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Smart Women Fake It

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Smart women have been faking it forever. But it's the really talented ones who pull it off without anyone ever guessing.

Special events like a wedding, a charity ball, a State dinner (by the way, we're still smarting over being left off the list) come around and normally sane women go crazy buying new expensive clothing and accessories.

It makes us want to get on a chair with a megaphone and scream:

"Those of you on the charity or State dinner circuit, stand up and identify yourselves, please. We all know you can't wear the same dress over and over again. And, for the rest of you, it's called a special occasion for a reason--it only happens occasionally. Why blow the wad on what is likely to be a one-night stand? Worse, what if you blow the wad and then get a stain?"

Fashion Week (is anyone else wondering why this isn't it plural?) taking place seemingly everywhere has shown us once again that what's new is really old. Just as there is no single 'right' beauty or body aesthetic, there is no single dominating design aesthetic. Remember, great taste need not be expensive. Think about it, Lanvin is the latest iconic house designing for H&M.

Since every savvy gal on a budget must amortize her costs, we stick by a steadfast rule of putting money into 'keeper' pieces that get frequent wear. Besides, since we are contrary by nature, the fancier the event, the bigger the thrill of a bargain 'fraud'.

A modern woman takes matters into her own hands.

Haunt consignment stores, eBay and friend's closets for dresses. Haul out ancient, but faithful, investment grade all-purpose black dresses, and tart them up with the latest passing fads like studded pumps, monster pearls twined with motorcycle chains and bows, sequined leopard bags. Cruise TJ's, Target, the street guy at 72nd and Broadway for accessories. The bolder the better.

We covet our little secret bargain buys: A favorite evening jacket -purchased a decade ago on the streets in Shanghai for $7 bucks. Our most admired earrings- big, faux and flea market. Best of all, a pair of comfy killer stilettos- priceless, but bought on sale at Nine West.

The true climax of every good fake.

Trust us, there is nothing more thrilling than giving the real swells a big phony smile when they stop and admire your precious pretenders.

Read more from Rosalyn Hoffman at Bitches on a Budget.
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