Dress: Vintage, Belt: Sass & Bide from Balmain markets, Sandals: Very very old from Zara, Cap: Urban Outfitters
Photos by Jocelyn Nguyen from Eleven Suns
This is one of the first outfits I've worn in recent memory that mostly came from the dusty back pockets of my closet, or from the musty depths of thrift stores and markets. Living in New York and facing the high cost of stepping out on the street and living day to day life has opened up a whole world of cheap thrills. Meals are (relatively) cheap, but tips are high. Sneakers are cheap, but gyms are costly etc. etc. Living on an entry level salary in a place where talented buskers make you lose a few dollars every three seconds, and Trader Joes sells $3 wine and bunches of flowers, it all adds up. A few of the ways I've been living cheap in the big city:
- Free comedy/cheap entertainment via The Skint - My boyfriend and I usually check this website on a weekday or Friday night - it's a daily listings blog that collates all the cheap/free things to do in the city - from festivals, to free movie screenings, to awkward nights of free comedy at the back of empty bars. The last free night we went to was actually at The Stand, and it was a Monday night at 10pm. The general quality of free comedy performances varies from politely and tolerably awkward, to aggressive and angry. This one was cruising along at snail's pace, saved by the tater tots that were served with my cheap $10 burger and whiskey shot combo. My next mouthful of tater tots came with the sudden and supremely delightful blow-in of Louis C.K. There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing an incredibly talented and probably incredibly expensive comedian. FOR FREE.
- Thrifting. Lots of it. - I mentioned in a previous blog post that NYC has invigorated the second-hand clothing bug within me, literally lighting it on fire, taking hostile control of my body and throwing my lifeless self like a honing missile into every consignment store that exists. Buffalo Exchange, Beacon's Closet, Tokio 7 and Tokyo Joe have been my favourites so far - I walk down to the Buffalo Exchange in Brooklyn every weekend and always seem to walk away with an amazing piece bought with spare change. This dress in particular cost $8. Yes, I do still take glee in yelling the price of my clothes at people when I receive compliments. It's like my version of 'thank you'. #humblebrag
- P90x and cheap yoga - I'm avoiding having to make the decision of finding a gym for as long as possible by doing home workouts, lots of HIIT and tabata, and cheap $8 bikram at Yoga to the People. The gyms are a mess here, they're either $200 a month with built in protein shake smoothie bars and mechanical surfing classes, or they're $20 a month with a single treadmill in a corner and a line stretching around the block to use it. I'm also considering trying Class Pass, which gives you access to lots of different studios around NYC for $10 a pop.
- HelloWallet and Level - Easy money management app - you enter your bills, your monthly income, and the amount of money you want to save and it does some crazy techno app magic and does the rest for you.
Cutting corners hasn't been as hard as I thought it be - between the lack of gym membership and the free comedy nights, I probably have enough money to make it rain on some cashew milk ice cream (it isn't cheap).