I am so glad that you enjoyed meeting Lilliana yesterday. Isn’t she fascinating? I loved hearing about her journey to where she is today, and details about working on television. I know that a lot of you also enjoyed reading about her shopping and finance philosophies, so I think you are really going to like the next part of our interview. Here it is:
Do you believe that it is especially important for women to be financially independent?
I think as a woman it is so important to be financially independent. For me, I take a certain percentage of what comes into my account, and put it into my savings.. It just makes me feel so much better to have that in cash. That’s the biggest measure of my success – my savings account. Of course it varies – some months, I put away 20%, some months it’s 30%.
I did get a Dior Tuxedo blazer at a thrift store in Philadelphia (Cherry Hill Thrift). It was three sizes too big for me, and I took it to my tailor and paid her $30. The blazer itself was like $3.99. It was during a sticker deal so I got 50% off the 3.99 and paid $2. Total needle in a haystack situation. There’s plenty of times when I go thrift shopping and all I leave with are mismatched plates..but one day I came home with Christian Dior blazer! For me that’s half the fun, to dig, hunt and rummage.
Can you share some overall shopping/budgeting/style advice that you’ve learned over the years?
For the most part, if it’s not classic and timeless and something that I’m going to be happy and excited to wear in ten years, its not worth the investment. We have so many stores now. When I was growing up Dallas, we didn’t have access to Zara, or H&M. And no way did we have online shopping. Now you can get a lower priced version of anything you see on the runway. There are so many stores and websites that cater to that “look for less’ approach to shopping.
I never splurge on trends. I love colored blazers but got them at Zara for $49 during a sale. Anything seasonal and trendy I tend not to splurge on. Same with shoes. My investment pieces are all very classic, and items that I should be happy to be wearing ten years later. I have black pumps, tan pumps, and peep toe pumps.
I also try to invest only in items that I’m going to wear a minimum seven to ten times a month. That’s important. How many times can you wear sequin dress that you fell in love with? Invest in items that you can mix with other cheap pieces and that elevate the entire outfit. Mixing high and low well is all about having your high pieces be really timeless. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t to trendy pieces. Nobody wants to feel like their clothes are dowdy, etc. For me, I keep my trend items under $50, and rarely do I spend over that. I buy the cheapest jewelry and accessories ever.
What do you think are some of the most overpriced designers?
Balmain is ridiculous. Chanel is ridiculous. Anything that’s clothing that’s around $1k and up is completely overpriced. Unless it’s something like a Burberry trenchcoat that they’ve been making a zillion years, it’s just not worth it. For me, if you’re going to spend a ton of money, it should be hand crafted, or a well made pair of shoes, or jewelry. I do strongly believe in a beautiful watch that you’re going to have for the rest of your life.
When it comes to clothing, I’m shocked at how much stuff costs. I was looking at puffy coats a few months ago at Bloomingdales – there were $1500 Moncler jackets. I don’t understand because I can buy a puffy coat at Old Navy for $19.99 that looks the same. They’re both going to be black, and have long sleeves and a hood. What’s the deal?
What are some of your other passions and hobbies?
I love to bake. Any day that I have a little bit of free time, I’ll bake something. I love to travel. I love interior design and am obsessed. I love interior design books, I love fabric, and if I could do anything anything else, I’d want to be an interior designer.
Finally – please share something surprising about yourself 🙂
A lot of people don’t realize, I’m five feet tall. I don’t know why people don’t think I’m this little, but then they meet me in person and they’re like “OMG YOU ARE SO TINY”. I guess people look bigger on TV? Again, I am five feet tall!
I really enjoyed getting to know Lilliana and I hope you all did too. I love how frank and balanced she is around her beliefs on being financially responsible while still spending on things you enjoy. Thank you to Lilliana for taking the time to chat with me, and for more of her, check out Cheap Chicas or her personal style blog, here.