How to recreate runway-inspired looks on a budget

Image Source: Duane Mendes on Unsplash

Well, another successful New York Fashion Week has come and gone and it was an absolute delight to watch. With the exception of Christian Siriano, Jason Wu and Rebecca Minkoff, all the showings were totally digital. While digital showings are a bit different than the traditional in-person fashion shows, the platform provided outside fashion lovers, such as myself, to enjoy a taste of the New York Fashion Week experience.

Now that it’s over, it’s time to reminisce by scrolling through the collections and fawning over each outfit all over again. Or in my case, show my appreciation by recreating some of my favorite looks. Now I know that technically these collections are in preparation for our fall wardrobe, but I’m way too excited to wait.

Buying these looks off the runway are quite the expense, but when you’re a college kid who loves fashion, you learn how to make the most of what you have. Considering that most of the collection were “fall ready-to-wear”, that makes finding the apparel I need even better! Check out our guide to recreating runway looks when on a budget.

Use your resources

Check your closets. Rummage through your drawers. You may not even need to swipe that credit card because you already have everything you need. Quilted jackets, printed tights and ankle length coats are examples of some fall trends that you may easily find in the comfort of your own home. You can also check out your parents’ and grandparents’ wardrobe to see what hidden treasure that may be there. The ‘80s has returned, so a parent’s closet is actually an amazing place to find items to wear. I can finally bring back my high school uniform after checking out Alice+Olivia’s Gossip Girl inspired line. I knew that I wouldn’t regret saving my preppy clothes from my private school days! But seriously, when it comes to recreating looks inspired by the runway, most of the clothes will be ones that you already have. 

Go secondhand

Remember now, we’re trying to save money and not go expensive. Time to hit Goodwill and find some hidden gems. Some key items may actually be easier to find than you would think. Looks like designers love knit and sweater vests as much as us, because it was a very popular trend for many collections. I absolutely loved viewing PH5 and their seemingly all knitwear collection. A true ode to the comforts of home. I’ve already saved quite a few looks that I’m excited to recreate. The sweater vests, the cardigan, the relaxed silhouettes. These are all these things that I know practically any thrift or second hand store will carry. 

Mix up the prints

Say the word “print” and my mind instantly goes to Anna Sui, Libertine, and Kim Shui. I’ve always been a bit of a print girl myself, so imagine my excitement when I saw it hit the runway. This time it’s all about mixing it up. Who would’ve thought that mixing animal print and stripes could look so good. Look through your wardrobe to see what cool patterns and prints that you already have. Then mix it around to your heart’s content. I know that I’m excited to put my cow print jacket to good use after gushing over Anna Sui’s whole collection. Goodbye matchy-matchy, hello clashy-clashy.

Keep it “runway-inspired” NOT an exact copy

This is hands down one of the most important things to keep in mind when you are recreating looks. You are not going to find exact copies of what walked on the runway unless you want to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars to do it. So keep it “runway-inspired.” This is your chance to take the season’s hottest looks and put your own personal spin into it. Play around with different colors or silhouettes. Get that inspiration from the runway, then make it your own. 

Layer Up

Layers, layers and more layers! Layering was a huge styling moment on the runway. So you can finally throw on that T-shirt over a turtleneck and call it on-trend. Thank goodness layering is in because it will be perfect for that crisp fall air. Layering also provides a great opportunity to play around with color. Just take a peek at Private Policy that had an all black look styled with a pink turtleneck underneath. Nothing wrong with a little tease of color. I’m sure that all of us have clothes that can be layered already in our closets. So time to layer those outfits up! It’s going to be everywhere this fall so get ahead of the wave and play around with it now.

Janelle Sessoms

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