One of the most amazing parts about working in New York City is the shopping and people watching. You see the most amazing dressed women in the latest, greatest and most expensive clothes, shoes, baubles and more. While it’s like being a kid in a candy store with all of the amazing high-end stores, it can also be like a kid in a candy store who didn’t get her allowance. Everyone silently wonders…how on earth are these girls able to afford this stuff? I can remember getting my first job at 21 years old at InStyle magazine. I was so excited to work at such a fabulous magazine, but unfortunately discovered that my fresh-out-of-college salary was not quite as fabulous. I quickly learned the insider tricks on how to snag the best for less. In honor of National Splurge Day, I decided to present my guide to Living The Champagne Splurge All Day & Night Life on a Let Me Save Some Money & Get Some Good Stuff On Sale Sparkling Water Budget. It’s all about splurging in spirit and saving all day long.
Here’s my dish on how to look rich on a Real Girl budget.
1. CONSIGNMENT STORE CUTIES
If you’re a lover of labels, but not of debt and hefty price tags, check out your local consignment stores. Snag brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Christian Louboutin for less. I scored these brand new designer Chloe sunglasses from Fisch for the Hip that, well, I probably wear way too much, for next to nothing. Lauren Conrad and Nicole Richie seem to like them, too! I wonder how much they paid for theirs?
2. DISCOUNT STORE DIVAS
I’ve loved a bargain ever since I was sporting my Catholic high school Clueless-inspired plaid skirt and knee socks uniform. I’ve been shopping at TJ Maxx so long, he’s practically a part of my family. The key to mastering discount store finds is to find out the time and day that they get deliveries. This way, you’ll know when to get first dibs on the posh merchandise that is sure to fly off the shelves.
3. BORROW, SHHH, I WON’T TELL
So borrowing is the new black. Ya borrow a $5,000 bag for $50 and voila! You’ve lived the luxe life. A birdie tells me that the coveted Celine bag that all the celebs are wearing just arrived at Bag Borrow Or Steal.
4. BUY HIGH-END MAKEUP & NICE BRUSHES
Believe you me, splurging $20 on a fabulous hot pink lipstick will serve your soul so much better than $1 cakey cheap lipstick. Quality is key. I’m currently having a summer affair with Nars Schiap and loving every minute of it. MAC, Bobbi Brown and Nars are all amazing brands that are worth investing in. There’s a reason the cheap brushes come off on your face – they are cheap! Your face is so worth spoiling. You only get one a lifetime.
5. MAKE FASHION FRIENDS
Sales associates should be your new best friends. Why you ask? Because they know when merchandise will be marked down and when the sold-out blazer you were eyeing gets returned in your size. Give them your mobile number, take a box of chocolates the next time you’re in the store, and watch your savings grow and wardrobe increase.
6. WEAR A GOOD BRA
So, no matter how gorgeous your clothes are, the wrong undergarments will make you look like a cheap lost style soul. An amazing well-fitting bra will slim you out and make your clothes look amazing. Marshall’s is really great for designer bras for not so designer prices.
7. SNAG A GO-TO DRESS
Beyonce called it the ‘freakum’ dress. Audrey Hepburn wore the Little Black Dress. No matter your taste, you, my dear, need an amazing go-to dress that turns heads and makes you feel like the star that you are in seconds. Department stores are a perfect resource for pricey pieces on sale. They have major markdowns because they constantly need to make room for new inventory. If you’re ever in NYC, check out the third and fourth floors of Lord & Taylor. They’re known for having splendid, and I do mean splendid, markdowns and sales on all kinds of dresses from colorful cocktails to flowy designer maxis. Get this, Zac Posen has an exclusive collection there for as little as $149, which is thousands of dollars cheaper than his designer runway collection called Z Spoke.
For more tips on how to live the fab life for less, check out my shopping guide: Never Pay Retail Again: Shop Smart, Spend Less, Look Your Best Ever