verbal croquis


book review: how to be a budget fashionista

Posted in advice by verbalcroquis on June 20, 2006

To truly fathom my review of this book, How to be a Budget Fashionista by Kathryn Finney, I have to give you a little personal background.

When I was 13, my mother passed away.  Coming from a traditional Korean household, it was up to me, the oldest daughter, to take care of the kids and the house. With my grandmother’s two funerals (one in Alaska, one in Korea) the year before, the insane hospital bills for both her and my mother, and then my mother’s funeral, needless to say, my father wasn’t doing well financially.  So at the age of 13, not only did I have to deal with running a household and raising a 5 year old and a 1 year old, I had to do it all on an extreme budget.

As a budding fashionista (yes, I’ve wanted to do this as far back as I can remember), I didn’t want my siblings teased at school for looking poor.  As a girl in middle school, I understood how cruel kids can be.  You may think that in a town like Anchorage, fashion had no play.  Nope, we had our own set of prestige labels—The North Face, Eddie Bauer, Jay Jacobs, 5*7*9, Brass Plum, and of course, no one could be cool without at least one pair of Doc Martens.  Yes, grade school kids didn’t know about labels back then, but they knew how to ask, “Did your parents get you that at Nordstrom’s?”  Oh, those precocious little brats…

A few years down the road, my father had recovered financially and was actually doing very very well.  But the “budget fashionista” in me still reigned supreme and still does today.  I think the boy truly decided that moving in together was a good idea when I showed him ways to cut our heating bill down to a third of what he was paying before.

So all that to say it takes a lot for me to say that I read a book called “How to Be a Budget Fashionista” and be impressed.  I personally know lots of tricks on looking good on a budget.  I was working 3 part-time jobs while going to school full-time.  My senior thesis alone cost $3000.  Yeah, I know all about dressing myself on the cheap.  And then Miz Kathryn swooped in with this book and taught me a thing or two.

I hate the illustrations, but love the verbage.  After I finished the book, which was so well written that I read it all in one sitting, I wanted to overhaul my closet in true Kathryn-style.  Alas, I have deadlines and a job and some other major side projects to take care of first.  What exactly are these tips?  Go read the book for yourself.  And don’t forget to stop by thebudgetfashionista.com for even more tips.

(And yes, I promise no one paid me to say any of the above.)

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3 Responses to 'book review: how to be a budget fashionista'

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  1. Tammy said,

    Wow, that was a really beautiful post, I will for sure be adding this book to my list (which is seemingly getting longer since I’ve started reading blogs). and I really enjoyed your Omiru interview (i love that site 😉 hope your feeling better.

  2. Walter said,

    All book reviews should be this readable.


  3. […] Verbal Croquis […]


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