February 20, 2011

Style & Bargain Shopping

Hate her or love her, L.C. is a style icon. I first became a fan after watching The Hills, after which I became promptly addicted. I fawned over her glamorous dresses, the sky-high Christian Louboutins and a different designer bag  for every day of the week.  I have read all of the books in her L.A. Candy series and was excited to discover she had also come out with a style/fashion book. I received Lauren Conrad's Style book as a holiday gift, and I blew through the book in about a day. I first stumbled across it while browsing the book section of Target. I thumbed through the glossy pages and immediately knew I had to have the book. Lauren gives excellent style tips, offering outfit ideas for everything from work to play. She briefly chronicles her life, describing how her love of fashion first blossomed, via a trunk of vintage clothes from her grandma. 

What little girl wouldn't love a trunk full of fabulous dress up clothes like long evening gowns, fur coats and strands of pearls? I remember when I was little, and I would wander into my mother's closet (amazed at how large a rather small walk-in closet seemed back then!) and fit my tiny feet into oversized heels - and my favorite - a pair of vintage leather cowboy boots. I would wrap myself in her scarves, drape glittery costume jewelry around my neck and put on way too much of my mother's makeup. I had a special drawer just for my own dress up clothes: a purple genie outfit complete with silver sequin genie shoes my mother had sewn, pink princess dresses covered with tulle, plastic beaded bracelets and oversized Kentucky Derby style hats festooned with feathers. Over the years, I've learned to scale back on the costumes and stop wearing glitter mascara/eyeshadow/lipgloss/nailpolish. I've developed my own personal style, but I've incorporated a lot of Lauren's tips and tricks into my daily routine, while picking up shopping tricks of the trade from my mother. Being an avid deal-seeker, I've found a lot of online shops and boutiques that have "the look for less." I usually find great deals on the these sites (& have developed a bit of a shoe addiction - then again, what woman hasn't?)

One of Lauren's key pieces in her wardrobe? Christian Louboutin pumps. I don't know many college aged girls that can afford $800 shoes, so most would agree with me when I say to opt for the lookalikes (at least for now until we can afford to splurge at Bergdorf's!) The left shoe is a steal at $15.99 from  Ami Clubwear, a website offering an extensive stock of dresses, shoes and accessories. I usually only choose to purchase shoes from Ami because I tend to find their clothing either poorly made or on the slightly trashy side. Occasionally they will have very stylish pieces, which sell out at a moment's notice.


Another site where you can find everything from glam evening gowns to plain vintage style tees is Modcloth. Prices range from the low $20s to upper $200s. Items sell out very fast, so if you spot something you like, it's best to go ahead and order it. I could easily drop one or two paychecks at a time buying up every dress that instantly catches my eye, but I try to restrain myself with my Modcloth purchases. My dollar goes further at places like Urban Original or Make Me Chic. About 80% of my shoes are from Urban. It's pretty much shoe heaven! But much like Modcloth, you've gotta be quick with your mouse. The most common sizes like 7's & 8's sell out fast. Happy shopping!

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