Bargain Eye for the Laid-Off Guy: Get a GQ Look for Under $50

07/25/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The day I visited Marco Liotta's massive archive of vintage clothes--30,000 pieces and counting--in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Sophia Loren had been in the day before. With excellent reason: His collection is a library, a fascinating history of fashion, from New York and Europe and beyond. FIT, get to know this man.

Coming from Rimini, Italy, the birthplace of Federico Fellini, Marco has been buying up vintage in Italy and elsewhere and carefully curating the pieces he sells in his Manhattan and Brooklyn stores. His Amacord shops and showroom are stocked with vintage Azzedine Alaia, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Jean Muir, Ossie Clark, Issey Miyake, and Christian Dior. I was most excited when he showed me a lime green dress from Alley Cat, a line designed by an up-and-comer named Betsey Johnson.

His showroom is certainly epic and Amacord stores are so easy to shop, and more importantly for us, affordable. I find shopping a headache, but Amacord supplies reasonably priced high-end vintage that lasts. Example: I got a pair of tall leather boots that I wore everyday for two falls and winters. And they still look good, despite trudging through the snow and swampy gutters.

So, basically, Marco is a gem, and that's why he's been a stylist for some of the biggest names in fashion and productions The Nanny Diaries, Austin Powers, Sex and the City, Life on Mars, and Gossip Girl. He's also dressed celebs Chloe Sevigny, Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Coppola, Ellen Pompeo, Iman, David Bowie, Will Smith, Lenny Kravitz, Julian Casablancas from The Strokes, Rachel Zoe, socialite Genevieve Jones, and award-winning costumer Patricia Field.

So with those credentials, challenged Marco to go into a Goodwill in Manhattan and put together a sharp interview outfit for under $50. We even gave him a subject to work with. The transformation and tips are a lesson to job-seekers and stylistas everwhere: