Tip Of The Today: Thank God I’m cheap – truly bad fashions I narrowly avoided because they cost too much.
Tip For Tomorrow: “Let’s Go To The Mall!” It’s not just a song from How I Met Your Mother; it’s a call to arms.
Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: Lest ye think I am so consumed with being thrifty that I’m not equally obsessed with being fashionable, let me set your collective minds at ease. I heart fashion, sometimes to the exclusion of taste, age-appropriateness, and common sense. I get fixated on an item and cannot rest until it’s mine, even when it should never live in my closet, or anyone else’s, for that matter.
Fortunately, my thrifty upbringing has saved me from myself. Because boy howdy, there are trends I fell for that, upon reflection, were HEINOUS. But if they cost too much, and I couldn’t either A. find a knock-off cheap enough or B. con someone (like my brother) into buying it for me for Christmas, I slowly released my death grip on the fad.
Here are a few of the highlights, starting with my college years. I’m not even going to TOUCH on the 80’s – we all know how bad the “fashions” were. If we ignore them, perhaps they’ll stay dead. Except for leggings which, thanks to Lindsay Lohan, REFUSE TO DIE.
1. Combat boots, to wear with short, flowered dresses. Do you remember this look, spawned by 90210 and 90’s videos? The idea, to roughen up an ultra-girlie look, seemed like such a good idea. I LOOOVVVEEDD the thought that I, too, could look tough and sweet and deserving of a boy with sideburns, just like Brenda Walsh. Who, coincidently, was also from MN.
Doc Marten combat boots, in black (for maximum coolness), consumed my dreams for YEARS. However, they cost well over my allotted college shoe budget, and I couldn’t talk anyone into buying me a pair. Apparently, I look very bad in clunky chunky boots, combat or otherwise. I believe the words “gay super-hero” were once used to describe my appearance. Therefore, NO ONE would help me achieve my Brenda dream. Jerks.
2. Leopard-print pants and a cowboy hat. Clearly I should have never been allowed to watch Coyote Ugly. Oh, the fashion horrors which clouded my judgment in the wake of that show. All I wanted were skin-tight, wax-to-wear leather pants OR EVEN BETTER, leopard-print pants. I would pair them with a tight red tank top, a straw cowboy hat, and I would be SO HOT. I WOULD DANCE ON BARS, AND MEN WOULD LOVE ME.
Thank God I never found a pair of leopard print pants that fit me for less than $50. BECAUSE I WOULD HAVE BOUGHT THEM. AND WORN THEM. IN PUBLIC.
Thank God Part Two, my friends have pointed out just how bad I look in hats, cowboy or otherwise. It’s true – I just don’t have a good head for a hat. Tiaras, yes, hats, no.
3. Boho Chic. If it was good enough for Sienna Miller to wear, it was good enough for me. Who cared if my personal style always ran to kicky classics, funked up with sparkly objects (like the aforementioned tiara)? I needed to be a free-spirited goddess, dressed in prairie skirts, huge hip-slung belts (guaranteeing that NO ONE could miss the size of my ass), and embroidered tunics.
However, I missed the word Chic in all this. Chic, as fashion mags use it, translates to “you people in the fly-over states can’t and won’t pay for a style that asks you to spend gobs of money to look like a bag lady. Or an Olsen twin.” I could never afford to be Boho, and still pay my mortgage.
I recently read an interview with Sienna, and she said she dressed like that to mess with the paparazzi. She was TRYING to look bad, to see if they would still photograph her. Sadly, I don’t think the paps ever got the joke.
I won’t even go into the two-toned jeans I longed for in 8th grade, the wrap-around-the-ankle sandals and espadrilles I coveted for years (until I realized how hard they are to walk in), the corsets I (still kinda want, don’t tell) fondled at the Ren Fest – desperate to figure out a way that I could work them into my day-to-day wardrobe.
Now that I’ve shown you mine, why don’t you show me yours? What is the WORST thing you almost bought, but didn’t because you couldn't scrape together the funds? I can’t believe that I’m the only one who has been spared fashion humiliation by a strong frugal streak.