Jewish Journal

Bargainista Fashionista: Part One

by Annie Korzen

March 30, 2011 | 10:32 am

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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Annie Korzen is a comedy writer and performer. Her humorous essays have been printed in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and more. She has...

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