Liven up your closet, spare your wallet!
Publish date:
August 28, 2012
shoppables, fashion, style, cheap

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.

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.

This mustard yellow dress also comes in black!

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

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

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:

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!!

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.

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:

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