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Style is innate; style comes from within and you don’t need money to look amazing. You just need imagination, soul and a little bit of humility. Celebrity stylist to uber-starlets like Halle Berry and Sandra Bullock, Phillip Bloch, should know. He thinks women have become too obsessed with consumerism and should go on a “shopping diet.” How does Bloch suggest scaling down on stuff without sacrificing style?

[pullquote quote=”You have to be realistic. Champagne tastes and caviar dreams don’t work if you have a beer and pizza budget” credit=”Philip Bloch”]

Sarah Bernard of The Thread interviewed Phillip Bloch, author of The Shopping Diet, and got five fierce tips to stay fashionable without breaking the bank.

I never realized how much shopping and eating have in common, but your analogy makes perfect sense. You even have a clothing version of the food pyramid.

Yes! Gowns are like fatty foods. How many glamorous gowns do you really need? But underwear and socks are like water— you have to have them. Unless, of course, you are a celebutante. If you think about it, food and clothes can be titillating and make you happy or they can completely depress you. Some people do it in moderation, some people do it in addiction. Calories reminded me of money. You can, or rather, you should only intake a certain amount a day.

So going on a budget is like going on a diet. How do you know how much you need to lose?

You have to be realistic. Champagne tastes and caviar dreams don’t work if you have a beer and pizza budget. Because of YouTube and reality TV we all forget we’re not Kimora or André Leon Talley or a Real Housewife from New Jersey. That’s why I wanted to write the book.

Skeptical shop owners should note, you’re not saying to never spend, just to be savvy about your choices. In fact, you recommend investing in accessories. Don’t most experts give the opposite advice?

Accessories make the outfit! They bring a little status. They’re a conversation piece. I’m a big fan of designer sunglasses. I wear Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen. You know why? Because if they break, they fix them for me. You get the quality. If you invest in a real Louis Vuitton bag, it’s going to last you a lifetime. Certain things, you get what you pay for. Do I need the Vuitton black pants for $1200? No. I’ll go to H&M and buy a pair.

Your suggestion to keep a shopping journal is an excellent idea. Sometimes we buy what we think we want and it stays on the shelf.

Exactly. See what you actually use. And if you never wear something, get rid of it. I’m constantly editing my closet. And when you do buy something new, get rid of something. Two sneakers go in, two come out.

Shouldn’t you hold on to everything because style comes back?

No, that becomes hoarding. My mom was a hoarder, and it got Grey Gardens bad. You can’t hoard everything. After five years, your white shirt is nasty and dingy, even if you don’t notice it. I’m not saying go buy the Balenciaga white shirt. I’m saying go to Old Navy and Express. They’re 2 for $32 dollars!

  • What do you think of Bloch’s advice? How do you stay stylish on a budget?

[Source: Yahoo! Shine]


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