How to Dress Like a Hipster When You’re on a Budget

So you want to be cool, huh? Want to be chill and fashionable and look like a New Yorker? Well, unless you love the Upper East Side prep style (and there’s nothing wrong with that), you might just end up looking like one of the many hipsters you see walk around the streets of the city. (If you’ve never been to New York, be prepared when you visit.) I have talked about American Apparel in Looking Nice at Half the Price, but don’t worry! Here are a few more places to shop in aspiration of looking like a hipster:

1. Urban Outfitters This is a no-brainer for America’s fashion conscious, and some may find it overrated sometimes. But I think Urban always has eccentric items no matter what, so you know what? I don’t care if everyone else shops here. Your style is chiefly based on how you put together your clothes and accessories anyway. I usually don’t buy anything full-price here because it will most likely go on sale at some point and the quality of some brands aren’t always the greatest. They also periodically have sales on already reduced-priced items, from an extra 20-50% off. I prefer the brands Staring at Stars, Silence & Noise, Deena & Ozzy, and Ecote.

2. Housing Works This is one of the best thrift shops you’ll probably ever go to. Housing Works is a non-profit charity whose profits go to New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS. It also happen to have great deals on everything from apparel to books to home goods. (Someone I know bought a brand new Marc Jacobs bag for just $55 and Prada Shoes for $125.) With student ID, students get 20% off their purchase on Tuesdays! Brand name or no name, its up to you what you choose to buy, but you do not want to not miss out on the great deals this sweet thrift shop has to offer. In addition to purchasing it’s items, you should also think about donating your clothing, shoes, books, artwork, jewelry, or housewares. Sharing is caring!

3. ASOS ASOS is a British online retailer for men and women. It offers a wide array of hipster-y fashionable brands, but some of it’s prices tend to be a bit higher than what you might be looking to spend, so I suggest checking out it’s sale section: Women, Men. To see trends and outfits exhibited on the site, go to it’s Outfit & Looks page. To buy and sell new, pre-owned, and vintage clothing, go to ASOS’ Marketplace.

Dressing like a hipster isn’t just in what you wear; it’s how you wear it, often adding much-needed accessories to create the hipster look. For example, you can wear a white t-shirt with a plaid shirt and skinny jeans and think that’s hipster. Or you can wear that outfit with a fedora, an infinity scarf, a pair of oxfords or Jeffrey Campbell Spike Litas, and a piercing or two or five… and Voila! You’re dressed like a hipster.

Sassy Steve

To state the obvious, the holidays are coming up and it’s getting colder outside. This means I need to dress warm when I go outside, but of course still while looking good. It’s a good thing New York in the winter makes me love cold weather fashion! Want to look even more cold weather chic? Click here to get inspired.

To state the obvious-to-me, I really need (want) winter wedges. And I found the perfect ones! It was quite a splurge, though, especially for shoes I won’t be wearing nearly everyday. Despite buying them for 25% off, they were not a bargain. (25% really isn’t that much anyway.)

My Steve Madden Annnie Wedge in Taupe Suede

Standing tall at 5’1.5, I like to have some more height when I go out to social events. The Steve Madden suede Annnie wedges are comfortable, fashionable, and make a little one like me much taller! I purchased them in taupe color (they look more gray to me), but they come in black and olive green, as well.

Check out them out on Steve Madden’s website.  With a 4.8/5 rating, it’s hard to go wrong with them! For those of you who like animal-inspired shoes, take a look at the Annnie-L; they come in Leopard and in Black Pony.

Steve Madden Annnie-L in Black Pony
Steve Madden Annnie-L in Leopard

Middle class? What’s that?

So, you want to live in New York City, huh? You want the exciting nightlife that goes past 4am (morninglife?), incredible international cuisines, food at any time of the day/night, a city in which you never get bored, and you crave the chaotic lifestyle the city demands. The question is… Can you afford it?

A couple years ago, the Daily News published an article titled “N.Y.C. So Costly You Need Six Figures to Make Middle Class”, and the information it reveals still holds truth today, (given today’s prices/costs versus those of 2009.) It discusses the findings of a study done by the Center for Urban Future. The report shows just what it means to live in New York, and why middle class here is different than other large cities in America.

“In Manhattan, a $60,000 salary is equivalent
to someone making $26,092 in Atlanta.”

Furthermore, the report claims that a New Yorker would have to make $123,322 a year to maintain the same standard of living as someone who makes $50,000 in Houston.

Yes, the salaries in New York are higher than those in other states, but when you see some of the other factors mentioned in this article, it’s no wonder 24% of New York City residents plan to make their exodus out of the most expensive city in the country (and 32nd in the world). According to “The 12 Most Expensive Cities In America” in Business Insider: The Life, the monthly rent for an unfurnished luxury two-bedroom apartment is $4,300 in New York. This is almost $2000 more than the second most expensive city in America, Los Angeles. In the city of angels, the rent reported for an unfurnished luxury two-bedroom apartment is $2,500. Other prices found in that article are quite interesting…check them out! Also, refer to my previous post, Monthly Money, and to “There is No Manhattan, New York” on thefashionpond.

One more point to make before I start boring you, (as if I haven’t already,) is an experience of my own. Last year, when I went back to my hometown on Long Island during winter break, I went to Target with my mom and bought Dannon Activia Yogurt, which, by the way, is very delicious and nutritious! I highly recommend it. Anyway, a four-pack of this yogurt cost approximately $2 at the Target on Long Island. When I went grocery shopping in the city, the identical four-pack cost around $4. I was shocked when I saw the differences in the two prices! Good thing there’s a Target in Brooklyn

“If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.” Do you think this Frank Sinatra lyric holds truth? Is it worth living here when it is so much more expensive? What’s your take on the finances of New York?

Average Budget for a College Student

Adding discretionary spending subtracts mucho dinero from wallets everywhere. And that is exactly the grand lifestyle of the average college student!

Looking for breakdowns of how typical college students spend their own money, I found that 40% of their spending goes towards recreational purposes while 49% of the students surveyed have a part-time job, garnering their own income. Students attending college in New York City most likely hold a higher percentage in that area.

In this infographic, studies done by Westwood College demonstrate one of life’s greatest mantras: work hard, party harder! (Click on the image for a larger view.)

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Attending college in New York City has its pros and cons, just like any other city. But notice the difference in length of these lists…

Pros:

Convenience, people. In New York, convenience is everything.

Living in the city means you have all the unique and delectable restaurants you want at your fingertips. There are all different kinds of bars, lounges, clubs, hookah bars, et cetera. From a shop solely dedicated to the art of rice pudding to a restaurant/bar with incredible American cuisine and drinks that is open 24/7, you name it, you got it.

Not to mention how late many restaurants/bars are open until. (I’ve gotten the best burgers and crepes at 4:00am.) I mean, it IS the city that never sleeps.

You can intern or work during the school year because you’re only a 20-minute subway ride away, not a 3-hour car drive.

There is a Starbucks about every three blocks (chai tea latte = heaven), and you never have to worry about being far away from a deli or drug store.

You are among the world’s most useful public transportation system… The good ol’ Metropolitan Transit Authority. (Ah yes, the MTA and I have a love-hate relationship… explanation to come later.)

Cons:

It can get pretty damn expensive, especially with dorm/rent payments and if you choose to get an unlimited monthly MetroCard ($104). Though, most people I know just use the pay-per-ride (regular) metrocard… Oh, and you don’t get that whole “normal college experience” thing, but the word “normal” doesn’t mean shit in New York anyway. And that’s what I love about it. See? NYC even makes a con turn into a pro!