Tag Archives: budget

Hipster Fashion Rise and Fall

American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, Target

American Apparel’s recent Groupon release got me thinking; how is the Hipster fashion giant failing when the “Hipster” style and culture is so popular?  Even Ke$ha is singing about it and her fans are wearing high-waisted trousers and vintage inspired oxfords.

The Groupon offered $50 worth of merchandise for $25, several thousand sold in Los Angeles alone (AA’s home) and I definitely snagged one here in New Orleans. Its become more obvious now when a bigger brand is struggling (as so many are now in this economy) when you see they have something like a Groupon. Groupon usually features local businesses, a way to discover your city and have a cheap outing. When you see stores like Gap and American Apparel pop up, you can’t help but realize that nobody wants a $200 denim jacket or a $45 t-shirt anymore.

That brings me to the marketing aspect, and the stereotypical aspect. So lets completely stereotype here, most “true” hipsters would never claim to be hipster, they were the true original. They liked Animal Collective before you, they went to a liberal arts university, and they have the money for American Apparel and Urban Outfitters. But when something takes off as a trend, the number of originals fade and you’ve got your 16 year old high school girl Googling “How to be Hipster” and running out to get the items listed.

When I was 16, “Emo” was popular. Everyone wanted plaid shirts, cutesy band tees, guys wore girl’s pants, we all had a rainbow of Converse and a Dashboard Confessional poster. Then the whole Emo thing changed to something darker, presumably because stores like Hot Topic were the only stores you could find that As I Lay Dying cd without having to order it.  Not only was the music more accessible, but so were Hot Topic’s darker fashions, so the plaid/denim Rivers Cuomo esque Emo kid started wearing black jeans and dyed his hair. Then that took off. By the time I’d graduated, kids had shifted their music tastes and traded their dark colors for neon colors and “Scene” was born. Soon you noticed that, even stores like American Eagle and Urban Outfitters were sporting bright splashes of color and deep v-necks. Do I need to explain how this transitioned into the “Hipster” becoming popular, or is it obvious now?

And with said Hipster popularity could actually come the downfall of the “true” hipster, and their flagship stores. In marketing, you go after what is most popular at the moment and make it attainable. American Apparel and Urban Outfitters aren’t terribly expensive, but they are for the trend-hungry masses. So, cheaper fashion destinations such as Target, Forever 21, even Wet Seal started releasing pieces and changing their store windows to the more vintage inspired, eclectic Hipster style. What young Ke$ha fan wants to spend nearly $60 on high waisted trousers when they could just go to Forever 21 and get the same thing for $20? The fad will fade like they all do, so of course there’s a cheaper alternative. Forever 21 is a huge spot if you want something trendy, because trends come and go. So why spend money on them?

At this point, even those people whose personal style has reflected that of a “Hipster” for quite some time are taking the cheaper route. Whether it be personal frugality, an economic hit, or the fact that it’s easier to find Forever 21 and Target as American Apparel and Urban Outfitters are in limited locations.  So, in turn maybe soemthing becoming popular can hurt it just as much as help it. Those “true originals” are struggling and the trendy attainables are thriving.

 

(Please don’t take my stereotypes seriously, it’s just an example for observation)

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Fab CAN Be Affordable

I’ve had an interest in fashion for quite some time. Though for a while I thought looking fabulous was reserved only for those with expendable income. The fashion world was made solely of Prada boots and Marc Jacobs skirts in my eyes. I wondered how I’d ever make it without winning the lottery and spending a few days cleaning out the racks at Nordstrom. In high school I wore strictly sale rack jeans, band tees and my ever-so-reliable Chuck Taylors. I did not look like someone who spent my nights reading Vogue and Nylon instead of doing homework.

Once I finally left for college and met the thrifty and fashionable people I was surrounded by in art school, I learned that fashion could come on a budget. Over the past couple of years I’ve perfected my “craft” and have ended up with a fabulous wardrobe of affordable clothing, even some designer pieces. Though of course, I still dream of having a box full of Louboutin’s arriving at my door and going on a shelf next to a rack of YSL, but I digress…

You’ve just got to be smart about it.  Its all very simple really; spend more money on versatile pieces that will work from season to season and budget yourself on trendy pieces. Don’t buy things just because they’re on sale. Sure that horrendous sweater may be $3, but it’s three dollars for a reason, you’ll probably never wear it, and if you do it’s still a horrendous sweater. Just. Put. It. Back. It’s boring and somewhat annoying at times, but scouring thrift stores and checking out sample sales will really help you out. There are tons of budget fashion blogs out there as well, offering tip and tricks for the savvy shopper.. My absolute fave is The Budget Babe.

I wanted to toss together a couple Day-to-Night outfits that consist of affordable pieces. I know, the whole transitioning outfit thing is in every magazine and on every blog, but I’m taking a stab at it.

Abstract prints have been everywhere this Summer, and this dress is only twelve dollars. You can be on trend and keep it affordable. With a print like this, the dress is the focal point of the outfit. Its perfect for hot Summer days when paired with an adorable flat and shiny bangle, then great for a night out with a simple cropped blazer and pump. I think the slits on the pump work well with the stripes on the dress, keeping the look whole without being too much. Everything is $102.45 total, being enough for two outfits with four of the 5 pieces being extremely versatile long-wearing pieces. Layer some necklaces you already own and pair with that black bag you’ve got hanging in the back of your closet and you’re good to go.

ASOS Cropped Blazer $47.17  (on sale)

Forever 21 Knit Dress $11.50

Old Navy Flats $12.99 (on sale)

Old Navy Bangle $5.99

Forever 21 Peep Toe Pump $24.80

At my job, a simple all black outfit is uniform. It can be tough to look chic when you get off work at 5 and have to rush to dinner at 5:30. This outfit is very simple, with only four pieces. Lets take a fitted v-neck tee and skinny black trousers, which is a simple all-black outfit perfect for those of us who have such a uniform. Or for those who like a chic monochromatic look. Here they are paired with two statement pieces that you could easily bring along with you. A bold statement necklace is my go-to piece for livening up an outfit. This long silver necklace will follow the shape of the neck well and break up the outfit. The bright red shoe is a colorful accompaniment and the silver zipper matches the necklace, which keeps the whole look pulled together. Both the necklace and shoes have a sort Art Nouveau look to them, or is that just me? Add a clutch or keep your everyday handbag with this one, but keep it simple. Let the shoes and necklace do their job. This outfit is $114.79 total, with the trousers making up most of the price. A simple black trouser is easy to find anywhere, but I absolutely love these boyfriend fit trousers from Gap. And I think if its something you’re going to wear a lot, sixty dollars isn’t too out there.

Gap Trousers $59.50

Forever 21 V-Neck Tee $8.80

ASOS Zip Front Shoe $33.69 (on sale)

Forever 21 Necklace $12.80

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$10 Forever 21 Pumps

If you’re a budget shopper (like I try to be), Forever 21 has some suedette pumps for only $10! They come in black, red, and blue. I ordered a pair, but they haven’t come in yet; so I’m not quite sure if they look as cheap as they are. Hopefully not, but for ten dollars I won’t be too disappointed. They’re perfect for somebody who doesn’t wear pumps often and wants a cheap pair to wear every now and then.

 

 

Clicking the photo will take you to the site!

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