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My Outfit Cost Less Than Your Outfit
No, I don't write in my pajamas. How boring. Here I am, Monday morning, at my favorite writing café.


•Skirt, $15, on final clearance at Loehmann's. (It's a party dress skirt. The way I see it, every day's a party, or should be.)
•Jacket, $20 from a depot vente in France (used clothing store).
•Shirt, $3 (Well, to be fair, it was "two for $6" at Style Express in Culver City)
•Necklace, $8 boring beaded choker from Monoprix (like Target, in France).
•Beaded antique flower attached to make it unboring -- FREE! Because it's from an old wooden steamer trunk I found in the trash on Desbrosses Street in my old neighborhood in NYC.

Total cost of outfit, $46.

And, okay, maybe it sounds a little self-serving, since getting dressed is one of my hobbies, but what I'd like to see in the L.A. Times is not just the clothes of people who go to Barney's and drop thousands on a sweater (there's a style-stressor!). How about shots of the numerous people around L.A. -- non-sweatpants/flip-flops wearers, that is -- who slap together a couple or three twenties and manage to look pretty original and fab?

Yeah...if I ran the paper (well, if I ran the paper my column would run in it)...if I ran the paper, that Image section would have a regular feature in the print editon and online of snazzily dressed locals who don't just bend over for Fred Segal and/or Ann Taylor...and a couple words about who they are and why they wear what they wear.

I've never lived in a town where I've known less about the locals from the local daily!

Posted by aalkon at July 24, 2007 7:28 AM


Smokin' Hot! May we see some more cool pics like that?

Posted by: Rodger at July 24, 2007 5:51 AM

Aww, thanks.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 24, 2007 5:55 AM

A colleague commented on the brown tweed jacket I had on. (Hey, I was a college professor--what can I say?)

I said "Yeah, I found this at a garage sale for five dollars."

She made an astonished face and said, "Really? It looks like ten!"

Like Rodger, I appreciate your pic and admire the outfit.

Posted by: Axman at July 24, 2007 7:11 AM

I love that remark. Andy Warhol once made a similar remark to my old NYC friend Stephen Clark (whose art collection from garage sales and thrift stores is featured in "Free Advice," the book I wrote with my former Advice Lady partners). One painting cost Stephen 10 cents. Warhol reportedly said, "Why, it looks like at least a dollar!"

And thanks for the nice words about me!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 24, 2007 7:51 AM

How about an Amy fashion show?

Posted by: rusty wilson at July 24, 2007 8:57 AM

I very much enjoy these fashion posts. Clothing has always fascinated me, along with models (both high and low). I've always enjoyed the words of Karl Lagerfeld and found the idea that people actually revolve their lives around this guy hilarious. The idea that people who cant afford expensive clothing actually putting themselves into debt for it seems a bit ridiculous to me. However I've always found the lack of anything interesting re: fashion in California a bit of a downer, considering this is the mecca of consumer spending. I mean there are clothing stores at every corner. I havent really seen any fashion movements here that would warrant close inspection. Louis Vuitton bags and black Channel nail polish coupled with Juicy Couture velour hoodies and pants are not really that interesting. People dont seem to realize that a good outfit gives a subconscious pleasure to others and it isnt about the brand in and of itself. It is about the transcendence of going beyond the limitations of the beauty nature gave you. I am a bit sad that there is no fashion movement here revolving around used clothing bought from ebay. I would have thought something would have sprung up.

Posted by: PurplePen at July 24, 2007 11:28 AM

It's Chanel of course. Forgive the mistake.

Posted by: PurplePen at July 24, 2007 11:35 AM

Boys & girls sure are different. If I had a blog (which I sort-of do, but it's private) it's impossible to imagine posting a piccy of myself and listing the cost of everything. If I even knew it, which isn't likely either.

But, Vive la différence, I spose....

Posted by: Stu "El Inglés" Harris at July 24, 2007 12:06 PM

On the other hand Ann Taylor is a blessing for people like me who can't color coordinate a pair of socks. (Hey, black goes with white goes with black goes with....). True though, I don't picture myself as a fashion plate for pairing the latest oxford with a pair of black slacks.

But yeah, I love the skirt. You look like the hotness there.

Posted by: Elle at July 24, 2007 1:16 PM

You forgot the grin. The grin makes the outfit.

(And the shoes. I'm curious, there.)

Loehmann's can be pretty awesome, though the last time I went it was flooded with strangely faded jeans and otherwise somewhat raggedy-looking clothes. And of course right now I have too full a closet to have any excuse to buy clothes, no matter how persistently the sale section of American Apparel calls my name.

Posted by: Jessica at July 24, 2007 2:19 PM

PS. Is that the café that Joe Eszterhas says a writer should NEVER VISIT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES??? (light laugh)???

Posted by: Stu "El Inglés" Harris at July 24, 2007 3:28 PM

that Image section would have a regular feature in the print editon and online of snazzily dressed locals who don't just bend over for Fred Segal and/or Ann Taylor.

Trouble is, for so many print publications these days, the editorial copy is primarily intended to appease advertisers. And the thrift stores don't have nearly the advertising budget of Barney's or Fred Segal.

You might enjoy this gal's blog: She's got a unique and quirky sense of style.

Posted by: deja pseu at July 24, 2007 4:03 PM

And you are a vision of chic!

Posted by: deja pseu at July 24, 2007 4:04 PM

Thanks, Deja, and everybody. And thanks, Deja, for the tip. And Stu, I would never post something bragging about how much I spent for something, but getting fab clothes for very little is a way of gaming the system, breaking the rules, not following in lockstep with the magazines that send all the girls tottering out to get the latest whatchamacallit. I just watch trends a little to know what to shelve for a while. Like when cowboy boots were suddenly in, mine went into temporary retirement.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 24, 2007 4:37 PM

I remember reading a newspaper article, several years ago, that mentioned a thrift shop frequented by a local television news personality. He bought his suits there.

They declined to identify him, perhaps to keep the advertisers happy.

Posted by: Doobie at July 25, 2007 12:59 AM

I like this guy! Buying stuff that's not just off the rack in a major department store is like a treasure hunt.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 25, 2007 5:59 AM

Snazzy threads, Amy!

Posted by: Patrick at July 25, 2007 6:06 AM

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