The L.A. Native’s Guide to Fashion: How to Feed Your Taste For Marc Jacobs on a DSW Budget

There’s a misconception in L.A. that when it comes to fashion, our version of “couture” includes a pink velour tracksuit and a small dog on our arm. After all, we’re far too busy getting our boobs done and our hair bleached to worry about Balenciaga’s fall ready-to-wear line—right? Wrong! Contrary to popular opinion, there are some of us who know how to dress, and know how to do it without going broke.

Take my friend Ruth for example. At 5’10 and 120 pounds, Ruth looks good in just about anything she puts on. We’ve been best friends for most of our lives, growing up together in a tiny beach community called Pacific Palisades. Ruth’s ashy blond hair and blue eyes are the epitome of California beauty. But underneath that Abercrombie exterior, she’s a true label whore.
This season, it’s all about the comeback of the flat heel. From Lanvin’s uber popular Ballerina flat, to Chloe’s new ankle strap Mary Jane, Ruth believes the major designers did her and all tall, heel loving girls a personal service when they eliminated their fear of appearing seven feet tall in their favorite shoes.

Ruth is the kind of girl who looks like she shops at Maxfield’s. In reality, she finds most of her designer wear at H&M, Loehman’s and DSW. Ruth is a pro at snaking designer stuff from trendy discount stores. For her it’s all about finding the ‘un-gettable’ get, at a very ‘gettable’ price.

My one claim to fame happens to be a pair of camel suede Marc Jacobs riding boots. I bought them for 75 percent off one unremarkable Tuesday afternoon. Although the mark down still cost me almost two hundred dollars, anyone who has ever shopped for boots knows that’s a steal. The way I found them was by pure chance. My friend Jeff lived conveniently across an alleyway from the Marc Jacobs store in West Hollywood. The quickest way to get to his apartment was to cut through the store. When Ruth heard about my purchase, she was convinced I had a nose for sniffing out a sale. She dragged me on a few of her fashion field trips, and soon I was learning to satisfy my taste for high fashion on a truly bargain budget.
Let me say, however, that shopping at these trendy discount stores is an acquired talent.

Not everyone has the stamina to outlast a discount shopper. This type of shopper takes no prisoners. They are willing to piece through every skirt, trouser and flip flop until they find what it is they’re looking for.

I admit, sometimes I’d rather pay full price for something I know I want, than sift through stacks of clothing hoping to hit the jackpot. I

f you’ve ever been to a Barney’s warehouse sale, you know what I’m talking about. Picture hundreds of people lined up at 6am, tiptoeing in place like speed-induced racehorses at the starting gate. Then, Bam! The gun sounds and they’re off, in a kind of anarchic stampede.

But if you are up to the challenge, there’s no doubt you can find incredible designer duds at these stores for a price you can cope with–even after the high of swiping your credit card wears off.


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