Looking Good For Less
Looking Good For Less
Jess Zaino (Fashion Correspondent, Personal Stylist) gives expert video advice on: Why should I spend less on clothing?; What should I think about when bargain shopping?; Why is dressing for less so popular these days? and more...
Why should I spend less on clothing?
I think that one should spend less on clothing because it saves room for the more important things, like shoes. No, I think that if you are working within a budget, then you can effectively look great easily.
What should I think about when bargain shopping?
When you're budget shopping, a few things factor in. It's definitely quality over quantity. So you want to make sure your the quality is maximum for what you're getting for that budget. You don't want to get any tears or stains, or anything like that obviously. And look for stitching. Good stitching is important.
Why is dressing for less so popular these days?
Why I think people are dressing for less these days is because its easy to look like a star on a budget. Its easy to pair a fun discount store find with an expensive pair or shoes or something that looks like an expensive pair of shoes. And I think its fun to look through magazines, tear out what those stars are wearing and use that as a guideline to dressing like that for less. What's really fun about budget shopping is you could just lie, nobody will know. You know if you're buying it for yourself you obviously are going to take great care in picking what you want for your closet, but when you're just looking fabulous walking down the street nobody can tell the $30.00 Marshalls buy from the $5,000 Masoni buy, my dress included.
What qualities help women pull off dressing for less?
It's very important that one knows their own body when dressing for less, because you are going to get things that fit a bit differently than if you are buying the highest quality of an item. You really want to make sure what looks best on your own body, and then with that knowledge go ahead and shop.
Is it easier to dress for less in bigger cities?
I think that anyone can dress for less, and what I have found in my travels to all over the country is that it's easier to dress for less in the smaller cities. Because the trends hit big in the larger cities and when you go to shop, all of it's gone. In the smaller cities it takes a little longer for it to trickle down so you have a lot more option to choose from what's available.
Is it ever OK to pay full price for clothing?
It is certainly okay to pay full price for clothing. You don't want to punish yourself for wanting something that is of the highest quality or price. So, I think that you just need to be careful in terms of what your budget is. Work within that. If you want to put money aside for a month, two months, or a year to buy that special bag or piece of clothing, by all means treat yourself. You're good for it.
What item of clothing would you spend more on?
If I were to be buying a full price item - which, believe it or not, I don't ever do, I really am a bargain shopper - I think that I would stick to something like a cashmere coat. Something that is durable and that will last for years. You really want to spend the most money on something that obviously you're going to have for more than just a seasonal trend. So I think that cashmere sweaters or a cashmere coat, certainly a handbag and great shoes, are all part of what I would save up for to pay that full price, which is usually upwards of $1000.
What does name-brand clothing offer?
Name-brand clothing offers just that, you've got the big old fat iron name. You have the unbelievable quality and care that's been put into it. Usually it's made personally and not by a machine. And with name-brand clothing you are paying what you get for. Even if I sometimes think they're little overpriced.
What is the difference between a shirt for 150 at Bloomingdale's and a shirt for 15 at Target?
If you've got an eye for fashion, you can tell the difference between a $150 shirt from Bloomingdale's and a $15 shirt from Target. Usually the $150 shirt from Bloomdale's will be a name brand that's recognizable. You will see that its probably made in Paris, France, or possibly in Italy or America. The Target shirts are generally mass produced somewhere in the Asian region, Hungary or Turkey. You really need to check where its from to assess the quality. When you assess the fabric, if it's 100% cotton you know you have a really durable material as opposed to a poly cotton viscose blend. You want to remain pure with the more expensive items where the $15 may look good but its not made as well. Target shirts are discounted because they look great but they don't always fit so well as they're mass produced; therefore they don't fit every body. A shirt that you're paying money for will really have that special body fit, whereas the less expensive shirts, you are going to find that the stitching is a bit off and the cuts are a one size fits all. You're going to see that the fabrics are not 100%, but they'll be a mix of something. You'll see that with one wash , or maybe 10 washes, that the shirt's going to be disposable. Whereas if you're paying for a more expensive shirt, you'll be able to keep it a lot longer and take better care of it.
What is the difference between an expensive purse and a cheap one?
The differences between a thousand-dollar purse, and a say, thirty-dollar purse are pretty clear. You're going to look at the fabrics, which is generally leather. Now, with the thousand-dollar bag, over time the leather gets soft and buttery. Stains add to the look. Whereas with the thirty-dollar bag, the is not leather it's usually plastic and it definitely has that sheen to it, it stays hard, there's not a lot of movement to the bag. So you're going to be able to tell after about a week or two of wear which bag costs what. You'll notice that the hardware on an expensive bag is heavy, is made of the greatest materials. It'll have the designer's stamp of whatever trend they're following. Whereas the cheaper versions will just sort of have a silver-plated whatever that may lose its color, may lose its sheen. The inexpensive bags you don't want to have them for the long-haul. The expensive bags will be a keeper piece.
Are high quality items of clothing ever affordable if I'm on a budget?
I think that high quality items can certainly be affordable for someone on a budget if they budget correctly. Then also, those high quality items can certainly be found at a discount store, at an outlet store, and most certainly at a thrift or consignment store if you have the patience to rumble through the racks.
Is it OK to mix high-brow and low-brow clothing?
It is okay to mix high-brow clothing with low-brow clothing. You've seen your grandmother do it for years. Let's say you have a great sheath dress from Target that cost maybe $40 dollars. Isaac Mizrahi has some great fitted outfits or dresses, and say you have that $40 dollar dress. Pair it with your grandma's old one, perhaps she had a Chanel jacket in the back of her closet or a casual cardigan from the fifties, which really could be like a high price item. Throw it with some actual pearls or throw them with some fake pearls. Spend the money on shoes and pair it with an inexpensive $15 dollar T-shirt and A-line skirt. Your outfit may be less than $20, but if you are mixing it with something that is of high quality, you're going to bring the look of the outfit up ten notches. A perfect example of mixing high-brow are the Olsen twins. Take a look at those girls. They are consistently wearing $15,000 dresses with a pair of old Chuck Taylors.