We’re living in tough economic times. Most Americans have been forced to significantly trim down their budgets since the financial crisis of the mid 2000s. Maybe you can’t afford that European vacation you’ve been longing to take this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t channel some chic style from across the pond! Drawing inspiration from European fashion, food, and design can bring new color to your life! Here are some ideas that will help you find your joie de vivre without breaking the bank.
Dress the Part
Europeans are known for their impeccable fashion sense. From Channel to Gucci, many of the world’s iconic design houses operate out of Europe. While some might assume that every Parisian has a closet filled with designer duds, most Europeans do their shopping at chain stores, just like us! What sets their style apart is attention to fit and a preference for timeless elegance. Europeans know that they can build a wardrobe based on affordable pieces, like slim jeans and lightweight blazers from stores such as H&M, if they invest the small amount of time and money it takes to have those pieces altered to fit. Americans don’t have nearly the same appreciation for the art of tailoring that Europeans do. But we should! Those cheap jeans from Target can be completely transformed for under $20.00 in the hands of a skilled seamstress. Sharp dressers from the other side of the pond also seem less interested in trend dressing than most Americans. They know that fads come and go, but classic simplicity endures. Take a note from European fashion plates, and skip the latest runway craze. Instead, invest your money in quality, daily wardrobe staples that will last, like a great trench coat or cashmere sweater. Go from sloppy to standout with lasting, well tailored looks pulled straight off the streets of Europe!
If thoughts of a luscious soufflé or perfectly cooked homemade pasta make your mouth water, then don’t wait until the next time you’re able to cross the Atlantic to indulge. It has never been easier or more affordable to experiment in the kitchen than it is in the Information Age. You don’t have to spend your hard earned money on expensive cooking classes or cookbooks that just gather dust on the shelves. YouTube is an endless resource for cooking tutorials that will walk you through each step of a recipe. Save your money for a trip to the grocery store, and bring the bistro to your kitchen table!
Indulge in Design
While there are plenty of ways to cut corners with your budget, sometimes it’s worth buying for quality. This is particularly true with bigger items, like furniture or a car. Stop wasting dough on that old clunker and consider upgrading to an efficient new car, like the Fiat 500c from www.ocfiat.com. These Italian beauties are built to last. Just check out the models listed at http://www.ocfiat.com and you’ll see that quality is worth every penny.