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Look like a Million for less

Photos by Kevin B. Klaus/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Nutrition sophomore Shoug Loogi sports an outfit that the Wildcat was able to duplicate for about $46. The items we found, from top to bottom, include a green khaki jacket from Ross, a Ralph Lauren Polo tote also from Ross, suspenders from Savers Thrift Store and metallic sneakers from Buffalo Exchange.
By Lindsey Muth
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, February 4, 2004
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How to re-create an expensive look with steals from local stores

The scene on the UA Mall Thursday was a dreary one indeed, as smatterings of students walked here and there, all clad in unremarkable T-shirts, lifeless jeans and dumpy sweatshirts. Some were in sweatpants, some in sneakers and some in flip-flops. Nary a ray of fashion was in sight. A haze of bad fashion hung over the campus, stifling the air.

Through this bleak cloud of ugly, a few lone pillars of fashion stood out like beacons in the night. Shoug Loogi, a nutrition sophomore, and Ibrahim Alansary, a philosophy freshman, were among these few rare gems decorating the Mall with their well-chosen attire.

Did they miss the memo? How could they look so good? Surely the masses couldn't afford to dress so stylishly, right?


"It's not about the prices," said Loogi, who got her wildly dangly earrings for around $4 at Buffalo Exchange, 2001 E. Speedway Blvd. "It's about your style, if you have style or not."

Alansary noted that having style doesn't necessarily mean making outlandish fashion statements, either.

"I don't like people who think out of the box," he said. "I think that's, like, really old. You know, get over it."

To Alansary, thinking out of the box means going against accepted styles in order to get noticed.

"Like people do random shit like paint on their face or like wear a bunch of chains. It's kind of stupid," he said.

Neither Loogi nor Alansary thought that spending a lot of money on fashion equaled being a fashionable person. So could their outfits be duplicated, head to toe, for less than $50 by the Wildcat?

Practically. It cost $56 to copy Alansary's band T-shirt, retro belt, khaki cords and Chucks and only $46 to reconstruct Loogi's ensemble of earrings, jacket, sweater, waist accessory and metallic sneakers.

Photos by Kevin B. Klaus/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Philosophy freshman Ibrahim Alansary stood out on the Mall last week because of his ensemble. The Wildcat was able to match his outfit with a band T-shirt and leather belt from Buffalo Exchange, Calvin Klein cords from Ross and Converse All-Stars from Buffalo Exchange.

The key is avoiding the mall altogether, shopping at discount, thrift, and resale clothing stores and keeping an open mind. All the while, you should remember that the clothes should in some way express that you are an individual who has a unique sense of fashion.

Alansary's Ramones T-shirt cost him about $24 at Urban Outfitters. Buffalo Exchange has a similar band shirt, The New York Dolls, for only $10. But keep in mind, if music isn't your thing, then wearing band T-shirts is a serious form of posing.

Buffalo Exchange is the best place for finding hip, yet cheap, men's clothing.

"Most of our clothing is about one-third what it originally sold for," said Buffalo Exchange store manager Gneiss Hobbs.

A vintage leather belt with unique buckle is only $9 at Buffalo, compared to the roughly $75 Alansary's belt cost. Converse All-Stars are $17 at Buffalo, compared to a new price of around $30. Ross is the place for pants, though. It's only $19.99 for a pair of Calvin Klein beige cords nearly identical to Alansary's $30 pair from Anchor Blue.

It took a bit more travel to duplicate Loogi's look - very urban, sort of like "Sex and the City's" Carrie Bradshaw toned down to reality-level.

Target is the place to find long, sparkly earrings, and the cheapest pairs are still $6.99. Ross carries a Ralph Lauren Polo bag, very similar to Loogi's Esprit version, for only $15.99. Ross also has a cute green khaki jacket for only $6.99, compared to the $40 Loogi paid for hers overseas.

Waist accessories galore are to be found at Savers Thrift Store, including suspenders, belts and scarves, all for $1.99 or less. That means it's possible to spruce up an old pair of jeans rather than paying up to $40 for stylized versions like Loogi's Express jeans. Savers also had aisles and aisles of sweaters. A wool Gap sweater, similar to Loogi's Vera sweater, is only $1.99 at Savers.

But it takes a trip back to Buffalo to find funky, metallic sneakers. It costs only $11.50 for a pair very much like Loogi's shoes by Wanted, which cost her $20. These great deals wouldn't surprise Loogi, who knows the value of a bargain find.

"If you've got style, no matter what," Loogi said, "you can go to the dollar store and you can find some good stuff over there."

If brand names and current trends are important to you, then Buffalo Exchange and Ross are probably two of the best places to find bargain fashions.

"We have really good basics," said Buffalo's Hobbs, "And then you can find something really funky. That can help set you apart."

The more adventurous should try thrift stores or take Loogi's suggestion and stop by the dollar store to see what fashion treasures lay in wait.

But when attempting to spruce up your dismal wardrobe, remember these words of wisdom from Alansary:

"You are what you are, you know, whether you wear 10-foot chains or a Ramones shirt," he said. "It doesn't change who you are."

Still, if style doesn't cost a fortune, and it helps to brighten the bleak landscape, then it doesn't hurt to try.

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