Prioritize, Economize, Accessorize.

To me, the most comforting aspect of this whole Schlump is that what is current is what is classic.  How helpful!

Go to your closet, pull out all the structured jackets, distressed (non-embellished!) denim, black leather, black pants, and basic tees that you can muster.  All of these pieces are critical to this spring.   And while investment pieces are being resurrected – and I hope you’ve been through your storage boxes already – some of us lack the necessary pieces to the puzzle that allow us to tie the whole look up into one, pretty, 2009 (stimulus?) package.  Alas, with very little to spend, let us see if we can solve said conundrum:

Express Multi-Chain Necklace, 34.50

Express Multi-Chain Necklace, 34.50

Yes, Express!  The very store that, in my youth, I frequented as it was the most wildly “fashionable” that I could afford at the time.  Mostly, I recall my outfits being poly-blend and very, very loud.  Now, the store still smacks of a tacky club in the thick of Long Island culture, but I must say, the finds I have recently discovered have been very, very good ones!  I bought something similar to this necklace, it has served me well.  Think of it as the jewelry version of an Alaia belt:  utilize it to toughen up your sweeter looks, or to add to a minimalistic outfit without distracting from its structure.

SuperCandy by Candace Ang Studded Satin Necklace, 68.00.  At Urban Outfitters.

SuperCandy by Candace Ang Studded Satin Necklace, 68.00. At Urban Outfitters.

The sweet, blushy pink is heaven against a denim jacket or a simple white t-shirt dress.   Pair with last-season’s gladiators and two thin, gold bangles, and you’ve got it all together.

  • Urban Outfitters Stone Cuff, 18.00.
  • Urban Outfitters Stone Cuff, 18.00.
  • These pieces fit seamlessly into the Western-Rock chic that is current, luxe, and surprisingly simple to pull off.  Combine with anything studded, leather, torn-up, and/or black, throw on last season’s black booties, spritz your hair with John Masters’ Sea Mist (at Whole Foods!) and you’re done.

    Bebe Leighton Patent & Stretch Bootie, 179.99

    Bebe Leighton Patent & Stretch Bootie, 179.99

    Now, the girls at Elle don’t lie.  Right now, Bebe is making the best runway-“inspired” sky-high heels around, and in substantial fabrications, too.  These are  a more classic riff on the super-now, ever-loved Shoe Boot, and in keeping with the sleek, futuristic, early-90’s vibe that the runways emanated this spring.  Wear them with your super-destroyed cutoff shorts and a boyfriend blazer to lend the look sleek sophistication, or use them to anchor khaki paper-bag pants.

    Bebe Rome Leather Sandal, 139.99

    Bebe Rome Leather Sandal, 139.99

    Another too-good-to-be-true version of a gorgeously sculpted shoe.  Use this one more liberally, with a floaty dress or a 70’s-era  jumpsuit.  Substantial heels are essential for this season’s looks; without them, they can seem a bit slouchy.  Voluminous jumpsuits only look right with flats if you’re 5’10” and have no hips whatsoever.

    Bebe Slouchy Patchwork Hobo, 179.99

    Bebe Slouchy Patchwork Hobo, 179.99

    The epynonomous slouchy satchel is KEY this season, no matter which magazine, editor, or designer you call your own.  I’m sure that you are all aware that the It Bag is out, but what is going unsaid?  To many of us, the It Bag is also now considered both extremely tacky and rude. This is clearly due to our current economic climate; now is not the time to be competitive.  Most prominent designers, such as Alexander Wang, have been showing lasting, slouchy, multipurpose bags with minimal hardware in luxurious, but downplayed fabrications.  Leather made to look like denim, superdistressed suede, eelskin, and matte snakeskin all made an appearance on the most loved bags of the season.  Best of all?  When you tote one of these babies to a family gathering or to work, you won’t become a complete spectacle because of your purse.  Use this one, and get the same laid-back chic for a tenth of the price.


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