Budget Cuts

[UPDATED: see below for a better picture of the dress.]

Many of my friends chose June and July for their weddings. Hence, the age-old questions: what ever should I wear? I have a good number of dresses that I've worn for weddings already, and I've been itching for an excuse to buy another so that I won't be seen wearing the same few dresses. But that was just silly.

There was a dress that has been sitting in my closet for quite a while. It has a lot of intricate frills, which is perfect for a special occasion like a wedding. I've worn it a few times over sweaters, but it was simply a little loose in all the wrong places when worn alone. I bought it about 4 years ago at one of those crazy BCBG warehouse sales, but as I figured that alterations would not be cheap, I just didn't want to spend the money at that point. Now that I'm no longer a starving student, I can finally do something to change that. I took it to the neighborhood tailor, and she charged me $20. And now it fits! If I include the cost of tailoring, the dress would be $65. Not bad for something that originally costs $400+.

I've decided to wear this dress to go to a friend's wedding this evening, since it matches with, oddly enough, my haircut. I can't maintain long hair because my dark locks grow wayward and gravity-defying beyond a certain length. Given how hot the summers are, it's the perfect time to go in for a snip.

Although I may splurge on shoes and makeup, I feel no need to go to a more expensive salon. The cheaper places I went to have always done a fine job, and I see no need to go elsewhere. Indeed, my experience is not unique--a friend has found a great stylist at a Supercuts for $15 haircuts. Sometimes it just takes a while to find that perfect cheap place, but once found, lots of money is saved without sacrificing great hair and risking public humiliation.

When I walked into the salon a few days ago, there was a new guy that I haven't seen before. I asked for a haircut, and the new guy swooped in. I then asked how much it would be. Even though I've gotten my hair cut there before for $20 or more, I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask. I don't get haircuts very frequently, and if the price jumped higher than before and became higher than acceptable, at least it's better to find out beforehand than after. To my surprise, the owner of the salon said the cut could be done for $15; perhaps it was a trial run for the new guy, who admitted it was his first day in that particular salon. The new guy spent quite a long time shearing and snipping, and 40 minutes later, my hair was done.

I was quite happy with the shaggy cut. I've cut my hair this short before, but unlike my previous short hair experiences, I didn't feel like I looked like a boy, even when the top of my hair poofed. I was satisfied with a rather flapperish look, and given my penchance for many things vintage, that was a good thing. Later that night, I tried to figure out what I was going to wear for the wedding. To make my short hair stay feminine-looking, I thought floral adornment was in order. Then, inspired by Yulanda, I felt like it was the perfect opportunity to channel Billie Holiday:

Add a bit of a blur for that old-time feeling. You can also see more details on the dress I described above.

[Edited to add:] And here's how I actually wore the dress to the wedding (yes, I wore the flower too). The intricate ruffles are everywhere! I would have worn higher heels, but I'm sidelined by an injury. The low-heeled Issac Mizrahi for Target sandals from a few seasons ago works as a good alternative--woven straw upper with pink trim and a pink bow to match the dress. The May Company bag is vintage, thrifted from the Goodwill in perfect condition. I haven't used it for a while, and since my whole get-up is vintage-inspired, I figured it's a nice accessory to throw in instead of the usual clutch.


yulanda said...

Your new hair looks great. I love the flower adornment. I've always liked flowers in hair.

I'm in need of a hair cut, but I haven't decided what to do about my bangs (grow 'em or trim 'em). Ahh.

Muttersome said...

I really like that flower. It is so chic!

michelle said...

Lovely haircut!

Sales Rack Raider said...

Thanks everyone!

Yulanda--Bangs are always hard to deal with. Based on your pictures, I think you look great with bangs. But if you've been wanting to change your look, I'd say grow them.

ambika said...

You look *fantastic*! The flower looks lovely against your dark hair and that dress is so incredibly pretty.

Sales Rack Raider said...

Thanks, Ambika!

The Clothes Horse said...

I like the dress and your hair looks lovely. That's a wonderfully low price to pay as well for a decent cut.
I think there is a "typical" look for most ages, because there is a "norm" and many people do fall into it or follow it.

Sales Rack Raider said...

The Clothes Horse--Thanks! I love your new haircut as well. It does feel good to go in for a trim after not getting one for a while.

Re: the Age issue--I think I take the position that there's no "typical" look because the people I know (all roughly the same age) have such a wide range of styles. I guess there are some "typical" trends for say, a set of younger people (skinny jeans, the 80's look), but I've always seen it as fashion trends moreso than an age thing. Then again, I've never been a "typical" person, so my view is probably skewed.