beauty,  budget-friendly,  fashion,  green living

Dress Like a Celeb on a Student Budget

Glossing Over It’s college guest blogger is back today, examining how to copy celebrity looks without a celebrity-size bank account. Welcome, Dorothy!

Dress Like a Celeb on a Student Budget, by Dorothy Munholland

Photos from New York Magazine


Anyone who has spent time wading through my closet will tell you that I have a massive collection of magazines and photo clippings, ranging from old National Geographic articles to copies of Vogue. I might’ve been classified as a hoarder if my mom hadn’t cracked down on this habit at an early age. It’s not that I have a hard time saying goodbye to the magazines themselves (by recycling, of course), it’s more like I have a hard time letting go of all the outfit inspirations I once had while flipping through the pages.

There was a time when I thought keeping up with the wardrobe changes of celebrities like the Olsen twins was a plausible endeavor. I now know better, but in the meantime the stacks of magazines have made it impossible to add anything else to my closet, even if I had the money to do so. So, in a recent effort to de-clutter my life and make room for the next twenty years of collection, I’ve been reading my way through the piles before we part ways. I’ve dreaded doing this for so long because I just didn’t need one more reminder that I don’t have the resources to, literally, Keep up with the Kardashians.

Forever 21 dress, $17.80

Much to my surprise, the project hasn’t been as discouraging as I envisioned. In revisiting the styles that were once fabulous enough to earmark, I have discovered that many of my fashion icons actually do some pretty sensible outfit repeating. A quick Google image search for Claudia Schiffer, for example,  reveals two things: (1) never spend more than five minutes looking at pictures of super models, and (2) Schiffer is a fan of the flouncy dress, sweater, and ankle boot combination. And Schiffer isn’t afraid to recycle key pieces. While one purse of choice is admittedly a $1,500 Balenciaga Arena bag, and the rest of her apparel is most likely of the same price range, it is nonetheless encouraging to see a celebrity embracing a style and actually sticking with it. Finally, a look I can try to copy at a more reasonable price that won’t lose its appeal before I get the chance to wear it! In this case I think Schiffer is bringing us a very versatile, flattering, and potentially wallet-friendly look.

Gap Sweater, $34.99

The combination of a chunky sweater and tights with a floral dress is an excellent way to bridge the weather gap during spring, not to mention it gets an extra season out of a lot of pieces. The style also strikes a great balance between flirty and conservative and can easily be dressed up or worn casually. Stores like Forever21 are brimming with affordable summer dresses right now (like the one on the left, above). And since it’s the season for sweater sales (see the Gap sweater pictured at right), you really can’t go wrong with the Schiffer sweater+dress.

While it’s still arguable whether or not I should have saved those magazines all of this time, I’m happy I was able to get something positive out of their long-overdue recycling. I’ve realized that rather than wring my hands over lots of specific looks, it makes more sense (financially and spatially) to find a style I love and work what I already have, plus a few special pieces, into my own unique version.