Fashionable Frugalista Dressing and Living Fabulously on a Budget

A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.
-Coco Chanel

So What is a Fashionable Frugalista?

The economy is definitely in a downturn right now and most of use are tightening the purse strings. But that doesn't mean we don't drool over the latest designer handbags carried by celebrities or abandon our desires to keep up with the trends and dress to impress.

In a November 2008 New York Times article, Eric Wilson talks about the recent decision of Vogue to feature a price guide with items $500 or under because of the current economic downturn. "A price threshold of $500 will likely have novelty appeal to longtime readers of fashion glossies like Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Elle, who have become numb to the ever-inflating and sometimes inexplicable prices of luxury goods. A Marc Jacobs handbag costs $1,095. A Derek Lam trench is $2,490. A Chanel jumpsuit costs $8,820. And for some items, the magazines don't even bother listing the prices, the presumption being that, really, if you have to ask. ..."

However, such so-called budget sections are really not what most people would look at as useful alternatives or information. Allison Braund argues that the fashion magazines response to the recession is ludicrous and the options they provide at budget-friendly are anything but. Braund takes issue with the magazines whose budget sections include pieces that are still out of price range for many. In the September 2008 issue of Vogue an article about handbags featured bags "at a low, low price of $3,000. Even Lucky magazine tried to get on the game, featuring $22 lip liner and embellished heels for $375." To many readers and consumers, these items are not what they had in mind when they go looking for budget conscious fashion.

I am a graduate student working two jobs and attending classes full time. Most of my funds right now are allocated strictly to school and living expenses, but that has not stopped my obsession with fashion. I believe there is no reason to have to break the bank to look hot and still keep your checking account in the black!

That is why I started Fashionable Frugalista. I love fashion and subscribe to fashion magazines and read blogs online. I love seeing the latest styles and what everyone is wearing. I envision how I can fit these looks into my own lifestyle. But as a student, I know there are many of us out there who just can't afford the $500 pair of heels we see in a magazine. I like to experiment with new looks, but I do not want to go broke doing it. So this site is for all the fashionable ladies who are trying to be responsible spenders in this new, tighter economy. It is for those of us who have other expenses to balance and cannot subsist on shoes alone!

What You Will Find Here

Fashionable Frugalista will give you tips for scoring hot looks for less and how to balance those material girl cravings in ways that won't break the bank. Learn how to dress, decorate and live fashionably with expert advice, tips from readers like you, and other personal favorite resources of mine to provide inspiration.

Me with a statue of Neil Armstrong on the Purdue University campus.

Dress and earrings: Target, Shoes: Payless, Purse: Kohls

Please contact me with any questions about this site, or to submit ideas for topics to cover, your pressing frugalista questions, tips, or to highlight yourself or someone you know on the Frugalista About Town page.