10/09/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Refashioning Fashion Week

NYC Fashion Week is upon us again, here in New York City. For most style mavens, the week will be followed on TV, the internet, and magazines as it is for basketball fans during the NBA finals. Like amateur ballers studying the moves the NBA's best players make on their TVs, so too will fashion-heads decide what designers they like for the upcoming season, what pieces to purchase, and how to incorporate new styles into their wardrobes.

But, unlike the celebs in the Bryant Park tents deciding which actual pieces they will be wearing from the collections, most Americans will decide on the looks they admire, and then head to their local mall, Target, Kohls, department stores, H&M, etc. and try to replicate it for less.

Women annually spend $4 trillion dollars on clothing and beauty items and account for 83% of US consumer spending. In fact the average American woman spends a shocking $12,000 on beauty products and services alone. While trying to affordably copy the trends and styles coming from fabulous fashion folk like Marc Jacobs, Herve Leger, Zac Posen, etc, we are actually spending a fortune.

Furthermore, the amount we are spending doesn't afford us the durability the expensive, "real" designs ensure. It's like buying a disposable camera; you have to throw the whole thing out when you are done, as opposed to just replacing the film.

A few weeks back, I wrote a blog entry on about how French Women dress like eco-fashionistas. Which is to say, they invest in durable pieces that last for many seasons, they mix and match high-end designers like Chanel with thrift store looks, and for the most part stay away from disposable, trend based fashion. Thrift stores, clothes swaps, swap sites, and durable fashion are all smart ways to build a timeless wardrobe without breaking the bank or having to get rid of ill fitting, flimsy fashion that you can wear one night only. Not to mention reduce, reuse, recycle, and refashion. Check out DC Goodwill Fashion Blog for helpful hints from a super-saavy thrift fashionista, as well as Swaporamarama for trading clothes to aquire items to fill wardrobe needs.

Watching play-for-fun basketball fans enjoy the thrill of the NBA finals games is exciting insofar as one can imagine they will be mimicking moves and testing out their own skills the next time they are on the court. And so to fashion fans, like myself, anticipating this weeks shows, instead of running out and purchasing shoddy replicas from the runway, find new ways to rock the trends without buying "new" anything. Swap, thrift shop, make your own, and refashion the looks you like, while saving money and being a designer or stylist yourself. Fashion is, ultimately, wearable art. Be your own artist.