Just because this blog is dedicated to style on a budget, and I cringe at the thought of paying retail for almost anything, it does not mean that sometimes when I flip through a magazine or read another style blog, I am not envious of the items I can not afford. I could rattle off a laundry list of my most desired pieces, but would have to forfeit months of rent to buy any of them. These would include:
Hermes Collier De Chien
Proenza Schouler PS1 Bag
Alexander Wang Rocco Duffel
Almost any pair of Givenchy shoes
Miu Miu loafers either studded or leopard
The point is: if I had endless sums of money, there are things I would snap up in a heartbeat, and there are many days that I dream of not having to crunch numbers to keep my monthly budget out of the red. But alas, this is not the case. Instead, I try to drive home my position that when it comes to lack of money: a little extra thought goes a long way.
It was the Bloomingdale's semi-annual shoe sale: buy two or more pairs and get an extra 20% off your purchase. I had found two great shoes, a BCBG patent wedge, and Betsey Johnson spectator Mary Janes.
Have you ever been to M&J Trim? Go. It is amazing. It is the kind of store that makes you wish you could sew. Unless you do sew, well, then it is a mecca of crystal, applique and ribbon, oh the glorious ribbon: M&J has an almost infinite selection. With this tidbit of knowledge, rather than hastily tossing the shoes aside, I decided to purchase them, and throw the laces out instead.
Now not only do I not have hideous ombre ribbon shoelaces on my funky Mary Janes, I have a multitude of alternatives. I purchased a few different options, black with white trim, black with gold, thin, thick, velvet, satin, and all for a total purchase price under $5!!
This little discovery is part of the same theory that sometimes you have to alter a garment to make it not only fit your body, but fit your style too. M&J is a great source of products and inspiration that can instantly turn plain into perfection. Atrocious into awe-inspiring. Fine into fabulous. (You get the picture.)
So, if you have not yet figured it out, my point is this: do not overlook something that may only be just shy of amazing, because alterations are almost always an option. And this argument does not only apply to clothes, as clearly demonstrated here. It is all about looking beyond the obvious, something anyone on a budget has to challenge themselves to do every time they go shopping. Sure, even I get sick of constantly having to play mind meld with my clothes to feel like I'm changing up my style; and yes, sometimes I just want to walk into Barneys and--without remorse--buy something I find intrinsically cool, but that is not an option for me.
So there you have it, yet another example of how powerful the creative mind can be. And even if you do not have an item in your wardrobe that needs a little alternation or sprucing up, making a trip to the Garment District may help feed your creativity. Just take a stroll on 6th Avenue between 34th and 40th street, and you are bound to be inspired; because with a well-trimmed budget, your wardrobe will not seem like it is hanging by a thread.
You can find M&J Trim at 1008 6th Avenue
~~Thanks to my guest editor Kendria for all her help on this post! Check out her blog Random Acts of Kendy for great stories, including one about me!~~