Frugal Fashionista

As a busy Santa Monica College student tries to keep up a decent grade point average, a college career to bigger and better things, and perhaps even the possibility of having to pay bills while leaving 5 minutes for some sort of social life, the last thing a student has time for is "What to put on in the morning?"

The days you wake up, pull your closet apart, and leave the house not feeling good about what you just put on should be the least of your worries. There are bigger fish to fry if you want to make an impact in this already crazy world and you cannot do that if you don't feeling absolutely amazing. That's where I come in.

We searched for affordable excellent threads…..

In the surrounding neighborhoods there are plenty of cute affordable clothing stores that don't make us look like cloned copies of one another. This week we visited a delicious boutique called Dame, a fashion forward clothing store, just south of Lincoln Blvd on Broadway, that promotes larger savings accounts and more money for school rather then breaking the bank just to keep up with fashionable trends.

The shop allows something for every female who walks in whatever their style. Whether it be high fashion hip, chic and casual, hippie, punk and/or even nerdy, this store carries enough to fit all appetites and moods. For instance, you can find a pair of black skinny pants next to a wildly colored short evening dress and oversized sweaters.

With its 1920s, 9-feet-high tin ceilings and its vast front display window Dame's clothing appears to be an accessory of a much more important sensibility. "We want them to look good so that they feel good," said Dana Rossi, creator and owner of Dame.

SMC student Brittany Anzel and other store employees emanate a footloose and fancy free attitude that screams "I like what I do". They definately are not to be mistaken for corporate sheep. Each of them represents an independent sense of self, keeping in tune with the stores personality, handling clients in their own way.

To stay on top of the trends Rossi scours fashion magazines such as Elle and Bazaar but realizes the importance of over-all good taste, diversity, and strength in femininity. She is a firm believer in honesty when dealing with the customers and she understands that not everything is made to fit everyone as different clothes suit different body types. If it doesn't look right or doesn't make you feel right she's not afraid to tell you "don't get it".

At this time she carries a wide variety of designers such as Piko1988, Olive Olivia, and Final Touch, and most things come with a price less then used books at the SMC book store. The shop is decorated in accessories from shoes ($20-$59) to last minute lingerie, extremely stylish clutch bags ($19-$289) and tasteful jewelry including earrings, necklaces, and wrap bracelets ($19-$129); all that range from just a few dollars and up. You can walk in and get a whole outfit for under a hundred dollars and there is a delicious sales rack. The only downside is that she doesn't carry men's clothes; maybe next time.

Tip: Colors and style for the season: camel, olive, taupe, military, cargo, and jeggings; the Boyfriend Look with pegged pants and overly large sweaters are still in the loop for this season too. Outfit idea: Piko cargos ($59), Olive Olivia cashmere blend sweater ($59), Brown Faux suede clogs ($49), Zipper clutch ($29)

Dame 725 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401

SMC students get 15% off with current SMC ID.