Shopping guide for the cash-strapped student

hermes boxes
Any idea who the photographer is? I’ve had no luck finding the source.

Since I started sharing style photos online, I’m constantly asked, “how do you afford all of your clothes on a student budget?” The question has always been hard for me to answer, partly because there were so many different reasons. For one thing, I actually have a surprisingly small wardrobe. “All of my clothes” fit on a single rack in my closet and a small rack in my room. I’ve never been on a shopping haul or a shopping spree; while in college, I bought a new article of clothing maybe once every two months. You just can’t drop a lot of money on clothes if you don’t have a lot of money to begin with. Nonetheless, you can build a nice wardrobe on small funds – it just takes a little bit of work and a lot of patience.

Over the years, several readers have asked me to put together a list of tips for spending and saving for high-quality clothing, and the only thing that’s kept me from writing it is not knowing where to start. This list is by no means prescriptive; your lifestyle, priorities, and personal situation should be the primary dictate of how you spend your money. I’m merely hoping that a little insight into my method might help someone else out! (And please feel free to ask questions!)

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A few things I’ve been loving lately: Rosy Glow blush by Dior, Villa Satine eyelash lace bralette by Maison Close, Jacquie Aiche rosary necklace, eyemask by Bobbi Brown c/o my boyfriend

Chloé Girl

Shoes by Chloé via Vestiaire Collective, Hellhound print by womanarchy

There’s a huge sense of satisfaction that comes from finally getting something you’ve wanted for a very long time. These Chloé shoes have been on my wishlist for a couple of years now, so when I saw them listed on Vestiaire Collective, a used designer clothing site (and one of my biggest obsessions lately), I couldn’t resist.

It’s no secret that my favorite fashion house is Chloé: I love the practical, cool-girl aesthetic that’s been the label’s mantra since its inception. My sister bought me the Chloé: Attitudes book for Christmas, and it’s so fun to flip through the vintage photos and learn about the first luxury prêt-à -porter house ever. Did you know that Gaby Aghion’s family objected to her starting Chloé because they didn’t want a young, wealthy woman to have a career? Aghion’s rebellious and carefree philosophy, born in the age of Dior and Balenciaga haute couture, has persisted as Chloé’s vision for over sixty years. It’s so inspiring.

New Orleans pride

nola polaroid
When people talk about New Orleans, they tend to talk about all of the things for which it’s famous: the hanging plants and wrought-iron balconies, the jazz and blues, the non-stop partying, and the incredible food. Although I enjoy all of these things about the city, it’s the small idiosyncrasies that make New Orleans such an incredible place. Santa-suited alligators in shop windows (even Easter alligators!), leasing signs advertising apartments that are “NOT HAUNTED,” the way every chef claims his crawfish étoufée is the best*, the graceful decay of the buildings, and the resident cats in almost every shop… it’s the quirky details that make me fall in love with this city each time I visit.

Of course there are the things I can’t stand about New Orleans too: the treacherous sidewalks that are impassable in any other shoes besides utility boots, the unremitting chain of tourist and gift shops along Decatur, and the pervasive stench of piss and vomit. (I still maintain that Bourbon Street is only good for people watching.) It’s a city that’s as picturesque as it is ugly. Nonetheless, there’s a charming sense of pride in New Orleans matched only in the US by New York City. People love visiting just to soak up the energy.

* My favorite crawfish étoufée is from the Boudin Shop, a small restaurant in Breaux Bridge, LA

New Orleans Packing List (or my daily outfit)

Since it was a holiday weekend, my friend and I decided to book a small, impromptu trip to one of our favorite cities, New Orleans. I’m so excited for beignets and boudin! Here’s my packing list, which has practically been my uniform for the past couple of weeks.

Ray-ban wayfarers, Chanel mirror, Agent Provocateur bra, Lanvin loafers, J.crew men’s cashmere scarf, 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, and an Everlane cashmere sweater