Wednesday, February 13, 2008

How To Be Cheap And FABULOUS

Above: I'm having a bad hair day. And a bad face day. But the jacket and pearls are nice, no?

Tip Of The Day: The glamorous life – it’s not just for Peas and other celebs. You, too, can look and feel fabulous for less. If you ain’t got no money, take your broke ass here, to: Cheap But Not Easy.

Tip For Tomorrow: An entire compilation of my cheap ideas for V-Day. For those of you with dates and loved ones and such.

Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: Earlier this week, we discussed the things we consider luxurious. Fresh bedding, warm socks, a hot bath, the time to enjoy the hot bath – it all came down to stuff that makes us feel clean, comfy and cozy.

The same can not be said for the stuff that makes me feel glamorous. To feel like a princess, one must often endure pain and suffering. In short, it ain’t easy being fabulous. But it can be cheap! Here are just a few of the things that make me feel glamorous that don’t cost a fortune.

High heels, the higher the better. It’s that ‘extra ½ inch’ Posh Spice talks about. Wearing high heels forces you to walk slower and more elegantly, I HOPE. Please don’t be one of those unfortunate souls clumping about without a clue. Practice at home! Even Keira Knightly had to train herself to walk in heels.
Heels also make your legs look longer and leaner (aka. better). And if you wear open toe shoes (NEVER WITH PANTY HOSE. EVEN IN THE WINTER. OR ELSE.), you can show off your fabulous pedicure – done at home or at an inexpensive salon. The Aveda Institute does a full-out pedi for only $24.
You can find high heels, platform heels, peep-toe pumps, and strappy sandals for less than $20 at Target, Payless, DSW, Macy’s clearance racks, consignment stores… the list of places is endless. Just try them on – if you can walk up and down the aisle, you can walk anywhere. Just not anywhere for a particularly long time, heels do get uncomfortable after awhile.
Being taller than everyone else around me makes me feel like a total Glamazon. It’s how I imagine Giselle feels every day.

A (faux) fur coat. My Ma bought me my first faux fur coat for Christmas two years ago. It is the warmest thing I own, so it get’s to be both luxurious AND glamorous. And since it was a gift, it’s FREE. Three great features, rolled into one dark brown “chubby” (see above). That’s what the particular style of jacket is called. No, I’m not being vulgar or suggestive; get your mind out of the gutter.
You can usually find faux fur at thrift and consignment stores – and for much less than department stores or boutiques. Mine is from Target, on sale, of course.
I’m still on the lookout for a Luella Bartley faux-leopard print jacket that Target carried last year. Every time I hit a thrift/consignment store, I check for it. Let me know if you find one for less than $20, okay? Thanks.

Shiny objects. In true magpie fashion, I collect all sorts of shiny things. Sparkly jewelry like rings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches, tiaras, and sparkly accessories like evening purses and masks. Yes, I said masks. I have one black and silver mask with silver ribbons, and one black and multi-colored mask decorated with sequins. You never know when you’ll need a good mask, and I have two of them. And both cost less than $20.
My two prize possessions are my Gramma Mac’s quadruple-strand faux pearls (see above) and my tiara, even though the tiara pinches my head. Both were gifts, so I got them for the cost of FREE.
Nothing makes me feel more glamorous than to swan about with one or both of these things on. People treat you differently when you wear statement jewelry. Granted, sometimes how they're treating you is like, “back away from the crazy nut job,” but whatever.
To be glamorous is to be a pink unicorn in a sea of dishwater-brown goats. No, that analogy DOES make sense. Both animals have horns.

Scarves and wraps. Since I can’t go around wearing a feather boa all the time, the next best thing is to throw on a scarf or wrap. I have many scarves, made by friends and family members, and I love them all equally. Except for the sparkly, disco-fur one my Ma made me. That’s my favorite.
I also have a pink, faux-pashmina wrap, purchased for just $10, which I love. Swooshing it around my neck and shoulders makes me feel very fancy. I plan on buying the red one just like it at Fun Sisters when it goes on sale. Right now it’s $18.99, and with tax it goes over my $20 limit.
Toss on a wrap or scarf and you’ll immediately feel elegant and warm (a nice side benefit in MN winters). Just be careful not to toss it too close to an open flame. Then you’ll just feel burnt. And smoky. Not cute.

What cheap things make you feel glam? What cheap ways do you have of feeling glam? Enquiring minds want to know! So I can copy them and incorporate them into my own life.


Anonymous said...

I think headbands are a great way to get around a bad hair day. Unfortunately, some of the ribbon ones or silk covered ones are over 20 bucks. Luckily you can make one that looks the same as the more expensive ones by covering a dollar store headband with nice fabric or ribbon, or by taking a piece of ribbon and looping and sewing the ends around the ends of a large ponytail elastic.

Tundrababe said...

Woah, I didn't realize that you counted tax into your $20 limit.

I drink my juice every morning from a wine glass. It makes me feel fancy. :-)

Also, I have a canopy over my bed, kinda like this. I can pretend I'm a princess or something. I have satin sheets, which are luxurious.

Today I picked up some sparkley hair clips (also a magpie). I have a fake fur coat too, and a fake fur throw blanket. Aah, the luxury.

Michelle said...

I love the faux fur coat! It looks like it's real. The pearls are great, too. I am a big fan of pearls myself...they always look so timeless and classy. Thrift stores are a great place to find faux pearls for cheap.

I hope you find the Luella jacket! Sooner or later, it has to show up somewhere. :)

Dressing like Jackie-O (cute tweedy blazers and pearls) makes me feel elegant.

LaRue said...

Hmm. I have started to take Laura Bennett from Project Runway's advice and not be a shlumpy suburban mom. I put on nice pants or jeans everyday. A nice pair of heels or flats. I make an effort to wear actual lipstick (I didn't for YEARS as you can attest) and I actually wear some jewelry every day.

My biggest thing to make me feel glamorous is to buy myself jewelry. Sure, I have a man who would buy me these things (Love you El Jefe! Happy Valentines Day!) but I like being the one to pick out the shiny.

Also? 4 star hotels make me feel glamorous. But sadly, they are over $20.

Norwego said...

I totes agree with you on the fake pashmina front. I have a fake blue pashmina, and also a beautiful black wrap from India. Whenever I artfully arrange either of these around my neck, I feel oh so glamorous.

Fake pear earrings help. I have a giant pair of fake pearl earrings from Target. Pair that with my scarf, high heels, and big sunglasses, and I am FABULOUS.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, I was over at and she mentioned this sale on Indian jewelry over at

There's some nice pieces to be had for five dollars in the sale section. Some of it was originally as high as $70 or $80, so this is great deal, especially since her stuff looks to be much better quality than a lot of the Indian costume jewelry out there (it looks nicer than what you would get at World Market or Pier One, too).

The Material Girl said...

I don't think I am fashion-challenged and I wear peep-toes with opaque tights (NOT pantyhose) - all the fashion mags say it's okay, so there.

Larue - Did you know they make some cute Birkenstocks? No, really, they don't. I feel glamorous when I step it up a notch - big girl shoes, big girl clothes and full make-up. Also, I love big earrings, lots of bracelets and the occasional cocktail ring. Bling-a-bling!