Valentino. Chanel. Yves Saint Laurent. Dior. Givenchy. Balenciaga. The list could on and on. The designer world is an elite one, and a fierce one at that. But not all of us are blessed with rich daddy’s and pocketbooks the size of Kanye’s ego that allow us to afford high end designer labels. For those of us common folk divas, like myself, we only dream of one day being able to slip into a classic Chanel blazer or a pair of Manolo Blahnik stilettos (which we vicariously wear through Carrie Bradshaw). For now though, I have to settle with a pair of Michael Kors platform heels I snagged at TJ Maxx for $20 (which are beyond fabulous) or a pair of sandals Sam & Libby Edelman designed for Target. For the minute, I’m pretty okay with it. I think that not being gifted with all these designer labels has made me work for my fashion a little bit more. It’s simple to shop all one designer, but how much thought process does it take? Aren’t you just another cog in the machine? Anna Wintour, EIC of American Vogue, says is perfectly:
“Create your own individual style. I’m not interested in the girl who walks into my office in a head-to-toe label look that’s straight off the runway. I’m interested in a girl who puts herself together in an original, independent way.”
Fashion is about being an individual and having the confidence to express yourself in your own, unique way. Isn’t it so much easier to wear something just because everyone else is? Thank god I survived high school (barely) and made it through that awful phase of wearing American Eagle, Hollister, and Abercrombie & Fitch just because all the popular girls were wearing it. I used to always want to wear things just because I saw someone else doing it, but now I find myself straying away from something if I see too many people doing it (#hipster). Over the past few years, I’ve really started to develop my own personal style that exemplifies so many different aspects of my personality. For those of you that know me, know that my style choices are as eclectic as the music I listen to. I don’t think I could actually pinpoint my style in one category, so I decided to make my own and call it “Broke Bitch Chic.” Pulling off Broke Bitch Chic requires equal parts effort, innovation, lack of money, carelessness, and patience.
- Effort: Executing this style correctly requires time, awareness, and willingness to try to new things. I am constantly delving into fashion magazines, scanning sites such as Lookbook and attempting to recreate makeup looks I see on Instagram. I realize that I’m not going to be able to afford this seasons off the runway looks, so it definitely takes some effort to look around and find a way to make it suitable for you.
- Innovation: I NEVER shop looks off a mannequin nor copy an outfit head to toe. I like to put my own twist on things and that’s what BBC is all about. Also, I have this thing where I hold onto clothes for forever, so updating old clothes is always a great way to do so. In addition, you’re going to have to figure out ways to wear cheap clothing and mix it in with your more expensive clothing to complete a blended look. BE CREATIVE.
- Lack of Money: Do you shop too much? Check here ____ But seriously though. This is the key to BBC. Lack of funds inspire me to find frugal ways to be fierce. Thrifting is key. I have found some beautiful pieces, from velvet gowns to fur shawls and pleated maxis. Plus, this style of shopping ensures that your pieces will be unique. (Holding myself back from making anymore Macklemore references via last post)
- Carelessness: Sometimes, homelessness is an after effect of executing BBC. I have many a time gone out in clothes that I think “honestly, I spent all of $2.99 on this outfit and my grungy beanie with my oversized tee and destroyed denim miiiiight me a little much.” BUT I DON’T CARE, I LOVE IT (Icona Pop Style). Executing any style requires an attitude that quite frankly, I don’t care what these people are going to think about what I’m wearing, I’m fierce and I know it. Embrace it, bitch.
- Patience: As I stated before, thrifting is a huge part is executing this style. We all know that walking into any VOA is no 20-minute-quick-shopping experience. Know that you may put in and hour of time and walk out empty handed, but do not be discouraged. There are more thrift stores and other sale racks to scour. I have put in some serious time scavenging through sale racks, local boutiques, and running to every VOA inside Columbus city limits. Be patient, fashionista, that perfect piece is waiting for you.
Here’s some of my favorite looks that have been a part of my constantly changing Broke Bitch Chic style:
Velvet Turtleneck Dress: thrifted, $.99
Rabbit Fur Shawl: thrifted, $5.99
Sweater: thrifted & borrowed via Ori
Leather Jogging Pant: Express, $10
Skull Scarf: Nordstrom, $15
Oversized sweater: Gap, $7
Leather zip leggings: Milk Bar Boutique, $15
Men’s Denim Shirt: JcPenney, ?
Bar III Crop Top: $12
INC Floral Leggings: $9
MEOW Hat: Forever 21, $9
Men’s Plaid Shirt: JCPenney, ?
Leather Skirt: Macy’s, $14
Glasses: Rag O’Rama, $3
Necklace: ALDO, $8
Hi-Lo Tank (aka a dress that I accidentally shrunk): Forever 21, $7
Skirt: Forever 21, $8
Metallic Gladiator Sandals: Prabal Gurung’s designer collab for Target, $7
Long Sweater Dress: TJ Maxx, $10
Heels: BCBG, TJ Maxx, $20
Necklace: Posh Boutique (borrowed for the day)
Hat: Pac Sun, it’s so old I don’t even remember but it was probably cheap
Tank: Poppy Boutique, $10
Mom Jeans: Thrifted, $.99
Bar III Cutout Dress: Macy’s, $15
Men’s Plaid Shirt: JCPenney
Vintage Cole Haan Sneakers: Thrifted, $2.99
Hooded Top: Thrifted, $3.99 (from Urban Outfitters)
Galaxy Leggings: Rag O’Rama, $14
Sandals: Sam & Libby Edelman collab for Target, $35
Gold Chain: Mom’s old jewelry box, priceless
Jersey: TJ Maxx, $3
Camo Skinnies: Urban Outfitters $13
GUYS LOOKING FIERCE DOESN’T HAVE TO BREAK YOUR BANK (although, I’ve let it before.) But seriously, you can have a rad, unique sense of style without spending a ton of money on each piece. Cookie cutter doesn’t make you fashionable but it does take practice, patience, and the willingness to dress outside the box. Are you up for it?
What’s your personal style like? If you had to name it, what would it be? Stay tuned, I have some cool posts featuring my art, #eotd and other fab things coming your way 🙂