Do you have trouble putting together an up to date and stylish wardrobe without spending a ton of cash (or worse, credit)? After splitting several years covering fashion between New York, Paris, London, and Milan, it’s become quite easy for me to figure out how everyone on the street puts together cheap trendy clothes into stylish outfits. Putting together several looks currently seen out and about at any of these fashion meccas is best done cheap, and here are several ways it’s pulled off:
First, you need to know what you’re looking for. Everyone has their own personal style, but the fashion sense in all of these places has basic things in common – You don’t want to look like you just stepped out of a High School in Kansas. Most of the clothes aren’t coated in huge gaudy brand labels, as can be seen on fake designer and cheap mall clothing. Go for solid colors or simple patterns in a well-fitting silhouette, and you’re already a step ahead of everyone. Where does one find such things for cheap?
One way is designer clothing sample sales. Unfortunately, most people don’t live near the major cities that host these things. Lucky for you, there are several organizations online that absorb designer’s samples before they even get to these frenzied sales, and offer them to you via an online inventory. Simply Google “online sample sales”, you’ll find several good results (such as gilt group, based out of NYC)
Although sample sales offer deep discounts, even this may be too pricey for many. Another great way to get amazing and cheap trendy clothes (without spending hundreds per piece) is simply picking the right retailers. These retailers offer high fashion designs made by very talented design teams (based in the major fashion cities) manufactured in places other than Italy, letting you buy the same patterns and silhouettes for literally 1/10th of the price. These stores are H&M, Zara, and Uniqlo (occasionally Urban Outfitters). If you don’t have any in your city, check them out online. Additionally, American Apparel offers a lot of timeless, well-proportioned, solid pieces that are by definition cheap trendy clothes.
By all means, avoid the mall. Most mall brand clothing is not only tacky, but the fits are several sizes too big (unless you’re really chunky) and just downright unflattering. Not only that, the clothing is manufactured in the worst places possible and prone to falling apart the fastest. Also, avoid eBay. Most high fashion clothing and accessories are fake – Even if the labels are attached, with hologram and all, they’re bound to be fake. If the place making the stuff can fake the clothing, making a few decent tags is cake.
If all else fails, go to the thrift store. Check out fashion blogs and runway reports and try to match up the style with garments found here. This method takes some time and patience, but you’d be surprised at how many people in New York frequent these to complete looks.