How to you get that “runway chic” look?

Hire Rachel Zoe?  Befriend Karl Lagerfeld?  Find yourself a rich sugar daddy to pay all your bills?

While those are all possible I suppose, let me give you a faster, easier plan:  click over to and look through some of the designer collections.  Fashion month just finished up in Paris as I write this, so the Spring 2011 collections are literally hot off the runway.

Take a look around.  You’ll see clothes reminiscent of everything from Veronica Lake to Annie Hall, with bullfighters (Hermes) and caftans (Elie Saab) thrown in for good measure.  Shoe heights are all over the place – flats, kittens, and platforms – and there are lots of wide brimmed hats.

But don’t get too caught up in the “what hot” pieces, because they’ll be changing in a few months anyway.  That’s not what’s important.

Elie Tahari

1940’s Glam at Elie Saab

Instead, take a closer look at how the clothes are presented and styled.   You may never be able to afford runway apparel, and you may never be invited to the front row of a fashion show, but you CAN get LOTS of ideas on how to wear and style clothes by watching the fashion industry leaders.  Then, translate the looks in the clothing price point you CAN afford to make your bargain finds looks as chic as Paris couture.

All it takes is a good eye and a little imagination.

What’s the easiest way to glam up a basic wardrobe?  By using accessories, of course!   For example:

  • Splurge on a great pair of platforms and make your favorite old dress seem new and of-the-moment.
  • Love some of the hairstyles you see on the runways?  See if you can replicate them at home.

Just because you can’t afford to spend a lot on clothes doesn’t mean you have to forego fashion.  No, you just have to be clever about it.

Vintage Schiaparelli Scarf on eBay

Vintage Schiaparelli Scarf on eBay

Even Coco Chanel had to compromise in the beginning.  She couldn’t afford the high end fabrics other designers used, so she made do with jersey – a soft, elasticized knit used primarily for undergarments at the time – and sent shock waves through Paris with her choice.  But it was so comfortable and chic and modern that she built a huge following right away.  Nearly 100 years later, the House of Chanel is still going strong.

Accessory MagicSo again, remember that designer clothes aren’t required to be fashionable.  Just steal some of their styling ideas, make do with clothes in your price point, and accessorize with style.  It’s what Coco Chanel would have done.

Need some more help with accessorizing?  From hats to shoes, jewelry to handbags, Accessory Magic can help.

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