Haute, hot looks on a tight budget

Fiscal responsibility makes any college student’s budget quite tight. Sometimes the biggest challenge of all is looking hotter than that last bank statement.

With designer styles and thrifty budgets in tow, Sammy and I decided to help Temple sophomores Joe Sandusky, a German major, and public relations major Noelle McKenzie stretch their budgets while looking killer at the same time.

Scouring the magazine racks in the Student Center bookstore, Sammy and I found our perfect designer inspiration in Cargo and Elle magazines – laidback preppy for Sandusky and rocker chic for McKenzie. We decided to go to Daffy’s at 17th and Chestnut streets, a designer bargain bin set up like a department store for all your one-stop shopping needs. With designer clothes at very reasonable prices, our budget was $150 for each student’s head-to-toe outfit.

The Cargo model wore a Pringle of Scotland wool sweater vest, $145, layered with a James Perse cotton tee, $40 and finished with Levi’s Vintage collection “1947 501 Charlie” jeans, $275, and Clarks Originals suede “Wallabee” shoes, $100 for a grand total of $560.

With designer inspiration in hand and racks to rummage, Sandusky searched for the proper pieces to emulate the look.

“This is not going to work,” Sandusky said, as he turned up his nose at a purple argyle sweater vest. But with much persuasion, we kept the sweater and continued our hunt.

Jeans were hard to come by and we thought we’d have to pair the vest with some corduroys, but we finally found jeans in Sandusky’s size.

Next we scooped a white Puma brand undershirt, but Sandusky had his reservations, even after I assured him that with the sweater on, no one would see the crystal studded “Puma” label on the T-shirt’s back.

We knew the shoes were hot, and we didn’t want to settle for anything less than a pair of genuine looking “Wallabee” shoes. Luckily Daffy’s had them.

Although they weren’t real suede, they still pulled Sandusky’s outfit together for the perfect “look for less” outfit.

In the end Sandusky found his look with a Claudio Ferranti sweater vest, $49.99, a white Calvin Klein T-shirt, $8.99, Lew design denim, $19.99, and Milord shoes, $59.99, totaling $138.96. That’s about $11 less than our spending cap!

Singer Joss Stone’s rocky edge inspired McKenzie’s look. In the magazine Stone wore a Dolce & Gabbana wool camisole, $695, Odyn jeans, $168, and a Dior Homme by Hedi Slimane silk scarf, $200, for the unbelievable total of $1,063.

On the fourth floor of Daffy’s we unsuccessfully scavenged for a wool pointelle cami.

We decided to go with a black ribbed tank with rhinestone embellishments that had the rocker chic element we were looking for. We kept the pointelle idea and found a sweater to pull over the tank for the colder weather.

While the women’s section didn’t sell belts, we improvised with a long thin scarf that worked perfectly.

McKenzie became Joss Stone with a Rampage tank, $13.99, sweater by Pout, $13.99, Hippie brand jeans, $19.99, and a scarf, $5.99, for a total of $53.96, approximately $96 less than our max allowance for the outfit. With that extra cash, why not pick up another fabulous ensemble?

Designer duds are super chic, but finding designer looks for less is even hotter. So the next time you swoon over high-end labels, remember that you really can find the “look for less.”

Kaitlyn Dreyling can be reached at khd1217@temple.edu.

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