If you had a $100 monthly shopping budget, are you the type that would buy one expensive piece from Neiman Marcus or the type to buy 10 items for $10 from Target or H&M? Well, I’m the latter and here’s why. I bought this dress from H&M for $10. If that isn’t enough proof that you don’t need to spend millions to look stylish and expensive, then I don’t know what is! The shoes were only $40 and the vintage earrings were $20. Total outfit=$70! Personally, I could care less about the social status of an item. Expensive taste doesn’t translate into name brands, fancy logos, expensive price tags or any other outward trapping of expense. If you are willing to spend a little time researching online you will find the right outfit for you on a number of sites. Some sites like ASOS offer a personalised selection of outfits that you may be interested in. Doing something like this for customers is an example of exceptional ecommerce strategy.
I prefer organic over generic, a boutique hair salon instead a $29.99 job at Super Cuts, a manicure from a professional because I can’t stay in the lines on my own and boxed water because anything is better than plastic. Oh, and I most certainly don’t have 1-ply toilet paper in my bathroom (can we please all grow up now?). Perhaps this looks like I have expensive taste?
I prefer $20 jeans over $200, faux fur>real fur, $60 questionable leather jacket vs. without question $350 leather, people will most likely think I have an infinite monthly shopping budget or spend lots on my clothing. People who use my toilet paper after they’ve only ever used 1-ply, probably think it’s fancy. It’s not and only costs me $1 more. I DIY the heck out of my apartment and create my own art to hang on the walls. People think it’s fancy. It’s DIY. Catching my drift? You can look like you have expensive taste and not spend the big bucks.
Oscar Wilde once said “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from lack of imagination,” I beg to differ and think it’s quite the opposite. We don’t need to spend outside of our budgets to get the same look and result. Styling a $10 silver metallic dress or patent leather pants takes some imagination and quite honestly it has a lot to do with how you present yourself to the world. You can throw on a $10 dress whip your hair into some curls and throw on a bold coral lip and voila! It now might look like $1,000 dress!
Disclaimer: I do like nice things, like real fur jackets, structured Balmain blazers and wildly outrageous [read: glorious] designed dresses. It’s totally okay to splurge and treat yourself from time to time, especially on sunglasses, but you will always be able to find a similar (almost identical) shoe or bag, dress, pant or jacket at a much lower price. Expensive taste is not synonymous with good taste. Money does not buy style.
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Photographer: Herby Joseph
Location: Central Park – Liz Glynn “Open House” Exhibit