Sunday, August 23, 2015

Savvy Shopper: The $100 Challenge


It is our shared philosophy that you don't have to spend a fortune to look good. To prove that point,we periodically do posts called "The $100 Challenge", in which we put together an entire outfit costing $100 or less. Not that we're competitive or anything, but we do like to out-do each other from time to time. (OK, Valerie the gauntlet has been thrown!)

Click here to view Valerie's June 2015 challenge. Click here to see my last challenge in July that was built around a black jumpsuit.

Jean says: As August draws to a close, I put together a number of pieces to create a look anchored by a wonderful tulip-shaped polka dot skirt, to which I added a sleeveless tunic, three-quarter sleeved top, neck ruff, comfy flats, and a head-wrap.

The skirt is by Lunn, a sister company to Lilith, and is 94% cotton and 6% elastane. While the dots are black, the background looks grey in certain lights and in other situations, reads as a brownish taupe. When we were at Beacon's Closet in May, to my everlasting joy, Valerie found it for me on one of the racks.  [Valerie says: We try to look out for each other that way.  It's tough, and works less than 50% of the time, but having that extra pair of eyes can score you neat stuff you might otherwise have missed.]  At $25, its cost was much less than retail. The sleeveless tunic is by one of my favorite Israeli designers, Alembika. It weighs next to nothing and can be wom over a skirt, leggings, slacks, or a dress to add interest. It was purchased for $20 earlier this spring, during that same foray to Beacon's. The $19 3/4-length sleeved top by Airism is from Uniqlo. Top-ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic is an Airism spokesperson, so I'm in good company.

A pleated fabric neck ruff with a snap on the back is an unusual accessory, also lightweight, that dresses up the look and will pack flat in a suitcase. At $15, this one was incredibly reasonably priced.Want to make one for yourself? Check out this YouTube video on how to make an easy Elizabethan ruff!  (Not dexterous?  Find some nice ones on Etsy.)  I added a reversible cotton head wrap from Enz's, a Rockabilly boutique in the East Village, which was one of three purchased for a total of $33 (or $11 each). And my comfy black nylon and rubber Skechers walking shoes were purchased earlier this Spring at an outlet store in Las Vegas for $15.  So, here is the final tally: $25 skirt; $20 tunic; $19 Airism shirt; $11 head wrap; $15 shoes and $5 socks, for a grand total of $95.

Take the challenge and tell us how you do! Til we meet again -- behave!  (Or don't, says Valerie, after all, we seldom do.)


  1. Looking like $1000, easy, Jean. Loving those $15 shoes (that's the cost of a lovely cocktail!) xo

  2. Hi ladies, am drooling over your fashion sense - I am in my mid fifties in a very conservative job in the UK - but would love to cut loose and fly - sigh, I will just have to wait to retire to have fun! I set up my own handmade jewellery company a few years ago and need to find people like you to wear my stuff - I feel my creativity being stifled from the outrageous to the tame :( Please don't ever 'behave' .

  3. Brilliant! I love the head wrap and the shape of your skirt. The neck ruff looks great too. Off to watch the video!

  4. Will have to check out the neck ruff tutorial (or, more likely, look for one on Etsy). I enjoy seeing what you two put together in your $100 challenges. Can't wait to visit Beacon's Closet again in October!

  5. I just love this blog & you two fabulous women! I regularly shop in Sydney at a second hand fashion stall in one of our markets and buy designer labels for next to nothing and hardly worn and love the idea of the $100 outfit.