Friday, July 10, 2009

How to hang around non-frugal millionaire friends on a private jet;-)

Not long ago, we were invited to fly on a private jet to a wedding in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with some of my husband's clients. As my normal mode of transportation is a mini-van, I was delighted!

The next question was how to fit in so that I neither looked like the poor relation nor was asked for the bathroom key.

Fortunately, I have several books on style, and clothing, ever an area of interest, purchased for less than $2 each at thrift stores. According to a quote by Michael Kors in one, "White jeans and a black cashmere turtleneck are always stylish on a chilly airplane." This was only a week prior to the trip and I wasn't going to spring several hundred dollars for a sweater, so I interpreted the idea in a more frugal mode.

I opted for a pair of white Banana Republic jeans, purchased at the end of the season for $22 and a long sleeved black BCBG cotton top purchased at a consignment store for $12. Shoes were like new and purchased at Goodwill, a $5.99 pair of black leather Etienne Aigner loafers.

All in all, not a bad start. But what to do about the purse? I knew one of the women whom I saw occasionally at social events carried a Louis Vuitton bag in $2600 range. I did have the option of bringing my Coach purse, but it was getting a bit frayed, though not even a year old. I had purchased it for $350 as a rather extravagant birthday gift to myself, having read in my style books and noted for myself that few stylish 40 year old women carry cheap purses.

I had since found, however, that life with a two and five year old, which involve the purse getting tossed in and out of the mini-van and even on public bathroom floors (can you say YUCK and would the $:L&#*(%^ management of stores and restaurants make sure each stall has a hook), it was looking a bit ratty.

On top of that, I'd since realized that a Coach purse with giant C's all over it was seen by some as rather tacky and by the time I'd seen my fourth high school student carrying what appeared to be the identical bag, I realized I'd made a mistake.

But the fates smiled upon me as I scoured my closet, for wrapped in tissue paper was a vintage white beaded purse, with a lovely silver handle purchased at an antique mall for $30. The women at the checkout assured me this was quite a find and only wished she had seen it in the other seller's booth before I did. My outfit was complete!

The morning of the flight, we met the other two couples and lo and behold, both other women had on white jeans and cashmere sweaters (though not black) and my first thought was, "did they read the book too???."

The Louis Viutton woman instantly exclaimed over my bag and we chatted antique malls as we entered the private plane (I am not making this stuff up;). We were served lunch on silver trays with fresh flowers and exquisite chocolates and it was quite the day. The return trip was TWA coach (the other couples going on after the wedding to business interests the Dominican Republic) and was a mighty step down as I sat squashed into my seat and ate a few stale peanuts, dreaming of the friendly skies of private jets.

The morale of the story: with a bit of ingenuity, you too can dress rich for a fraction of the price with a few books on style (purchased used of course) and a bit of luck;-).

Knowledge + Action = Financial Independence

Now You!

Go to a library or thrift store and get three or four books on style. There are books for men and women. Find five or six classic looks that appeal to you and begin to use what you have to recreate the outfits on those pages. Then spice it up with some vintage jewelry or a purse or....?

Happy dressing up and what fun to have a frugal reason to hit those antique stores.....

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