michele@mbenza.com

Monday, May 18, 2009

STYLE ON A BUDGET? ABSOLUTELY!

STYLE ON A BUDGET? ABSOLUTELY!

By Michele Benza

Beautiful spring days are back and it’s time to tip-toe into stores for some spring fashion updates. Yippee!

Before you do, be sure to look for what I call BGD, the ‘Best Great Deals.’ Where are they? Everywhere! There are significant discounts for Family & Friends, smaller discounts for the rest and free shipping, just to name a few. But before you even walk out the door, check your favorite stores’ websites for any BGD’s. More often than not, many have store coupons, free shipping, or big online discounts. My favorite thing to do when shopping online is to immediately click on the sale page where you will find a veritable deep pool of BGD’s!

The balmier days of spring usually mean serious backyard time so get to your closet toute de suite and clean it out before you laze on your chaise longue. My stern advice: Re-think your wardrobe!

A detailed inventory of your clothes is critical. Be ruthless when you look at your wardrobe. Ask yourself if you really need that many clothes. Toss! Toss! Toss! Don’t be nostalgic and don’t make excuses! Why store winter clothes that are worn out, do not fit any longer, or that are outdated? Be creative with the clothes you already own and love. Learn how to accessorize and figure out how to mix and match.

As for the pile of clothes you’ve tossed, either resell them or better yet, donate them to non-profit organizations. How about having an exchange party with friends and family? If you can’t clean out your closets, hire me! Be warned though, I’ll be merciless.

The other day I was pre-shopping for a client and was admiring one of those trendy voluminous necklaces. I was turning it around and around in my hands and finally decided to try it on. As I picked it up I realized that it is what we call in French a collier plastron; my best translation would be a ‘necklace bib.’ Beads and other appliqués were sewn onto a tulle bib. What a great idea! This eye-catching piece led me to ponder about it for a few days: To buy? Or not to buy? At $365, it was not cheap but I could so clearly see myself wearing narrow black pants and a plain black T-shirt with this fabulous necklace bib. It would be my ‘novelty’ for the spring season. However, I was saved from financial folly by a flash of inspiration. Instead of buying an expensive new piece, I decided to rework an old one.

I own a lovely Max Mara necklace made of thick round dark red beads that I bought in 2007. I thought, why not go to Britex (the best fabric store in San Francisco if not the USA) and buy a couple of appliqués and create my own collier plastron? Haven’t we all accumulated old jewelry that we would love to wear if only the pieces were more fashionable? My suggestion: get thee to the nearest bead store and create your own collier plastron for the season. It would more than likely only cost you a few dollars rather than a few hundred!

That’s it for now. A la prochaine! Until the next time!

Michele



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