Liven up your closet, spare your wallet!

Aug 28, 2012 at 10:30am | Leave a comment

I am way bored of buying new clothes right now, unless it's some sort of "Project Runway"-style challenge. I like going to bizarre places and seeing if I can find something to pull off. I'm talking about buying clothes at CVS and the hardware store.

I've also started being obsessed with super down and dirty clothing stores. I mean places that blow the doors off so hard with low prices, you actually feel bad for them. Like, I couldn’t buy the material to make this myself for $15 bucks, so how did it get mass-produced at this price? 

Southern California is a total heaven of stores that specialize in ridiculously cheap-o fashions. They usually have great, unintentionally hilarious names. But if there is a dumber name for a trendy women’s clothing boutique than "Heavenly Couture," I am unaware of it.

Boutique naming is really an art form. There is a very upscale boutique here in Santa Monica called "Subtle Tones" that is clearly not angling to have me as a customer.


A giant sombrero is quite subtle.

Heavenly Couture is this weird chain of stores here in Southern California that has one great gimmick: Almost nothing they sell is over $15.00. I work on a lot of kid’s shows where people are getting endlessly slimed, so once I found out about this spot, I became their number one customer.

Clearly, calling it couture is foolish. It’s all imported junk of dubious quality. But it’s cheap, functional and if you dig, I MEAN DIG, you can find some cute stuff. I think the dresses are the best bet when cruising their online offerings.


Yup, $15.00.

This mustard yellow dress also comes in black!


Also $15.00.

I saw this blue watercolor floral dress in the store in person last week -- it's way cuter than you think.


Guess how much??

This little floral smock dress is also only $15.00. I have a dress like this from the 60's that I wear with wooly over-the-knee socks and clogs in the fall. It always perplexes dudes, which is pretty much one of my only goals in life.

Heavenly Couture also has a baller section where they go out on a limb and price some things at $15.99, like this polka dot dress. What the hell kind of profit margin makes them have to charge that extra .99? Terrifying.


Polka dot dress, $15.99.

I find their sizing to run VERY SMALL. I shop Heavenly Couture a lot for super tiny actresses and my BFF who is so petite, she can still wear kids clothes at age 30.

Another ridiculous online spot is I love a place that tells you right off the bat what you are in for: cheapness above all else. The $15 store appears to specialize in leftover fashions from junior brands like XOXO from past seasons. And I mean seasons sometimes VERY FAR in the past. It’s best to stick to the simple stuff they have that will never go out of style, like a black motorcycle style jacket:


Black cotton moto style jacket, $15.00.

I will buy any cotton moto-style jacket sold anywhere, at any time. Soundstages are mercilessly air conditioned, and I am always freezing.

A LOT of sleuthing on The $15 Store site dredged up this origami style dress that I would actually wear. I love origami anything.


You guessed correctly, this dress is $15.00.

If you are a club-going party babe in South Miami Beach, Florida, then is right up your alley. Everything on the site is, yes, either $10 or $15. I actually might order this insane faux Versace dress to wear un-ironically with black motorcycle boots and braids in my hair.


Tiger dress,, $15.00.

Don't get me wrong: I love fancy, expensive clothes and accessories. But sometimes I just want to try out a trend and not spend a ton of cash. The 1015 Store actually has the best stuff of all the disturbingly cheap spots I found.

I've seen girls waltzing around in these louche, slinky harem style pants forever now and have always wanted to try a pair. At $10.00, I'll bite. If they end up looking terrible on me, I'll just wear them around the house while I'm doing laundry.


Draped harem-style pants, $10.00!

A romper is another trend I'd like to try that I don't think is worth much more than $15.00. I love this black one to wear over a swimsuit and head straight to drinks in:


Black romper with floral detail, $15.00.

Sometimes uber cheap stores actually have something I haven't seen elsewhere. I think that's why the items ended up at the clothing equivalent of the 99 cent store in the first place -- they are just too out there for anyone. I never got in on the maxi-dress trend because I dislike florals on such a large scale. But a maxi dress in camo print? YES!!


Camouflage print maxi dress, $15.00.

I think a neon lace peplum top for $10.00 also falls under the "so crazy it just might be cute" heading. Some of my most successful outfits revolve around an item that was hideous to me at first sight.


Neon lace top, $10.00.

I make sure to stick to silhouettes that I already know look good on me when buying something from sites like these. I own quite a few loose tie dye tank tops that I wear over colored bandeau bras, so this one is a safe purchase for me:


Tie dye tank in various colors, $10.00.

If you go wading into some of these websites unchaperoned, don’t say I didn’t warn you. It takes balls of steel to suffer through page after page of some hideous eye-burning fashions just to find the one single gem in all of it. That’s why I drank heavily and did it for you as a public service. 

I realize that all these posts of mine are very selfish. I just happen to be holding the conch shell, so I open up the convo and you guys chime in and tell me where to find even MORE of whatever I was looking for. So, tell me! What are your secret down & dirty shopping spots???

I'm on Twitter: @IveyAlison