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Written By Victoria B., – Official Contributor of The Crowned Series

Respect the process – Victoria B.

For the longest time I have been obsessed with high fashion, haute couture, bespoke pieces, you name it. My style icons include the Duchess of Sussex and Cambridge (Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton), Nikki Thot, Zendaya, Kim Kardashian, Lydia Elise Millen, just to name a few. While my heart is with their taste, my budget definitely is not. As much as I dream to be strutting in custom Dior and Manolo Blahniks, I realize and appreciate that I am not quite there yet. As a full-time college student with a single mom, I don’t even have the means to spend $2000 on a handbag. With this in mind, I have learned to achieve the same sleek expensive look for less than a quarter of the price.

 Here’s how I do it:

 

  • Develop your style

 

One of the most important things to achieving the chic look is to establish your style. By doing so, it leaves little room for error as you know what looks fall into your persona. I’ll give you mine for example. When asked what my go-to style is, my friends, answered “classic and crisp”. So, keeping this in mind, I tend to go for the pieces that create a timeless look. Whether it’s a structured navy winter coat or camel colored leather riding boots. 

Individuality is another aspect one needs to stay true to. Fashion isn’t any fun if you’re dressing to please others or directly copying someone else. Find what speaks to you, what you feel that expresses your persona/energy and stick to it. 

 

  • Choose your favorite stores

 

Selecting your staple brands or stores will create a cohesiveness to your wardrobe. This has to do with the continuation of cuts, shapes, and fabrics each store has. Let’s take Meghan Markle, for example. Meghan chose Givenchy for her wedding and has sported many of their items ever since joining the British Royal Family. It’s because of her that I can instantly spot a Givenchy dress due to its clean lines and abstract cuts. Of course, I cannot afford a $3000 dress but the same flow can be achieved for a much more affordable price. One of my favorite stores at the moment is ZARA. While some of their pieces are more on the expensive side, I wait for their sales to go shopping. (More on that in the next section) A few other stores/brands I like to shop are TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, and Calvin Klein.

 

  • Keep an eye out for Semi-Annual and Flash Sales

 

As I mentioned before, you must be familiar with sales! This is when I usually do the majority of my shopping as most of the items are 40-70% off. This allows you to have the same name brands at a feasible price. Just a few weeks ago, my mom and I went into ZARA to have a look around but was surprised by a flash sale going on. I bought a beautiful black ribbed turtle neck dress for $15 that was originally $50. Since it’s from ZARA, I know that it’ll last me years if I take care of it. Another tip I’d like to mention is to be wary of fast fashion. Although the clothes are cheap, they are most likely to deteriorate in the wash after 1-2 uses. (Not to mention the horrible environmental and social effect it has).

Another tip would be to shop a season in advance. I always see racks of name brand coats, such as Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, etc. for at least 50% off in the summer months. Last year I saw an MK wool coat that was originally around $200 for $79.99. This would be the time to choose your winter coat, or anything else you might think would be useful in the upcoming months.

 

  • Splurge on one thing (if you can!)

 

One of the best fashion advice I received from my mother is to buy quality. Let’s say you’re going on a trip to somewhere extremely cold and need a new winter coat. If it is within your means, it’s better to buy a coat that will last you years as opposed to one winter as in the grand scheme of things it is more cost-efficient. It’s also better functionality speaking, as the more expensive one is usually made with better materials that will keep you warmer. For example, when my mother and I first came to Florida we found a store called HSN outlet. I bought a pair of leather boots for half the original price that still look amazing 6 years later.

 

  • Respect the process

 

Respecting the point in which you are in your journey is something that I have learned to do. Instead of feeling bad that I can’t buy the $800 Dior belt, I find something of similar taste like the $30 MK belt at Nordstrom Rack. Keep in mind, it’s no use to buy something you want but can’t afford to feed yourself or buy gas, or whatever the case might be. 

The last point I’d like to make, and one of the most important is to remember that your personal fashion is constantly under evolution. It changes with your moods, age, budget, seasons, etc. Remember this, and you’ll always be the best dressed in the room. 

Victoria B., Official Contributor of The Crowned Series

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