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Rosalyn Hoffman

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A Clothing Diet, Uh, We Don't Think So

Posted: 08/05/2010 12:12 pm

Some things in life are sacred, so we usually make it a rule to avoid mixing religion, politics and fashion. Full burqas, nun habits and total hipster head to toe black uniforms are all equally colorless. We thank the fashion gods that the cold war is over and the grey Soviet bloc look and ubiquitous Mao jacket are relics of the past. In fact, is not Michelle Obama on Vanity Fair's best-dressed list proof positive that we are not a socialist state?

So, all the talk lately about going on a 'clothing diet' and paring a wardrobe down to only a few flavorless items has gotten our juices flowing. Trust us, we're first in line for buying sensibly. Hello! What woman in her right mind would ever pay full price for a pair of Louboutin or Prada shoes? (Okay, maybe you do if you're one of the billionaires Gates and Buffett strong-armed into giving away half their fortune to charity.)

While we're all living on a smarter budget, this is not synonymous with a gal starving herself of fashionable clothing and accessories. Being fashionable is a privilege of living in a free society. It is an expression of individuality, curiosity, creativity and art. The question is, what does a lady really need and how does she get it without breaking the bank -- or what's left of it? That's why we want to share our fashion philosophy:

We believe that fresh, sexy and serious are the building blocks of a modern closet. Whether you want to be the fresh-faced girl in blue blazer and khakis, the biker chick in leather jacket and motorcycle boots, or the power ranger in little black dress and black pumps, a good wardrobe allows you to play out all your fantasies.

Today's woman knows that monogamy is dead -- brand monogamy, that is. So shop around to get what you need. Invest in and hold on to hard pieces like suiting, outerwear and great jeans. Buy investment grade pieces on sale. Play around with soft pieces like underwear, workout clothes and tees. Head to discounters and mass retailers. And, have a little fun on the side with trendy seasonal looks and accessories -- think Anthro, the street vendor guy at 71st and B'way, Etsy.

Finally, embrace the religion of the generation that fully understands the pleasures of going both ways: head to a consignment shop, buy and sell on e-bay, take it or leave it at the recycling center. After all, being a green goddess is one sure way to fashion heaven.

Bitches on a Budget Basic Building Blocks

• A great denim jacket.
• A leather motorcycle jacket.
• A navy blazer.
• An all-season trench.
• Blue jeans and black jeans with a perfect fit.
• Khaki trousers.
• Two white shirts: one button down, one ultra feminine.
• A white cashmere cardigan.
• A bright-colored cashmere cardigan.
• A little black dress.
• A sexy party dress.
• A black suit-skirt and trousers.
• Black high heels and flats.
• Metallic ballet flats.
• A great pair of black boots.
• Brown cowboy boots.
• A black hobo bag.
• A black clutch.
• A brown leather knapsack.
• Brown driving shoes.
• A set of X-rated lingerie.
• One hot chemise.


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