Sundays are made for lounging about and perusing the web. Sometimes there are finds that I just can not possibly keep to myself. It may be a photograph, a recipe, point of view, some goodies I lust after, … today it is clothes.

Julie Anne Rhodes by Dean Chamberlain

Sadly they have been relegated to the bottom of my budget for a while (alas, that’s what happens when you’re starting a new business).

John Galliano for Dior from In New York Paris Tomorrow

I relish the profound uplift I feel wearing an elegant new outfit, or the playfulness of dressing up or down to express my mood. I try to add one or two expensive, yet classic pieces to my wardrobe every year. You can get away with high street on most everything else, but there are no substitutes for an exquisitely tailored jacket or a well crafted pair of shoes. These are the pieces you will wear forever, so in the long run you get more wear for your money . This is where you should splurge.

Those classical pieces take on a whole new vibe when complemented with new trendsetting pieces. This is where I save a ton of money buying less expensive, more whimsical, or statement making pieces. I’ll only be wearing them for one or two seasons, so I don’t want to spend big here. You can really fill out your wardrobe well on a budget this way. So go ahead and match an inexpensive ruffled blouse with that designer blazer to give it an updated look.

Topshop Spring/Summer collection 2011

England has a wealth of stores that carry high fashion pieces at high street prices, and they are starting to migrate to the US. H&M, and Topshop are two of my favorites. Men – you should check out my old friend Antony Price’s line Priceless for TopManthe clothes sell out as soon as they hit the shelves, so be quick!

Priceless at Topman

Many department stores here have their share of designer names as well – such as Vera Wang’s Simply Vera for Kohl’s that can save you a ton while still spicing up your wardrobe.

I always have a hard time finding vintage clothes to fit me since I am so tall and long waisted, but ooh la la when it comes to accessories (which still give you that vintage flavor your looking for). Try a classic shift dress with a vintage belt, jewelry, or handbag. Shopping vintage can cover the gamut in price range, so be sure to check the price tag. Again, these might be pieces you will wear for years, so splashing out a little extra may be warranted.

Boots, vintage, and tailored jacket

What tips do you have in expressing your personality through clothes while not breaking your piggy bank? Where do you like to shop?
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  • February 20, 2011
    9:15 pm

    My tips? I just stare at your photos and then know what to do!!!!And could somebody turn off the ever-rising prices of shoes? Ah, I still think the most important thing is a a perfect pair of jeans. All Saints denim with a touch of stretch is so hello I can't live without that. A sort of grungey elephant grey skinny skinny pair is just updating everything from Black Swannish chiffon dresses to white T's. But yes, accessories forever and sometimes Wasteland for a black dress because (there is a theme here) black dresses are sort of my basic thing. Why do I think I'm not alone here?

  • February 20, 2011
    9:25 pm

    Because you've known me 20 years, and never seen me in anything but black?

  • February 20, 2011
    9:26 pm

    "I love scarves – makes an outfit look different by just changing the colour and you can accessorise with different handbags"Rachel Day

  • February 21, 2011
    12:57 am

    I wish I had a sense of what I should wear. At least when I worked in an office, I had the office administrative look down pat. Now, I live in track pants, inexpensive t-shirts. I got rid of all the stuff that doesn't fit and have nothing left in my closet. I need to get out and shop "vintage" soon. Hoping to do that once I move and find a few key pieces to carry me through spring and summer.

  • February 21, 2011
    1:22 am

    I'm totally with you on splurging on a couple of beautifully well made designer items to base the rest of your wardrobe around. If I'm ever feeling flush I run straight into the nearest Vivienne Westwood and buy something exquisite that I'll have to be surgically removed from for the next few years. I don't believe in "save it for best" I believe in wearing things that make you feel fabulous whenever you can and while you fit into them.Although I eagerly follow the coverage from the catwalk shows and spend outrageous amounts of time looking through fashion on the internet I'm not a big believer in following the trends. For me, the trends are a chance to dig something outrageous out of the back of my wardrobe because it's suddenly more acceptable to wander about in (capes at the moment), although I'm soon bored of being the same as everyone else and wear something entirely different within a fortnight.I naughtily hoard clothes. I still wear things I wore in my teens and have a huge appetite for vintage. My vintage hunting days are long over though thanks to my wonderful friend Liz who runs She knows what I like and what size I am as well as helping me into things I want but find too complicated to wear otherwise. The little parcels that arrive from her in beautiful wrapping, freshly washed, pressed and repaired make it like a boutique shopping experiance. I actually befriended her after being her customer, so I'm not just saying all this because I adore her. ;)(worth contacting her Jewels to let her know your measurements so she has your height and shape in mind if you love vintage. She sold a black version of the pink K&B dress you are wearing above last year and has a love of Antony Price so I don't think you'll even need to explain your tastes to her)Basically, everything I buy is something I intend to wear forever.So, my main tips are to only buy things that you will wear for years to come. To buy a few high quality well made pieces rather than a ton of in-trend high street rubbish. …and to shop the boutique sales. Sale season at Westwood it my fave rave time. My friend Charley and I bought so much in there once that people kept stopping us in awe at our many pink Westwood bags, and then we literally had to begin doing a jigsaw puzzle to cram it all into my little car.Oh, and Cocosa sales. It's an invitation only fashion outlet with fabulous discounts on deigner pieces all year round, but the sales are cheaper than the highstreet and so I tend to go a little crazy when they come around.

  • February 21, 2011
    5:20 am

    Love this blog entry. It reminds me of the tiny metal 'clamshell' bag I picked up at Target by Luella Bartley. It spells 'Luella' in crystals, and whenever I use it…it turns all the womens heads.Robbie Lorraine

  • February 21, 2011
    5:21 am

    I agree in buying a few key pieces. Unfortunately, for right now, as I am a stay-at-home mom, I find that I wear only sweats, jeans, and basic tops. It is hard to find nice looking clothes for "housework" that you don't want ruined from cleaning products or baby spitup.Karen Ann LeRoy

  • February 21, 2011
    12:54 pm

    I live in my jeans!! I have a closet full of clothes yet always nothing to wear…a common affliction me thinks.Cupcakexo

  • February 21, 2011
    4:27 pm

    I'm big on scarves too Rachel – great point, because you can really change the whole look of the outfit. Robbie – what's going on with Target – clothes are looking so boring and used to be so much fun? Bag sounds fab! Karen – find a great blazer or some fun tops (that wash well) to go with your jeans, and make sure those jeans have a nice fit to them – being a stay at home mom doesn't mean you can't still be glamorous!

  • February 21, 2011
    4:32 pm

    Ruthee – you need to go shopping with Premierludwig!Okay – true confessions here. I suffered the same phenomenon Cupcake. Even when married to a man who LOVED to take me shopping. Solution? Raid HIS closet! Some cyber friends have sent me tons of old pics in which most I am wearing Nick's clothes! I don't miss our arguments, but I do miss his closet.

  • February 21, 2011
    4:55 pm

    I j'adore John too !!!!Johnny Rozsa

  • February 21, 2011
    4:56 pm


  • February 21, 2011
    5:12 pm

    Oh boy clothing is always an issue. I'm pear shaped and I think that is also a key is to find the right style of clothing that works best with your body shape. Skinny jeans and form fitting tee shirt for me? I think not! I love tunics. Kohl's carry Dana Buchman which she does tunic style items. I don't have a particular style being a Gemini I always say it depends on my mood. I'm also go to Burlington Coat Factory for some modern nice pieces though you have to be careful and look everything over carefully.And Nordstroms Rack. I'm huge into vintage jewelry. So that's the extra spice I bring to my outfits. And for low cost vintage jewelry and clothing I tend to roam the swap meets. Pasadena Rose Bowl not only has tons of Jewelry they have tons of clothing (vintage-ish) in one area.

  • February 21, 2011
    5:14 pm

    I haven't been to the Rosebowl flee market in eons! I used to shop furniture and place settings there – will have to go back to look at the jewelry now, or my name ain't Jewels!

  • February 21, 2011
    6:03 pm

    I always go to Talbots and Macy's for formal outfits. Talbots has amazing suit jackets. My best clothes seem to come from the sales section at Macy's – I once was able to purchase three Jones New York outfits for around $100!Most of my closet comes from local shops in my neighborhood. The clothes and jewely are beautiful and are reasonable in cost. Of course, the bonus is that I am supporting small businesses.

  • February 21, 2011
    6:18 pm

    "I also love to throw in vintage jackets, jewelry, handbags, scarfs and just fun costume jewelry with basics. I'm a sucker for heels and boots, lipstick and changing my hair an up-style, retro twist to loose & tousseled. I don't care how old you are – keep it fun! :)"Kim Phillips Cuccia

  • February 21, 2011
    9:46 pm

    I'm a fan of jeans too. I practically live in them. Scarves are a must also. I have quite a number of them that date many, many, years ago. In fact two of my Gucci onces were far too good to wear that I had them framed. They are placed along my entrance hallway of my home. One is called Pandora's Box and the other is Diana. They were my biggest buy (in terms of scarves) and always get a second look. Aussie Mum

  • February 21, 2011
    11:32 pm

    nice to see Meredith again… she is sooooo beautiful :-)Steffken le Bon

  • February 22, 2011
    1:36 am

    "What tips do you have in expressing your personality through clothes while not breaking your piggy bank?"Nudist beach. Vinnes

  • February 22, 2011
    1:37 am

    For the Rose Bowl! The trick is to find a vendor that has a mix of items with a small jewelry section. The vendor that is all jewelry usually know their prices. I could see you wearing Miriam Haskell necklace definitely, and loving the sparkle of a Eisenburg Ice piece.

  • February 22, 2011
    1:44 am

    Thanks for the counsels Julie Anne!. Sadly not everything fits me so can't buy many things that I like (bigger size from waist down than the tops one). I buy in H&M, Sfera, Zara, C&A… whenever I see stuff that I like πŸ™‚ I like scarves too. I have a great new one, grey silk. Still have to find an occasion for wearing it.Isabel Ortiz Bernad

  • February 22, 2011
    1:45 am

    Isabel – you have touched on a sore subject with me. Why is it that it is nearly impossible to find designer clothes over a size 4 these days unless your buying couture??? I think it is disgraceful, and always harp on about it to my friends that are designers. Maria Grachvogel now carries up to a British size 18, and her clothes are super flattering.

  • February 22, 2011
    12:10 pm

    the antony price capsule collection for topman was awesome. i hate being a poor fashion student πŸ™

  • February 22, 2011
    4:58 pm

    Yeah some sizes are ridiculously small for being an M or an L. I am one of those women that are too small for big sizes but too big for the regular. It's quite a nightmare finding something that fits on top AND waist.Isabel Ortiz Bernad

  • February 22, 2011
    5:14 pm

    Judging by your blog, John – you will not be a poor fashion student for long! I love your aesthetics. I'm keeping an eye on you!Isabel, sounds to me like your going to have to buy the larger size, and either tailor it yourself, or take it to a tailor to take in the waiste. Not all of us can have an off the rack body, and quite frankly I would rather have the curves. I have to have things tailored a lot of the time too.

  • February 22, 2011
    7:50 pm

    Shopping my Mother and my Father's closet! I took a beautiful Custom tailored blue wool suit of my Grandfather's and had it tailored to fit me, it looks awesome and has served me well on many job interviews. I took a vintage wool camel hair pants suit of my Mother's from the late 60's and did the same. It has a cute short jacket that is right in style, all I did was have the pleats and the cuffs removed on the pants…so ladies, shop in the men's section and get to know a good tailor! I have my Dad's blue blazer ready for the tailor along with an awesome brown hounds-tooth suit (with suspenders!) that I am going to have fitted as well.

  • February 23, 2011
    2:06 am

    you're in good company, I believe πŸ™‚ got to love GallianoNicoletta Appodia