortgage.  However, personal TASTE doesn’t always indicate what someone might BUY.  In fact, I consider myself to be the ultimate equal opportunity shopper.

I never limit myself by only shopping at Barney’s or swearing off stores that are too “cheap.” But there is a way to buy inexpensively WELL. Having very little money doesn’t mean you have to shop at Old Navy all the time; it just means that you have to take your good taste out of YSL and put it to good use at Target.  Here are some rules to follow and places to shop to keep the thrifty side of your closet looking exactly like your splurge side.

1.    FABRIC.  Put down the acetate and pick up the cotton!  No, it DOESN’T look like silk.  Buy cheap things when they are made of real fabrics like cotton, silk, rayon, wool (although I admit the acrylic wools are pretty good these days). Polyester is fine if it’s supposed to look like the 70’s…not if it’s supposed to look like chiffon!

2.    LEATHER AND SUEDE.  Unless you are vegan or REALLY can’t tell, please don’t buy Polyurethane shoes.  Don’t fool yourself, they will hurt your feet and never, ever stretch out or “break in”.   A sometimes exception to this rule is fake patent leather, but it has to be great design!

3.    CAMBODIA.  If you can help it, buy clothes made in countries other than China.  Pretty much everything, from Dior purses to toothbrushes, is made in factories these days, but Cambodia has better labor laws than WE DO, so you can feel a little better about buying into the mass-production this way.

4.    Which brings us to ETSY.  Etsy can be like Helmut Lang or Nanette Lepore all at the same time.  Individuals and small collectives open stores on the site to sell their goods.  You will always feel good about shopping on Etsy, because you are supporting a creative individual and probably helping them pay their bills!  If you’re ever unsure of an item, you can always contact the seller if you want to know more about it (where else could you do that?!).  It’s like Anthropologie, but you’re not paying “the man” an extra 200%.  Try it out.  It’s not as scary as you think, and sometimes the sellers include little extras in their packages!

5.    And about ANTHROPOLOGIE.  Don’t be tempted; go straight to the sale section!  Other places to shop:  TARGET– Stay up on their rotating GO: International designers.  Sometimes the collections are amazing.  H&M– Comme des Garcons is doing a line for them that hits select stores on November 13th!  NET-A-PORTER– sale section only!  ZAPPOS COUTURE– sale section and always free shipping!  And, of course, check your local consignment shops!  Every city has rich ladies that get rid of their clothes…go find them!

I’ve got examples of amazing looks at great prices after the jump:

1.    Cowgirl Heaven Pullover – $36.50
2.    Nea Necklace – $38
3.    me & oli Dress – $35
4.    Brown Bag Vintage Oxfords – $33
5.    Jo Dress – $35
6.    littlepurls Necklace – $32
7.    Target Dress – $34.99
8.    Kira Ferrer Bracelet – $32
9.    forever 21 Jacket – $39.80

1.    Vintage Closet Dress – $28
2.    Cobra Cult Necklace – $26
3.    Vera Vague Dress – $28
4.    Sarana Skirt – $22
5.    Grandma’s Wardrobe Dress –  $30
6.    snoozer loser ny Shirt – $25
7.    Target Tunic –  $29.99
8.    Moondaze’s Child Dress – $28
9.    Vintage Villians Dress – $30

1.    forever 21 Cardigan –  $19.80
2.    CuteAbility Earrings – $4
3.    The Junkyard Dress – $20
4.    Ilikeittootoo Pouch – $14
5.    Xenotees T-Shirt – $18
6.    Artifactory Skirt – $20
7.    Vintage Ruby Dress – $18
8.    Various et Sundry T-Shirt – $20
9.    Target Tunic – $17.99


Of course, Delia’s Market Store Shoppe has plenty of items under $40, too, like the below braclet. Check out her store here.
Vintage Cabochon Bracelet - $20 - marketstoreshoppe

Vintage Cabochon Bracelet - $20 - marketstoreshoppe