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Classic looks don't have to be costly

A few weeks ago I went on a spending spree—for fashion magazines. A couple stores and several magazines later: I have flipped my way (backwards) from back to cover, checked out the latest in beauty, fashion and ‘who’s who’, inquisitively studied ads at great length and, of course, read my horoscope.

My January issues are finished and ready to be filed. Instead, they linger on my desk as I continue to muse over the hottest look for Spring 2011—‘New Minimalism’.

This look features clean lines, basic silhouettes and solid neutrals with occasional pops of color.At first I thought, “That’s cool, maybe designers (Other than the usual Calvin Klein and Michael Kors who always keep their designs clean) are reflecting from the state of our ‘back-to-basics’ economy, the pops of color our glimmers of hope and optimism.”

My next thought, “Okay, so do the prices reflect what the clothing represents?”

Um, no! Well, maybe to a certain extent. But then again$160 for an elastic belt? $375 for a bra top? The winner that kept me so intriguedcalfskin pants for $3K. Really?!

Maybe to many fashionistas, these prices are greatly scaled down.

However, those of us who truly have been forced to a ‘back-to-basics’ lifestyle cannot (or at least should not!) spend $2K on a bag that makes an “I’m not about the extras” statement.

So, I’ve decidedwhy not be a ‘True Minimalist’?

A ‘True Minimalist’ is one who dresses in clean, classic, no-fuss and understated fashions while spending the bare minimumliterally. After the snow calmed down, I head out to see how easy this would be. After only two quick stops, I knew it was possible...

Outfit #1, from Goodwill, 1725 Harris Houston Road: -Navy blue Liz Clairborne dress from Goodwill, 1725 Harris Houston Road, $4.99-Black skinny belt with nifty gold-plated snap buckle from Goodwill, $.99Perfect paired with black pumps

Outfit #2, from TJMaxx, Concord Mills Mall:-Kelly green APNY strapless dress w/simple tie belt, $20-Dark grey Calvin Klein flyaway cardigan, $15-Light grey Bagellini buckle bag, $24.99Would wear this with a pair of skinny boots or hooded sandals

Outfit #3, from TJMaxx:-Navy blue Active Basics spaghetti strap tank, $2-Cream Larry Levine trousers, $16.99-Cream Calvin Klein cropped flyaway cardigan, $24.99Throw on a pair of navy peep-toe sling backs and out the door you go!

Go ahead....go find the true minimalist within you.and be fabulous!