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How to get a cheap fashion thrill
The Chiconomy Wardrobe

Creators Syndicate
Modified: September 26, 2012 at 4:49 pm •  Published: September 26, 2012

Fashion expert and author Anna Johnson has coined a new word to explain how to get glamour-girl style at bargain prices: "chiconomy." In Johnson's latest book, "Savvy Chic: The Art of More for Less," she shares lots of tips on how to skip the lure of "fast fashion" and impulse shopping and still put together an impressive wardrobe.

"When I shop I have watertight ground rules that stop impulse buys in their tracks," says Johnson. "Clothes need to be well made, have staying power through the seasons, and interlock with other existing mainstays in my wardrobe."

Here are a few of Johnson's ground rules for building a "chiconomy" wardrobe:

-Keep it classic. "Because I may want to wear one piece of clothing for several years, I will choose slightly more conservative, classic styles (easy when buying vintage) and then put them hard to work. Every top I own has to go with my favorite rip-off Balenciaga-style tuxedo pants or an A-line skirt. Each dress has to fit at least three occasions. And the jackets need to be day-to-night or trans-seasonal. One pair of shoes and one bag "matches" but the rest don't have to."

-Color it neutral. "The palette of my wardrobe is brown, cream, and electric blue for winter and fall. Then white, black, honey beige, and bright yellow for summer. That's this summer. The splashes of bright color can change season to season but the bedrock of my everyday clothes is monochrome. And monochrome does not literally mean black and white. Black and white can make you look like a waitress. A wardrobe based on black doesn't really stretch into summer and all white is high maintenance. My vote instead rests with a trio of neutrals that best suit your skin tone. With a uniform set of base tones, there is never any anxiety about what matches because it all blends. It's total chiconomy."

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