Don't get me wrong, I love admiring fabulous Chanel handbags, classic Burberry trenches, dazzling Manolo Blank heels, vibrant Dolce and Gabbana mini dresses, and stunning Elie Saabs. However, being 15 and having reasonable parents, I will continue admiring and only admiring them for quite some time.
So, to compromise, here are some tips to look as incredible as you want without hurting your wallet.
1. Consider Consignment
Whether its Marshalls, Second Time Around, online stores, or my personal yet local favorite, Madem Had'em (me, at Madem Had'em Summer 2016 below), there is nothing wrong with grabbing styles and making outfits with your favorite brand for less or previously worn. Be bold, do it for the love of fashion and lack of big bucks. I have found everything from Henri Bendel Cheetah print flats, to a Burberry Coat, to a Vineyard Vines halter top, to an Ann Taylor black jacket paired with a vince leather t-shirt. Go hunting, maybe it'll be your lucky day.
2. Utilize Similar Styles
I have unfortunately found that there is not a whole lot of uniqueness between stores. Abercrombie and Fitch, American Eagle, Brandy Melville, Forever 21, etc. all have the same kind of merchandise that appeal to similar customers. On the bright side, this leads to fitting in easily to common trends and buying variations of the same thing in a range of prices, colors, and sizes. So, compare the most expensive piece from a pricey brand to styles that are potentially cheaper or on sale at other brands.
3. Buy What You Want
It may seem that everyone is wearing a certain style, or a specific piece from a specific brand. Your friends wear it, people you look up to wear it, etc. So, you want to simply "fit in." However, it is more than ok NOT to comply to social norms! Rather than buying something you can't afford or simply don't like yet feel pressured to, be your own person and feel confident in what you wear. Stand out in styles, brands, and most of all, personality. And you never know, maybe you will become the trend.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken." -Oscar Wilde
"In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different" -Coco Chanel
"Why fit in when you were born to stand out?" -Dr. Seuss