Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Jean's $100 Challenge Times Two!
Not that we're competitive or anything, but after Valerie hit a home run with her recent $100 challenge, I had to step up my game. The underlying premise to the exercise is to see how well put together we can be for around $100. My take on this particular challenge was to create a day and evening look from the same basic building block. The foundation of this look is a simple, black (natch!) spaghetti strapped jumpsuit by Sweet Claire. It's 100% rayon, machine washable, weighs practically nothing and rolls up into a tiny, lightweight bundle (great for travel). Best of all, it cost a whopping $15 at Buffalo Exchange, a local consignment shop. The $15 earrings are round black and white straw concentric circles, from the recent pop up vintage boutique in Industry City in Brooklyn. The necklace is a faux ostrich-covered metal collar that was a gift from the owner of the now-defunct Eva boutique on The Bowery.
I paired the romper with a black, white and green printed long-sleeved, round-necked Kamali Kulture top. The tag says that the color is "b/w color bomb" and that the material, which is 95% polyester and 5% spandex, is also machine washable. It is body-con but not super-clingy, especially considering it is size XS(!). Price? $20 from Beacon's Closet. The reversible head wrap, which is solid black on one side and black and white flamingo print on the other, has a wire sewn inside so that it keeps its shape. (As I crouch over my keyboard, I'm contemplating having one of those wires surgically implanted in my spine to keep me upright!) Although the regular price is $25, I got three of these wonderfully packable and practical accessories for $33 on sale at Enz, one of my favorite East Village boutiques. Trying to find fun, reasonably priced shoes is always a tough nut to crack. I'm wearing a pair of black nylon rubber-soled Skechers, scored at an outlet in Henderson, Nevada as half of a super BOGO sale (buy one, get one free) of two pairs for $30!
So what is the grand total of this outfit? Let's summarize, shall we? Repeat after me: $15 romper; $20 shirt; $15 earrings; $11 head wrap; $15 shoes; and $5 socks, for a grand total of $81.
But wait, there's more!!! To make this go from day into evening (so important to have quick-change options when traveling), I added a jacket and lost the shirt. I switched to another head wrap, a black and white polka dot number, to go with my thrift shop polka dot earrings. I found the jacket at a giant sale at Maggie's, a little boutique in a giant hall to the right of the main entrance to Union Station in Washington, D.C. It is 65% polyester and 35% cotton and is also hand washable. (I was with my ex-boss who also scored a couple of nice items on sale.)
By removing the top and the socks, I subtracted $25 from the $81 total and added $50 for the jacket. The head wrap was the same price ($11) as were the thrift shop earrings ($15), shoes ($15) and romper ($15). So, my grand total for the second look? $106! The combined price tag for two outfits is $187, which split down the middle comes to $93.50 each. Not too shabby!
So think creatively. Clothing doesn't have to be expensive or have a designer label to make you look and feel good. And, to quote the G.F.O.S. (God Father of Soul) himself, James Brown: "I feeeel goood." Ciao, kiddies!