I am coining every Tuesday, “Shopaholic’s Day” on “The Gift Of Style”. If you didn’t have a chance to read last week’s entry, “A Shopaholic’s Journal” is basically a brain dump of all of the fashion and fashion-related objects of art I covet and obsess over. This week staying true to my promise of being penny-wise, I am taking you on a tour of all of my “wants” that are under $100. Now you are probably wondering how such a self-proclaimed fashion girl could ever want anything under $100… Well, I am here to tell you that not only do I have to edit myself to keep this entry from becoming a novella, but that when it comes right down to it, if you are savvy and open minded, you can potentially build the base of your entire wardrobe with such items and still look great!!!
First on my list is always American Apparel. I am obsessed with their long sleeve tee shirts ($20) and wife-beaters ($17) that come in a rainbow of colors. The long sleeve tees are amazing layering pieces, fit well and are the perfect length. I am only 5’4” so I hate when tee shirts come down to my knees. I open up the possibilities in my closet by layering them under my Spring sundresses. Who ever would think that a spaghetti strap dress could work 12 months out of the year? Add some great tights and boots to the knee and you have a smart Fall look. Be careful not to pick anything to summery looking! I also adore their leggings ($26). They also come in a broad palette and fit well (they hit at just the right part of the hip, so you don’t feel like something is pinching you around the waist all day).
I am in love with the cotton pointelle sweaters ($95) at Geminola in the West Village. They also are the perfect layering piece and look great over a tee, under a vest, a sleeveless dress and so on and so forth. The options are boundless. They have a feminine, vintage feel that will make them standout pieces in your wardrobe. For the more adventurous fashionista who likes to add a little whimsy to her wardrobe, they also design these wonderful plastic beaded charm necklaces ($95) that are sweet and girly and so much fun!
Stripes, stripes, stripes!!! When I was young, I lived in France and of course wore the quintessential “Breton Nautical Sweater”. Since then, I have always been drawn to a great nautical-inspired stripe. My favorite stripes are from a special little store in the West Village called Butik. They sell the softest, textured stripe tees ($95) that are a mainstay of my wardrobe. They look great with anything black, navy and I especially love to mix them with other textures such as tweed…super chic! Another tee shirt go-to is Splendid for their “not-so-basics”. This season they created the perfect, lightweight wool jersey, long sleeve, stripped tees ($90). I found them at Intermix in pale gray and white and in mid-gray and charcoal. I want them both!! They are longer so look smart under a solid sweater with the bottom peaking out. They also would work for business under a jacket or even layered under a dress.
I adore vests… They never go out of style, they are versatile and can add excitement to a tired outfit. I am coveting several of the vests at Urban Outfitters. At the top of the list is a nifty little ivory and black intarsia knit version for yes, $14.99. I promise it doesn’t look it. I would layer it over blouses, dresses, the Splendid tees and so many other items. It adds texture and pattern to a subdued look and enhances that personal flare I always talk about. I also want the slightly rough and tumble tuxedo vest for $68. Keep it rock-n-roll with black jeans and a cool printed tee or soften it up with a romantic ruffled or lace blouse. There are so many to choose from. Hit the store on Broadway, right above Houston and relish in the choice.
Sadly ladies, retiring the Uggs is long overdue. I still buy a pair every season, but I use them to walk the dog. If you want a comfy, updated alternative go for a pair of Minnetonka’s (all under $100). They still give you that Ugg feel, but look more relevant as fringe was a big trend this year. I have my eye on the knee-high, front lace up and the calf, high-fringe versions. They are perfect for the up-and-coming winter months and you can find them on Zappos.com.
Finally, you know by now that I relish costume jewelry. As mentioned before, the street vendors in Soho are a great source! Get great bracelets and necklaces for $20 and under. I get compliments on the pieces I find all of the time. Another new desire is the friendship bracelet. I am sure you are wondering how does a woman who thinks of herself as stylish incorporate a rope, multicolored bracelet into her wardrobe? Trust me I was as well, until I found the perfect, cleaned-up, nylon rope versions at the fabulous Michael Angelo’s Wonderland Beauty Parlor. Not only do they cost $15, but the proceeds go to today’s featured charity, the Somaly Mam Foundation.
The Somaly Mam Foundation is committed to ending sexual slavery. Somaly Mam’s organization in Cambodia runs several shelters to rehabilitate the victims of this horrible crime. As part of their rehabilitation the girls (yes, they are children that have been sold by their families) undergo basic academic instruction and useful skills training. In sewing class, one of their first achievements is learning how to make the aforementioned bracelets. By a couple of them as they look great layered or better yet buy them for all of your friends and family for the holidays and at the same time save a child from horrific torture!
Remember it is important to continue to fuel the economy…so, please shop! You can find so many great stylish pieces that won’t put you in the poor house and thus will allow you to continue to support those truly in need!!!!! ~Nancy Berger