Posted by Annie Korzen
Have you ever noticed how frumpy some rich women are? I’m thinking Barbara Bush. I’m thinking Margaret Thatcher. I’m thinking Queen Elizabeth. Well, it’s no accident: it’s deliberate. Someone from a ritzy old-money family explained to me that, “Being fashionable shows lack of character.” So now, when I meet some Nouveau Beverly Hills type dressed head-to-toe in Prada-Yada-Yada, I think to myself, “Aha, she lacks character.” And the funny thing is, it often turns out to be true.
Well, I think I have character but I’m not rich enough to aspire to frumpiness. Sure, I have my dowdy moments of elastic-waist pants and socks with sandals. But I also lust after pretty, stylish things. Lots of them. Today and in the next few blogs, I’ll show you how I find them – for next-to-no-money:
My addiction began when we moved from New York to Los Angeles. We were invited to our first big-time Hollywood party. There were going to be celebs at this event, and I needed something glitzy. On my way to Loehmann’s in Beverly Hills, I passed by a yard sale and found this fabulous Lillie Rubin jacket covered in sparkly red sequins and beads. The price was twenty bucks and that’s when I decided I would never buy retail again.
Unfortunately, I hadn’t yet learned that L. A. is the land of the casual. They’re so laid back they don’t even pronounce the whole word: it’s the land of the caszzz. The party turned out to be an informal barbecue. All the skinny blondes were in jeans. I was a sparkly, sequined idiot, but it was too late: I had been bitten by the second-hand bug and have never recovered.
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March 28, 2011 | 10:43 am
Posted by Annie Korzen
The market goes up, the market goes down. We’re in a boom, we’re in a recession, we’re in a depression. None of this economic see-saw has ever affected me, because I’ve been a thriftaholic all my life. As we follow this roller-coaster ride we call the economy, skills in the art of penny-pinching are becoming a necessity.
In my book, BARGAIN JUNKIE: LIVING THE GOOD LIFE ON THE CHEAP, I show that living on a budget doesn’t mean abandoning expensive tastes or a love of culture. Because I’ve practiced frugality all of my life, I have figured out how to spend my cash sparingly and still live a lifestyle of the rich and famous.
I wear designer clothes, have filled my home with valuable objects, eat out as often as possible, give the occasional dinner party, put a child through college, and have traveled all over the world – all on the cheap. My mantra? You don’t have to be rich to live well.
I attended a wedding reception for the Swedish actor Max Von Sydow wearing a swanky dress from a consignment shop. It retailed for over $800 – I paid $100.
A lot of upscale restaurants have low-cost specials on certain days. In Los Angeles, I ran into Patricia Heaton – an old friend from acting class – at Campanile’s grilled cheese night.
At a celebration of his Oscar win for BABETTE’S FEAST, my husband Benni managed to dip the sleeve of his suede blazer into a bowl of tomato soup. Good thing I only paid 90 cents for it in a thrift shop!
The economy is down, but there’s no need to do without. Learn how to live large for very little with Bargain Junkie!
Annie will be in Neil Simon’s PRISONER OF SECOND AVENUE with Jason Alexander at the El Portal Theatre April 21 - May 15. Read more at www.AnnieKorzen.com.