Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stoop Chic

As a reminder as much to myself as to the rest of you, I'd like to point out that being on a budget doesn't mean you can't look good.

Last week was my birthday and, like most women I know, I wanted to look cute on my birthday. I put together an outfit that I felt great in, even good enough to stroll around Tiffany's with my head held high. And somewhere on the F train it hit me: I was dressed head-to-toe in what I like to call stoop chic.

Designer jeans - fantastic stoop sale last summer by a woman with exactly my build who was clearing house to move to Dallas. The shirt - stoop sale a couple of weekends ago that, again, featured a petite woman like myself. The shoes - a stoop sale from last fall where I scored 3 pairs of shoes for $5! And the handbag - one of two Coach purses I picked up at a stoop sale almost exactly a year ago.

A couple of days later was date night. And, once again, before I realized what was coming out of my closet (so to speak), there I was dressed in someone else's clothes. It turns out that I like other people's taste more than my own. Which, in this city, turns out to be a cheaper option than trusting my own shopping instincts!

One of the things I like best about stoop chic is the personality that it injects into my wardrobe. I am a creature of habit. I tend to buy the same thing year in and year out, with minor variations of course, depending on whether pink is the new black or grey is the new brown. By rifling through other people's wardrobes, I can pick up things that may be quite a distance outside of my comfort zone, and it's just not that risky when I'm paying $2 for a shirt that I wouldn't normally buy.

So go on, move to New York! Or better yet, start looking for second-hand and consignment shops in your neighborhood. And don't be snooty about it. I found two gorgeous belts at a Goodwill store in Tribeca. I didn't know Tribeca did Goodwill, but there you go. Maybe Beyonce shops there.

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