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How to Be a Budget Fashionista: The Ultimate Guide to Looking Fabulous for Less Paperback – May 30, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This delightful little guide to the fashion good life is perfect for money-conscious shopaholics who "love purses because they can instantly identify your personality and be used to 'fake' your income level." After teasing out the all-important personality and style differences between Sex and the City and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman women, Finney rates everything from discount designer web sites to outlet malls so that readers will be assured of their catch. The author also proves herself to be more than mere fashion tourguide as she takes time out to explain the Value Added Tax, the surprising ways to spot a designer fake and how to safely purchase high-end goods on eBay. While this fun-to-read frippery won't reveal too many new secrets for die-hard Vogue and W fans, some of the author's more practical advice ("Take Care of Your Clothes Like a Stylist") make the upbeat guide well worth the price of admission. Finney's personal quest for the sartorial best on a budget, combined with her knack for sniffing out the best designer deals, will win her legions of fans.
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Review

"A definitive style guide for real women who don't have model figures or wads of cash to waste on their wardrobes."--San Francisco Chronicle

"The Scheherazade of the sales rack unveils how to unearth haute looks for less and gives advice on dressing well, from choosing tailors to finding bras." —
Washington Post Express

"With essential info like how, where, and when to score the best deals, this book will become any frugal fashionista's best shopping buddy."--About.com
"This delightful little guide to the fashion good life is perfect for money-conscious shopaholics"--Publishers Weekly

"The style-impaired will walk away with an improved, fresh sense of style (and a shopping list that won't break the bank), while the fashionable will find numerous tips and resources to fine tune their style."--Kirkus Review

“Kathryn Finney’s tips help real women everywhere be their own stylists. A fun read that inspires you to shop smart!”
Lloyd Boston, style contributor for NBC’s Today show, author of Before You Put That On

“Whether you’re used to splurging at Saks or bargain hunting at T.J. Maxx, Kathryn Finney’s book is chock-full of indispensable advice for getting the best deals on the stuff you want.”
Alison Deyette and Jennifer Davidson, co-founders of Stylebakery.com

“With Kathryn Finney’s savvy tips and sage advice tucked snugly under her discount Prada belt, any budding fashionista can give Paris Hilton a good run for her money.”
Leah Feldon, author of Dress Like a Million

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (May 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812975162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812975161
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,094,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

My name is Kathryn Finney and I'm the Budget Fashionista. I was born in the heartland of America, where as a budding fashionista, I set fashion trends despite -30 degree weather and a Wave Noveau curly perm (a.ka. fancy Jheri curl). I moved to the east coast to attend college and after eight years as a serial shopper, budding politician, and Ivy League-educated epidemiologist, I was totally broke. How broke, you ask? Let's just say my first born child will be named Visa Student Loan.

Luckily for me, I married someone who put the "f" in frugal (he thought we should have got married in our 300 sq foot apartment with our Greek landlord as a witness). In early 2003, we created a blog called "The Budget Fashionista", with the goal of helping the world (and myself) be fabulous for less. I've become an expert on issues like shopping, fashion trends, blogging, fashion advice for REAL women, and the use of Jedi mind tricks to reduce credit card interest rates. The popularity of my blog led to a book (How to Be a Budget Fashionista), which led to television (NBC's Today Show, Fox, CNN, and numerous family movies), which will hopefully lead to a fashionable but debt-free life.

In my spare time, I crank-call credit card companies, use my glue gun with reckless abandon, plot ways to get Marc Jacobs to premiere a line at Wal-Mart, and have lunch with my imaginary best friends- Andre Leon Talley, Isaac Mizrahi, and Oprah.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

104 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Lady Atana on August 1, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a wonderful guide on how to dress for success without taking out a second mortgage. Tips are given for everything from cheaper skin care to mixing high end and budget items. The listing of websites to visit are worth way more than the price of the book itself.

True, there are some subjects that are useless to me because of where I live, such as Sample Sales. And in my area of the country, I could dress from head to in Prada, Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana carrying a $7000 Louis Vuitton handbag, and everyone would assume that I went on a shopping spree at Sears. The fine points of Couture is not very well known in small agricultural communtities. However, the discussions on quality of clothing, developing your own style, and especially what to splurge on and what to go "budget" on are great for anyone, no matter where they are.

The basic top ten articles of clothing are a good guideline for wardrobe building and her tips on shopping are priceless.

Because of this book, I now visit her website EVERYDAY to see what's new, where the sales are, and who has special offers going on.

As a harried, occassionly overstressed working mother of 3, reading this book has also helped my presentation of myself and my self confidence. After reading this, I realized that I do not have to look as frantic and stressed as I am. I work in a very casual workplace, but I no longer show up to work in a t-shirt and a baseball cap with no make up (well maybe only once a week now, instead of everyday). I have begun getting my hiney out of bed, fixing my hair, putting on full make up and jewelry and almost strutting into the office every morning.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By mediaagent on June 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is the most realistic book on how to shop on a budget and I have read many of them. Not only am I a fan of the Budget Fashionista's website, I take all of her tips in this book to heart. Not only does she show you how you can (and should budget for your purchases) she hands out best beauty buys, as well as give you other websites you should be privy to. I'm going to purchase a couple of books to give to friends for xmas gifts! (with my Barnes & Noble discount .. Sorry Amazon! ) :)
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Joanna Daneman #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
I was pleasantly impressed with "How to be a Budget Fashionista." While I am not a "fashionista" (being "d'un certain age") I do like to make sure I look my best when I am out in public. I do a lot of public speaking and "meet and greet." So pointers on shopping and flattering fashions and makeup are welcome to this older gal. Plus, I don't like spending huge amounts of my take-home pay on work clothes.

The book covers shopping, the where and how, in compact detail. The recommendations on some of the outlet malls seems to be correct from the experiences I've had there. And the advice on how to dress when doing battle-shopping is priceless. (Hint; going to a discount shop that has a public dressing room or no dressing room at all? No need to strip off in public --unless you are Britney Spears that is. Just wear form-fitting clothes like a yoga outfit and try on your finds over them.)

There is advice on combing thrift shops and consigment shops for really expensive finds at a fraction of their cost. While I am not a fan of pre-owned clothes, I know that for someone on a miniscule budget, this can be a real blessing. The author tells you, the bargain hunter, what to avoid (musty or dank underarm smells? No no no. Bleach stain or other non-fixable ding in an otherwise cute outfit? If it's something you can sew an ornament over like a beaded patch or embroidery, then go for it.) The book tells you how to treat the STAFF at consignment and thrift stores (like royalty) so they are induced to do some pre-shopping for you and call you when choice items show up at the store. There are hints as well on sample sales (not for everyone.)

But this book isn't just on salvage and rescue operations.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sunshine Styles on August 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
I just read this book, and I have to say, I've found my shopping soulmate! As a professional shopper who's shopping motto is "Don't buy it unless it's at least 90% off retail," I didn't expect to learn much from this book. After all, for the last 7 years, I've traveled the country in search of bargains to pass on to my ebay customers. I often hear salesclerks gasp in amazement as I buy a large bag full of designer items for under $100.
But this book goes way beyond the basics. Written in a straightforward, upbeat style that's fun to read, it covers the full spectrum of tips and tricks for buying a designer wardrobe for less.
My copy is now thoroughly dog-eared and underlined, and I'm ready to take my shopping to the next level. The Budget Fashionista offers amazing tips for scoring the best deals at outlets, online, at consignment shops and even at department stores. I love how she's so specific about when, where, and how to score the best deals. I learned about some new sources I hadn't considered, like DSW Shoe Warehouse, Loehmanns online, and sample sales.
The Personal Style quiz was a great tool for analyzing what I already have that I love, helping me focus on the pieces that really build my wardrobe. In the style of the "Look For Less" tv show, she even explains in detail how she helped a friend buy a full professional wardrobe for under $600. This book is so inspiring and fun to read, and I recommend it for anyone, from a novice to a professional, that wants to buy more great clothes for less money.
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