Bargain Shopping – Mixing and Matching Clothing

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 16,659
    Cindy McCarthy a self-confessed shopaholic and owner of Diva, a consignment boutique in Old Town Alexandria Virginia, shares tips on how to build a wardrobe by mixing and matching your clothing.

    Cindy McCartney

    Cindy McCartney is the owner of Diva Designer Consignment and Other Delights in Old Town Alexandria, VA. With the backing and encouragement of her husband, David, she left a lifelong career as a cosmetic and fragrance executive to open her dream store—a women’s designer consignment boutique in which shopaholics (like herself) could recover some of the money they had spent on fabulous things they bought but never wore. Over the years, Cindy’s love of fashion and designer labels spiraled into 1) a way-too-intimate relationship with Neimans, Nordstrom and Saks, 2) a closet bulging with designer fashions…and 3) enough shoes to put a down payment on a house (hello Carrie Bradshaw). She realized that she wasn’t the only woman in this situation…and certainly not the only person who came to see the $2700 handbag du jour as a bit extravagant—and ridiculous. Her m.o. at Diva is to offer designer items at a fraction of the original price so that fashionistas could fill their closets and not feel the guilt of full-price shopping. She is also able to implement store strategies mirroring those she admired from her many experiences in stores—for instance, customer service is key at Diva. Suffice to say, Cindy’s PhD in shopping and looking for great bargains is being used to its best advantage in her business. She likes to think of it as using a very very bad talent for the common good of fashion-lovers everywhere. The name of the store was taken from one of her two dachshunds, Diva (who totally lives up to her name!). Diva will be opening a bridal area this fall for brides who don’t want to spend ten million dollars on their gowns!

    If youre working on building your wardrobe, one way to go to start things off is to try the basic. You probably already have a lot of the basics in your closet. As we previously said, you probably have five pairs of black pants, numerous skirts that you can mix up a bit with different jackets and that kind of thing. But, if youre starting from scratch and you really want to start building a wardrobe this is a great way to do it. Back in the 80s Donna Karan came out with seven easy pieces which were all very, very basic items and they were able to be interchanged with each other to make countless outfit. I'm kind of taking a little liberty with that philosophy but I think its a really, really good way to build your wardrobe. Its great if you travel, for living, its just a really good way to do it. First of all, Laura, is here she has a suit that has pants and it also came with a skirt. So, she can take the pants, she can do them separately with a cool shirt. She can also wear with a jacket. She can bring in the skirt. She can do that. She can put it with a camisole and then put the jacket over top or if she wants to just wear the skirt separately, she can take a really kind of edgy top an asymmetrical Donna Karan top we have here and just mix it with that, put it with her pants for a great evening look. It would look great with some pearls, it would look great with a great choker, and some really cool sandals at evening. Then youre always want to have a great blouse, one or two great blouses. I suggest probably a black one and a white one just say youre covering everything because therere times that you just cant do better than having a crisp white blouse to pair with thing. Also, it depends on your edge level. Some people would not feel comfortable in having a shear blouse and thats fine. Tailor all of this to your taste and youll come out great and make sure if you feel comfortable in what you pick. This is a very great all-purpose cardigan sweater, its cashmere and the nice thing about cashmere is that you can wear all year around and it doesnt have to be 9000 gauge cashmere, you can get some really beautiful cashmeres. This one happens to be a Michael Kors that we have in the store. However, Target had wonderful cashmere in the Isaac Mizrahi area.

    Finally, I cant stress enough the importance of the wrap dress this season. This is a great and versatile dress. It travels perfectly, its really appropriate in mostly every situation. Dress it up, dress it down. The dress is so big, so it definitely needs to be staple. You could totally get away with these things as your wardrobe.