POSTED ON APRIL 2, 2008:
So, You Were Saving?
But every now and then a little splurge should be in order
Less is More. Most sunglasses are plastic and metal, and whether you've spent $20 or $250, they're equally susceptible to breaking and scratching.
This all started because I didn't know if people were still wearing Capri pants. Capri pants are the first thing that comes to mind when I think of spring fashion. I love them and have loved them from the first moment they came back onto the scene. I was the first real person (i.e. not a celebrity) I knew to wear them when they made their return in the late 1990s. I really liked them then and I really need them now.
You see, sometimes full-on pants just don't work. And sometimes shorts don't work either. Skirts and dresses are great, but I prefer them with heels, and I just don't want to strut around all the time, clicking about in narrow, heeled shoes. This is why I need Capri pants--moreover, why the world needs them/
The season calls for them. I bought a handful of jeans that shrunk in length. My initial reaction was heated, but then I realized with one swift move of folding them up to form one thick cuff, these otherwise well-fitting pants looked great with a pair of peep-toe heels and any top under the sun.
But then I wondered when was the last time I saw anyone wearing Capri pants? I had been out and about to shops lately... had there been a single pair in any of the stores? I didn't remember seeing any, but they weren't something I had been actively searching for. I opened up a magazine and voila! Kate Moss running around in a pair of cropped pants. While she might not be a role model, she's still a fashion model (and icon). Pants good enough for her are good enough for me. Whew! Capri pants, cropped pants; same thing, different name. All is well in the world.
Okay, so it's not really. Economic analysts are in a tug-o-war with the government over the issue of a recession. We either are now, or are rapidly heading in that direction (say the analysts). Or we're going to be just fine (so says the gov). History will declare a winner, but for now it's at least obvious to the average consumer that gas prices suck and the price of groceries is increasing. And that's why I needed my faux Capri, er, cropped pants to still be wearable. In the battle between a pair of pants and a tank of gas, QuikTrip always wins.
But we're still supposed to go on with our consumerist ways. By the average folks pumping dollars into our economy, the rest of world won't collapse on itself. So there has to be equilibrium. You need/want new spring trends, the world wants you to buy them, but you still need money for life's "real needs." So I made a spring wardrobe checklist and determined which goods are worth saving on and which are worth spending your grocery money.
The saying might say that April brings showers, but retailers say that the sun is out, so grab your shades. Summer might have tried to shanghai sunglasses, but anyone who spends a fraction of the nice spring weather outdoors knows that you need sunglasses now. You also need to hold off on the pricey ones. I have owned both crazy priced and average priced sunglasses. I purchase an expensive pair because they are such a high quality and I will be able to wear them forever.
It never happens that way. They are plastic and metal, and whether you've spent $20 or $250, they're just as susceptible to breaking and scratching. Yes, even the ones where you pay the hefty cost because they're supposedly unbreakable/scratch proof. Nothing can prevent you from losing them, as I can attest losing the world's best sunglasses this time last year. So unless you just have endless means, opt for a pair of sunglasses in a moderate price range.
The trend for spring and into summer is plastic-framed glasses with both colored frames and lenses. By this, I don't necessarily mean red or blue, but tans and grays that fade, turning less opaque as the lenses get closer to the cheek. Trends in color are one thing, but always choose a shape that compliments the shape of your face, whether it's aviator or sunglasses twice the size of Jackie O's.
Know what else tends to tarnish as you wear them, no matter how much you spend? Flip flops. Some people really hate these, but why? In the right time and place, they are a fantastic resource for a spring day. And from that knowledge, many shoe design houses have created the fancy flip flop. They have thin leather or pleather straps; often they will have some kind of embellishment to make them dressier. The sole is made out of some plastic-like material that has no arch whatsoever and never does. Wear them a thousand times and they will remain as flat as day one, constantly slapping hard on the floor making the most obnoxious sound. The strap always rubs away skin, the sole's discomfort is apparent when walking any sort of distance on any kind of terrain. Sure, if the economy was flourishing it might be kind of nice to have them, but what's wrong with saving on those good old rubber ones? Nothing's wrong with that.
Well, there's something kind of wrong with the $1.99 kind or not buying new ones each year. If you can see your foot imprints from only wearing them twice ($1.99 pair) or from galloping around last year, it's worth the small cost for a new pair or three. I swear by Havianas, the world's most comfortable flip flop. Cushioned just enough and in every color under the sun (which is also important for spring, but more on that in a moment). One can never go wrong with the basic black and one can always go wrong with a pair of white flip flops; they are disgusting before you even pay for them. Use your cheapy flip flops as a spring staple for everything but work and anything after 5pm. And while you might say that those two times would be the moment for the expensive flip flop, you're wrong. If you want pricey spring shoes, go for a wedge or a heel.
What do you wear, cheaply, between your sunglasses and flip flops? Well, if the beginning of this article was any indication, cropped pants. For the least costly approach, take my lead and roll your favorite skinny legged or straight-legged jeans. If you want something slightly more polished, but not much more expensive, have a pair of your jeans altered.
The length of this season's cropped pant is no more than a few inches above the ankle. Pair them with basic t-shirts. This season is about the rainbow, or a representation of the rainbow's shades. The t-shirt, or even tank tops when the spring weather is very nice, is a cheap commodity, especially when so many stores offer deals if you buy two or more. Layer them to give more color--teal and orange, bright blue with bright green, pink and yellow. It might not be the most original or the most fashion-forward look, but sometimes fashion is just that simple and timeless.
Odds and Ends
Okay, so you've saved money on those items, what can you spring for this spring? I say you take it upon yourself to have a signature piece for this spring. Use your extra money for something that will be used regularly, but also is memorable. Slightly vague? For practical big spenders (is that an oxymoron?) go for something that will be your signature piece annually.
Still using a canvas purse or something equally cheap? You're a grownup, so why not purchase a grownup bag? Take the idea of bold colors trendy this spring and get a great bright bag. An orange or yellow purse is perfect signature item for spring. Jewelry works similarly.
Jewels and animals inspire this season's jewelry. These whimsical pieces are probably best purchased mildly budgeted, so opt for costume pieces rather than say, a diamond elephant pendant. Yes, elephants, octopuses, brightly feathered birds, tigers and snakes are finding themselves on necklaces, bracelets and rings. When arrayed from crystals, they're eye catchers, trendy and your conversational piece, aka your signature piece.
But the best signature piece a girl should have is something that isn't grandly noticeable. Spend that extra spring splurge on something like a facial every six weeks so that your signature look is constantly glowing skin. Buy a really nice perfume that you adopt as your signature scent. Get a great haircut or change your hair color entirely. Opt for regular waxes so that you have gorgeously smooth legs to peak out from under your cropped pants. Splurge on a gym membership to begin your signature summer look--great abs and a hot ass. When every other dollar is going to groceries and gas, it's okay to spend a little on yourself sometimes.
URL for this story: http://www.urbantulsa.comhttp://www.urbantulsa.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A20665