MomTalk.com January 19, 2021:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more

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Friendly Fashion Forays for Not-So Friendly Economic Times: Feisty Fashion Girl


by Josi Wert Javinsky

Okay, so we are all in a pinch. Who has found themselves using the almost black-bananas when you used to toss those (just put a little yogurt over them!), and fishing change out of the bottom of your wallet to subsidize that latte? I know it's not just me. Everyone I talk to lately is on hard times and yet when that happens, people inevitably need some things to cheer them up that do not cost a lot of money. This is when good accessories really make the grade.

Can't quite swing that $1,000 Burberry overcoat this winter? Worry Not, Recessionsistas.

Take Note:

1. SCARVES: So maybe I'm a little late to the party but I just discovered how awesome scarves are as an accessory! And not just the "bundle-up-it's-crazy-cold-outside" scarves. I'm talking big, drapey, part-of-your-outfit scarves. In my mind, you only wore a scarf like that doubled around your neck if you were a coffee-house, journal-jotting, beatnik poet wannabe. No more! Now we less serious types can add this glorious piece of finery to our wardrobes too. Believe me, I had my doubts -- especially since that frantic, chronic PASHMINA craze we all went through. But now I see the light. It's one of the most versatile wardrobe items a girl can have!

Wrapping a scarf a couple of times loosely around your neck, and then casually flipping it through makes almost any outfit a bit more polished and, dare I say, sophisticated. There are choices galore, so even though a lot of people are doing it right now you can still shine your unique light by choosing the very color/pattern that suits YOU. My obsession began at the end of summer with a Missoni-type longish scarf with lots of yummy colors. It's skinny but NOT TOO SKINNY (don't want anyone looking like they have a bolo tied around their neck! Leave that for Sienna Miller, and p.s. it looks silly on her too.)

The next item added to my cache was a black and green sort of Oriental Rug looking scarf. It looks amazing over just a black turtleneck and jeans. Needless to say, I have about five or six now and I'm always excited to grab one and add it when the outfit just needs a little something... not to mention how nicely it covers up all of your winter sins! Added money saver: no necklace needed when the scarf look is heeded. And I'm telling you, you can get the most beautiful scarves for VERY little do-re-mi. Check out H&M and Target for starters.

2. VESTS: If I was late to the scarf party I was WAY early to the vest one! Have you ever worn something since the beginning of time just because you really liked it and it didn't matter if it was in style or not? Well, that's how I feel about my vests. I have been wearing vests with everything since I can't remember when, and was even ridiculed by CLOSE friends for it. But I never cared. I loved them, they spoke to me and I wasn't going to give them up.

Well, fast forward time and space and "OH, I'm sorry, What was that??? Vests are cool???" No kidding. I kind of feel like they're mine and no one can take them, but that seems to be pretty unlikely since they are now everywhere! But I don't care, I still love them. I will not turn on them just because everyone else found out how great they are. When I was buying for my store, if ever there was a vest offered in the line I was looking at, I would of course add it to my order. Then, inevitably, 4-6 months later when the order actually shipped, it would be sans vest. Time after time, I would call and ask why the vests weren't shipped and I always got the same answer... "We only had one customer (and it must have been you) who ordered it for their store so we decided not to make it." Hhmp! The nerve. But I'm over it and I am ready to let the masses look cool like me. And the great thing about vests is that they are pretty cheap and cheerful.

You can go to any vintage store and get any number of men's suit vests to layer under for pennies on the dollar. And even if you buy straight retail - they are far less than their jacket counterparts. Also, keeping with the financial benefits, you can wear the same vest with a million different things. One day it's a plain turtleneck, the next it's a floral or striped blouse. And these days the ruffle-front top will look amazing under a vest! That old sexy secretary thing-- always a good look. Button it up, keep it unbuttoned, get a really big one and slip it over a tunic or a sweater....the possibilities are endless! Ok, I think I can move on but you can probably tell that I'm not kidding when it comes to my love for this little gem. (p.s. sweater vests allowed).

3. FINGERLESS GLOVES: File under cute but not super practical. But we're not talking practical here, we are talking cute fashion for less. I picked up a pair of these recently and they give me that sort of Diane Keaton meets Oliver the orphan feel. They are edgy but don't have any actual hardware on them lest we scratch the baby! They say "I am hip and I don't even have to try." Beyond their fiscally responsible price tag, they are irreplaceable when you need to dig out that last little bit of your lipstick (come on, you know we've all done it!). They also have them with little covers (I can't help but refer to them as condoms) that slip on and off your fingers so that you can decide if your digits need to be out in the elements or not. And if I still smoked, I'd say they were fabulous for that little naughty act, but I'd probably get in trouble so I won't say it.

4. THE SHOE-BOOT: Or as some say "Shubootie": All I can say is: Don't. There. I just saved you a ton of money.

5. PATENT LEATHER: This is another one where I came to the party early and stayed. I have loved patent leather since I saw myself in the shiny reflection of my first pair of mary-janes in nursery school. But I digress..Anyhoo, the deal here is that you don't have to spend a lot of money to look like you did. I'll bet you not even Elsa Klensch could tell the difference between real patents leather and plastic if she had to. And even if she could, who cares? The lady in line next to you at Rainbow has no idea whether you paid $18.99 for that shiny handbag or $1,999, and frankly, that is part of the beauty of patent. Also, just a little shot of some of the shiny stuff brings you looking "of the moment" even if it's just a keyfob or a cuff bracelet. So fly your shiny flag and know that you are looking trendy and fabulous for less than that lady in line!

So you see girls, looking up-to-date is not something that takes lots of money. It just takes a little know-how and a lot of attitude. And you KNOW you have loads of that! 

Editors note: Coming soon--Feisty Fashion Girl's very own blog right here on MomTalk.com. Keep an eye out for fashion tips from an expert.

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