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Versus Hires Jonathan Anderson November 29th, 2012 @ 11:04 AM


Cacharel Unveils New CEO, in Major Corporate Revamp November 21st, 2012 @ 00:56 AM


Kane Drops Out of Versus in Major Shake-up November 20th, 2012 @ 10:14 AM


Pucci’s Madison Avenue Store Debuts Massive Expansion November 16th, 2012 @ 00:35 AM


Ghesquière Departs Balenciaga in Major Surprise November 05th, 2012 @ 00:43 AM


Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Between Optimism and Fear November 02nd, 2012 @ 00:28 AM


London Unveils Men’s Season Schedule November 01st, 2012 @ 00:36 AM


Azzaro Releases Castello Branco October 25th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM


Revenue Soars 22 Percent at LVMH in First Three Quarters October 16th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM


Rykiel Names Geraldo da Conceicao Artistic Director September 21st, 2012 @ 8:12 PM


Brazil’s New London Pop-Up September 21st, 2012 @ 7:20 PM


McQueen Men Returning Home to London September 12th, 2012 @ 7:19 PM


Roitfeld, Mum and Son, Open in Brazil September 07th, 2012 @ 00:54 AM


Berluti Opens to Big-Time Business in London September 06th, 2012 @ 3:27 PM


Stefano Pilati Back with a Bang at Zegna September 05th, 2012 @ 7:10 PM


Hugo Boss Wows in Berlin, Plans for New York July 06th, 2012 @ 00:17 AM


Salvatore Ferragamo: Crusin’ the Louvre June 13th, 2012 @ 11:04 AM


Michel Klein Gains New Backer; Launches Sunglass Collection June 13th, 2012 @ 00:48 AM


Sykes Jettisoned by Aquascutum; Maurer In at Rabanne June 06th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM


Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



 

Book Review: How To Be A Budget Fashionista

Lauren David Peden
July 26th, 2006 @ 12:43 AM

Fashion hound Kathryn Finney, author of "How To Be a Budget Fashionista: The Ultimate Guide to Looking Fabulous for Less" became a master of cheap chic out of necessity.

After racking up more than $20,000 in credit card debt to satisfy her accessories jones and coming very close to having to file for bankruptcy, Finney paid off her debt - one monthly payment at a time - and, "like a Chanel-clad phoenix rising from the ashes of financial stupidity," schooled herself in the fine art of shopping on the cheap. She began sharing this knowledge with others via her website, The Budget Fashionista, on which this book is based.

But unlike many cash-conscious individuals, Finney - who has worked as a fashion writer and stylist, among other things - steadfastly refuses to sacrifice style for financial security and we, the reader, are all the better for it as she shares the ins-and-outs of finding cheap chic everywhere from Target and Wal-Mart to Neiman and Nordstrom.

She focuses her teachings into three sections. The first, Know Your Budget, includes easy-to-follow info on making - and sticking to - a household and shopping budget, tips on resisting the urge to splurge, along with clever ways to fund a new wardrobe: host a clothing-swap party, have a garage sale or sell your old designer duds to a consignment shop.

In the middle section, Know Your Style, Finney provides user-friendly advice on finding and refining one's personal style, dressing for the realities of your everyday life, the importance of good underwear, how to successfully rock the high-low mix and why true fashionistas are never slaves to seasonal trends but rather learn what flatters them and stick to those silhouettes and styles.

The final section, Know Your Bargains, is all about about finding the best merch for the least amount of money at department stores, outlet malls, boutiques, warehouse sales, sample sales, thrift stores and the wonderful World Wide Web.

We loved the tips Finney sprinkles throughout the book, which range from the tried and true ("Buy What You Love and Love What You Buy") to the surprisingly inventive ("Purchase a Gift Card" for yourself for future shopping excursions to limit spending) to the truly informative ("How to Spot a Fake [Designer] Bag").

There are a few missteps. We're not sure what at-home spa secrets have to do with being a fashionista, Claire and Laila Rowe's sparkly overdone baubles are more tacky 'tween than stylish sophisticate, Finney doesn't address the fact that not all fashion lovers are willing to shop at Payless, T.J. Maxx or Forever 21, even if does mean saving beaucoup bucks and a couple of her tips, such as the quiz on finding your personal style, are seriously oversimplified.

There are also a few glaring omissions - why no mention of GapBody in the budget-friendly lingerie section? - and curious inclusions - Bliss beauty products are seriously fab, but they're also seriously pricey.

These minor quibbles aside, "How To Be A Budget Fashionista" is a fun, fresh, lively read that is sure to appeal to any cash-conscious style maven who wants to have her Prada cake and pay the rent, too.

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