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CategoryAll posts under‘Save vs. Splurge‘

Glam for the Guggenheim

It is rare when you live somewhere that you take time out of your busy schedule to actually SEE your city. I live in one of the most culturally diverse towns on earth and I have only been to 2 museums in 6 years. Shameful. So when my friend Linda suggested we make our way uptown to pop into the Guggenheim, I was thrilled. Culture here I come.

The museum is located on the upper east side. If you know anything about anything (or watch Gossip Girl), you know that the UES is full of high class fashion. I love to play a new fashion part everyday, so this was a great opportunity for me to go over the top. When I met Linda her first reaction was, “Why are you so fancy?” Because I can be Linda, because I can be. Do I need a better reason? Neither do you, dress up because you want to!


I had no idea what I was walking into, which is kind of the way I like it. Surprises are fun. Apparently it was the first day of artist Maurizio Cattelan’s exhibit. It was seriously mind blowing. I am not a “museum” type of girl, but this was awesome. It is hard to tell from the picture what was going on, but let me do some quick explaining. Instead of hanging everything on the walls as Guggenheim exhibits are usually displayed, Cattelan said he would only show if everything was hung from the ceiling. As you circled up the winding ramp, every step gave you a different perspective and new pieces of art popped out at you. Cattelan had a fascination with mortality, so much of the art included actual dead animals, including several dead horses. Bizarre and totally cool. Completely worth the 18 bucks it cost to get in.

Now that we have the art out of the way, let’s get back to the fashion:) It may be difficult to fully re-create my museum chic look because I always shop at sample sales, consignment stores and designer discount, but here is my best try.

My gray coat was purchased several years ago at a fabulous sample sale store called Cadillac’s Castle in New York City. I don’t think I paid more then $100 bucks for it. Unfortunately, this Walter by Walter Baker coat is no longer available…. Anywhere. So here is a much more expensive option by Valentino. Totally an investment so you have to take that into account when spending $1000 on a coat. The key is to have it cinch at the waist, slightly flaring until it ends just above your knees. It is a great shape for almost any body type.

Next up, my awesome rabbit fur scarf by Adrienne Landau. Of course I purchased mine directly from the showroom during a sample sale, but it is not SO unoriginal that you can’t find a similar one. This option by Joseph is just over $100. The key to why I love my scarf so much is the slit in one side that allows you to put the other side through. You can pull it tight and keep yourself nice and warm or leave it loose for a stylish accessory. Rabbit is one of the least expensive furs and yet it looks super luxurious. Needless to say, this is the most affordable option.
I actually did find my exact sunglasses. I love them and they were the least pricey pair I looked at! That never happens. By Vince Camuto, this is the first year that his shoe line has extended into accessories and clothing. He even has a few pop up stores here in NYC. His new line features fun, trendy pieces that are really not that expensive. Take these big frame black sunglasses for example, they are only $55! That is great for a quality pair of sunnies. They are the perfect topper to any ensemble if you are going for the “rich and fabulous” look. We all need to be super fab every now and then….

And for the final piece…. Unfortunately there is no way you can find my awesome hand knit beret because it actually is hand knit…. By my mommy! Often times we bring our creative talents together. I design something and she actually makes it. This fun beret is a great example. I love the color and it adds a touch of fun to any look. Additionally, it is a good weight so I can wear it inside and outside. Fashion for every temperature. This example is a little more blue, but provides the same amount of fun. At $15 from Sears, you really can’t beat it.

So next time you have a reason to go a bit over the top, do it. Why not be the most fabulous person there? Why not wear all of those items that you would never put together? Have your friends ask you why you are so fancy and own it. You are fancy because you are fabulous and you can’t help it.

My Day at the Vintage Market

I am obsessed with a treasure hunt. There is nothing wrong with a merchandised store, but it is finding a diamond in the ruff that really gets me going. Lucky for me, New York City is FULL of vintage markets. Once a year, there is a massive affair at the Metropolitan Pavillion in Chelsea, and it is A-mazing.

I headed over with my girlfriends Allison and Jackie to find something fabulous. There was a $20 entrance fee (I got a discounted pass) which is totally nuts. I actually paid to go shop, you know the sale must be good.

Styled by yours truly, Allison looked amazing in her rabbit vest. It was the maiden voyage for this great piece. Very in this season. I threw on my new Sandro hat and leather jacket, both purchased at a consignment store. Notice the black cat suit underneath. This was quite strategic. I planned on trying on a lot of stuff with no dressing room and instead of being naked in the middle of the pavilion, I put everything on OVER this look. How genius!
How nuts is this? I look like an over-sized blue sheep. This is great for a “fat” day because no body can see a damn thing. Prada designed this for 2011 and they must have been on some sort of hallucinogen when they did it. Thank you for drugs because this is awesome. It called to me from the other side of the pavilion. There was no way you could miss this from a million miles away…..

And then there were gold chains. Lots of them. The truth is that although I loved all of them, they were WAY overpriced. Since I have been doing this for so long, I am pretty aware of what things are worth. Even though I may love something, I always question the price tag. I am not made of money here! And even if I was, I would still ask, “Is this worth the price?”. These chains are something that you can find any suburban Salvation Army for $5 to $10. They were selling them for between $80 and $125! I couldn’t do it. Talk about a mark up.

After hours of picking through tons of vintage wares, I only walked away with two pieces. Needless to say, I was not pleased. I went there to spend my hard earned cash! If I am going to pay a cover charge to shop, I am going to shop damn it. I do LOVE my gold belt with tassel. It is adjustable so I can wear it around my waist or on my hips. At $55, I will say I think it was a bit overpriced, but I loved it. I also think my mind was a bit frazzled because everything seemed to be so expensive so 55 bucks seemed cheap. Even stylists who question price tags get confused:) I also got this leopard scarf which was definitely vintage because it smelled old. I am half kidding. I think it will look fabulous with a large, crystal vintage broach. Now I just need to buy one. It is a great indoor/outdoor accessory.

It may have been a less successful shopping trip then I had hoped, but all in all, it was definitely worth the time. I love treasure hunting!!

The Best Accessory


I know I have already done a post long, long ago on gold watches, but this trend isn’t going anywhere. Additionally, I literally just bought myself a new gold watch that I am totally obsessed with so I have “gold watch” on the brain. I have worn it everyday since I bought it as my recent posts show.

The truth is, in true bargain shopping fashion, I found what I considered to be the best deal of the century. I have been searching for quite some time for a watch that was not Michael Kors. I LOVE his line of watches, but everyone has them. I wanted to be not only different, but to somehow spend less then $250 (what his watches go for). It is a totally fair price for a piece that is going to be rocked 7 days a week, but there seemed to be nothing out there that had the same pop for the same price.

And then I came across a brand that has done me well. A few years back I went to the Armitron showroom in NYC and they so kindly gave me a watch so I would keep coming back. Ah, perks of the job! I receive compliments on it every time I wear it and it keeps on ticking with no problems. I knew this baby had long term possibilities! A quick trip to Amazon and $70 bucks later, I was in gold watch heaven. Compliments keep pouring in and when I tell them the price they are shocked. Good job Salinger.

I was very close to purchasing a much more expensive style before I stumbled upon my Armitron.While traveling through Ireland this past summer, I found my dream watch. It is by a company that just came to the states, Folli Follie. Aside from the fabulous watch, they had an array of fun jewelry. Only problem was, it was $400. As noted, this was past my $250 limit. It is not that I didn’t think it was worth it, I just couldn’t see spending that much when I knew Michael Kors had a very similar, sturdy style for much less. So, my mission continued as I returned home…..

Let’s still stand true to the most popular designer, Mr. Michael Kors. It really is a great watch. As you can see though, through this very scientific demonstration, these 3 watches are all super similar with 3 very different price points. I don’t like to buy cheap, but I like to buy “reasonable”. I think I found my perfect watch at my perfect price point. Find what fits you.

The Royal Wedding Craze

Just like everyone else in this world, I was glued to the television watching the fashion show that was the royal wedding. And just like everyone else in this world, I jumped fully on the hat bandwagon. Us American folk don’t ever get a reason to wear a hat, except to church and my Jewish heritage doesn’t encourage Sunday Mass:) So, when 2 friends married, respectively, a Brit and an Irishman this summer, I was overjoyed.

In true Amy Salinger fashion, I was not going to be typical in my hat choice. I have never had a real reason to wear a fabulous hat before (except for dancing competitions), so I was ready to go big or go home. I decided I wanted something that could be worn all night, not just during the ceremony. And, it had to travel well since one of the wedding’s was actually in Ireland. A fascinator was in my future.

A fascinator, quite simple, is a cross between a hat and a head piece. It is not meant to overtake your entire head, but merely act as an ornament. I went ahead and decided that designing and making my own was way more interesting then spending beau coup bucks on an overpriced, less original piece. Of course, in my world, I have the time to do this.

Styling a look for these two weddings (yes, I wore the same thing to both), was a bit like, “Which came first? The chicken or the egg?”. I started with the hat, buying tons of huge flowers. But, when I went dress shopping and couldn’t find anything suitable to match the idea in my mind, I chose the best dress I could find and went from there.


Love, love, love my bright and cheery 40′s esque look. I also super love my friend Courtney’s Tracy Reese (bought at designer discount!) orange look. Courtney is my best friend and a fashion designer. She is also the most crafty person I know which is why I enlisted her to actually create my hat. If I had made it myself, it would have looked like a 5th grade project.


Peacock feathers? Check. Crystals? Check? Glue gun? Definitely check. After several shopping trips (no one said home made meant easy), I had all of the items I needed to create my head piece. An afternoon later, my fascinator was ready for the world to see. I added in vintage clip on earrings (which I lost because I danced them off), a Swarovski crystal ring and a pair of $15 DSW shoes, and my look was runway ready.


Challenge yourself to really create your own look, enlist a fashionable and crafty friend, and you never know what you will come up with!

Looking Chic and Affordable


Although I have become somewhat lazy about going out in my old age (I am a ripe old 32), I do still love the act of dressing up. Creating a look from head to toe will somewhat consume my mind the day of the event, if not weeks leading up to it. It really depends on where I am going and who I am going to see. I call it, “the curse of the fashion stylist”.

This past Saturday, my girlfriends got together for a night on the town. This included me staying out for a whole 2 hours (if you don’t include the pre-party at my friend’s apartment). I warned you I have become somewhat “un-cool”. Either way, I put on a cute, affordable and comfortable look for the evening.

I am all about finding the best deal and with this look, everything on me runs from free to designer discount to consignment. LOVE. Let’s start with free. These black jeans (designer unknown), were given to me by a friend. She found them at a sample sale for a dollar (so not quite free), and figured they would fit someone for that price! With just a slight alteration at the waist, they were mine. With jeans costing up to $200 these days, this is quite the bargain!

Next up are my fabulous red suede booties. Totally stylish, totally comfortable. They are from Off 5th in Cleveland, Saks outlet store. I travel for good deals. They are a good color to make your look pop, not too overpowering. Muted reds are any girls friend.

As for the zebra top, I purchased it that day at Loehmann’s, designer discount heaven. It was $30 from Romeo and Juliet. I spent the weekend eating and drinking my way through the universe so I needed something that would allow me to breath. Choosing a sheer top, paired with a black tank top, still showed off my silhouette without showing off my stomach. Perfection.

And finally, the accessories. Layer, layer, layer. My new Armitron watch for $70 is my favorite best friend these days. I wear it with everything. I searched high and low for an affordable gold watch. With everyone wear Michael Kors for $250, I refused to buy one and certainly not for that price. Add in tons of bangles with different widths and my giant blue stone ring from my mother’s salon in Connecticut of all places, and my wrists are good as gold.

The final topper was my new Saks Fifth Avenue brand clutch bought at an East Village consignment store. This little gem found me (you don’t search for specific things at crazy consignment stores) and I knew it would be a useful item in my repertoire. It is a neutral color even though it is not black or brown. For $65, the cost per wear will be well worth it.

So ladies, shop smart and think about your every purchase. Love what you buy and brand yourself is chic, stylish and affordable items!