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Live the luxe life on less
You're a Modern Girl embarking on a fabulous life in the city, working hard and playing even harder. Money may be an object, but you refuse to let...
Live the luxe life on less
You're a Modern Girl embarking on a fabulous life in the city, working hard and playing even harder. Money may be an object, but you refuse to let it be an obstacle. That's because what you may lack in funds you make up for in daring and desire. Completely revised with more tips and tricks than ever, City Chic is your practical insiders' primer on how to creatively cheat at being chic. From food and drink to personal maintenance, and from fashion to home décor, City Chic covers everything a Modern Girl needs to know.
- Big idea decoratingfor small spaces
- Cash-saving culinary tips
- The best websites for scoringdeals
- Go green: save the environment and your checking account
- Maximize your iPod for fullparty potential
- Establish your perfectsignature cocktail
PRAISE FOR CITY CHIC
'City Chic is constantly inventive, amazingly granular, and a blast to read.'
Dany Levy, founder/chairman | Daily Candy, Inc.
'I love the book. If only I'd had it for the past ten yearsit would've saved me lots of heartache, bad furniture, and most importantly, money
It gives you license to scrimp and pinchand makes you feel more empowered to do so.'
Gigi Guerra, brand marketing director of Madewell | former editor of Lucky magazine
'City chicks no longer need to turn tricks or sell dope in order to have a glamorous lifestyle just read Nina's brilliant book.'
Simon Doonan, creative director for Barneys New York | author of Confessions of a Window Dresser
'Being an ‘it' girl has never been about how much cash you had in the bank, and now is the time to embrace your inner recessionista. Willdorf's book proves that being frugal and being fabulous are not mutually exclusive.'
Lara Cohen, news director | Us Weekly
Table of Contents
section one: home
chapter one: lighten up
Small apartment color choices Room-by-room wise color guide
Thinking beyond the four walls in paint Big ideas for small spaces
Basic lighting primer Room-by-room lighting vibe guide
chapter two: furnish for less
Settling on a scheme Know when to negotiate Honing in on
deals Quality furniture markers Already-in-place furnishing
alternatives Furniture garnishes
chapter three: free finds you can pick up on the street
Reimagining trash as treasure Knowing when to pass and when
to pounce Seasonal curbside shopping Room-by-room free
furnishing options Found art Sprucing up found furniture
chapter four: final touches with flowers and plants
Flora and fauna for the fast-paced lifestyle Low-maintenance
high-yield options Picking the plant most likely to succeed
Problem-free potting and watering Last-ditch deathbed plant
rescue Hardy flowers Coaxing the longest life out of cut flowers
section two: body
chapter five: toning down your fitness budget
Financially sound fitness methods Anywhere exercises Everyday
chores = extreme exercise Squeezing savings when joining gyms
chapter six: snip your hair care budget
Selecting the right salon Long-lasting looks Bottom line
on bangs Hair color expenses Lowering highlighting costs
chapter seven: makeup myths
Bare bones makeup bag Worthwhile splurges Drugstore scores
When to replenish and replace Best budget beauty buys Fridge
to face beauty recipes Multitasking makeup
section three: eat & drink
chapter eight: drink your way into a savings stupor
Selecting a signature drink Bargain booze hounds E-Z Wine
primer Storage solutions Coffee conundrum
chapter nine: price-saving pantries
Savvy grocery shopping schedules Special deals in shopping for
food Seasonal savings Pantry staples Fast recipes for one What
to buy generic Long-lasting storage secrets
chapter ten: the only five spices you really need
Five spices you really need Spice substitution charts When bad
meals happen to good people Modern Girl cooking maxims
chapter eleven: entertaining for less
Avoiding the unequal restaurant bill-split scenario Ordering tips Downsizing your diet Dinner party prize-winning recipes Cash-saving co-op dinners
section four: wear
chapter twelve: the Modern Girl's look
Glam, ghetto-fabulous, or genteelwho is the Modern Girl? On
not getting hemmed in Essential items Unlikely inspiration
chapter thirteen: weeding in your closet
Ditch the nostalgia Fashion face-lifts When more isn't better
Style signatures and spicy accents
chapter fourteen: behind the seams
Lengthen clothing lifespan Dry-cleaning dos and don'ts Stain
removal solutions Supermarket stain removal recipes Laundry
mishaps and saving solutions Piecemeal maintenance
chapter fifteen: shop 'n save
Cozy up to the calculator Price-per-item values Speed shopping
and coy one-liners Reasonable measures Clothes inspection 101
General shopping strategies Shopping by calendarseason, month,
day Sample sales Thrift scores
chapter sixteen: style staples
Itemizing what's important Piecemeal shopping Splurges
Trends: Invest in the best Looks that last
chapter seventeen: satisfy without spending
Walletless shopping Clothing swap parties Share 'n care
Dare to do it yourself Ode to malls
Excerpt from Chapter One: Lighten Up
"There is no such thing as an ugly color. There is such a thing as an ugly color combination." Douglas Fitch, artist...
Excerpt from Chapter One: Lighten Up
"There is no such thing as an ugly color. There is such a thing as an ugly color combination." Douglas Fitch, artist
I went to college in New York City, where a shoe-box-sized room is considered ample space. Housing in college anywhere in the country is already a less-than-luxurious affair, with twin beds and utilitarian design. But in converted New York apartment buildings, dusty and musty and crumbling and full ofahemcharacter, the dorms I lived in required some seriously savvy decorating skills. Each year, as I crossed the threshold into my new space, depositing boxes of books and bedding, I surveyed the design challenges, the many limitations, and the even more bountiful options to make things fabulous. New year, new apartment, new creative challenges.
First was a modernist cube cinderblock room I shared with my roommate, Adrianne. We had two twin beds, an elaborate shelving unit occupying one wall, and a floor of cold linoleum. We lay down rugs, placed disguising wall hangings over the oppressively drab cinderblock, used soft lamps, and formed an ahhh nest.
Later, I shared a studio apartment with Julia. It was also dorm housing but in a converted prewar apartment building. When I moved in, there was a bunk bed hugging one wall, two dressers in the middle of the room, and a kitchen that could fit one person (as long as she sucked in and angled in sideways). Things looked bleak. But we went to work. The first thing we did was separate the bunk bedI mean, really, how old were we? Then we pushed a worn-out couch below the windows at the head of the room, which we covered in a beautiful, purple-hued Indian spread. Candles and lighting touches clinched the transition from drab dorm to cozy casa.
Over the course of the next few years, I cultivated essential skills, such as sprucing up a room with a perfectly placed plant, devising slipcovers for well-worn furniture, and hanging just the right number of pictures on the wall to create cozy without getting claustrophobic.
I saw: a crevice of a foyer. It became: an "office."
I saw: a blank wall. It became: a shelving unit for kitchenwares that didn't fit in the two cabinets.
I saw: a window that faced something more than a brick wall. It became: a focal point of the apartment, enhanced by a hanging plant.
I saw: a doorframe. It became: the ideal spot to hang hooks for coats.
Everything has multiple functions, and anything that's not a problem
becomes a potential asset.
As a Modern Girl, you find yourself in similar decorating predicaments. Small apartments and shares are bursting with creative challenges; you rise to them with gusto, rubbing your hands in anticipation, your eyes darting around to scope out all the ins and outs of your space. Everythingeverythinghas potential. A folding screen becomes a door between a convertible two bedroom. Stacks of books act as a makeshift coffee table. A step stool doubles as a pedestal for a droopy plant. You can make something out of anything. Hit the ground running.
First and foremost in your apartment transformation is painting. There's no better way to transform your space, to make it yours, than to throw some color on the walls. And as far as apartment renovations go, painting is an affordable way to make your space betterespecially if you do it yourself. You're not ripping out walls (please), you're not installing appliances (1-800-HELP-MOI), but be completely comfortable taking on a good paint job. All you have to invest in are a few cans of paint, some brushes and rollers, and a six-pack of beer to lure your friends over to make a day of it.
Word to the wise: If your landlord doesn't allow painting, don't worry. Every apartment I've ever lived in has a clause in the lease that you're not allowed to paint. Ignore it. It's likely that the next tenant will be stunned by your impeccable taste and choose to keep the color anyway. And if not, in many states, your landlord is required to slap on another coat of white before the new tenant moves in anyway. The worst-case scenario is that you have to paint over your color. In that case, meet Kilz, a primer that covers up even the brightest bordello red. Consider your color dead.
Chances are, when you first move in, your apartment will be white. If you're lucky, you may have started off with something a little spicier, like eggshell or a very pale cream. But none of those will do as the sole color for your entire home. All-white walls, like an all-white wardrobe, are too easy, and they waste precious creative space. You should leave no more than one room in your home in plain old white. That room will act as a pause between your other rooms. While wild color combinations (yellow and green and red, all at once!) may be a bad idea, having every single room in white does nothing for you. At the very least, brush on an eggshell white or a pale gray.
Identify your room needs
Before you go slapping up a shocking shade of orange in your bedroom, you need to figure out exactly what you require from each room. Does your bedroom double as a study? Do you enjoy reading the newspaper at your kitchen table in the mornings? Is your bathroom a beautifying space? All of the colors you choose will help make your home well suited to your exact housing needs.
Most Modern Girls are still in situations that are, generously speaking, a
little humble: sharing apartments or living in cramped studios or one bedrooms.
Paint can work wonderfully in small starter apartments by clearly delineating space and creating the illusion of vastness.
My husband, Michael, and I moved into a very small railroad-style onebedroom in Cambridge several years ago; one room led to another, without a hallway. There were no doors between the rooms, and, well, even using the word room could be considered generous. A very tall person lying down could probably have a limb in three rooms at once. Needless to say, we had to find a way to make the space seem larger. It was the first time that we had lived together, and it was the first time either of us had shacked up with a significant other. We were both nervous about having enough personal space and personal time. So making our small apartment seem larger was key.
To that end, we painted the bedroom and the living room a pale blue gray, keeping the door frames white, and we painted the kitchen and bathroom a sunny shade of yellow, leaving the study white. Walking from room to room after we'd painted really felt like transitioning from one space to another, just because of the color. We could be in different rooms, and even though there weren't doors, we could still feel like we were in another part of the house.
In a small apartment, use different colors in different rooms to make each its own space and to make the apartment seem more spacious.
So if you have the yen or magic touch for turning things around, and learning to decorate chicly and cheaply, you might want to check out City Chic.
This book offers tips on decor, food, cooking, shopping, weight and even going out, all with living well on a budget concept. Some of these tips are common sense but there are also many insightful and helpful tips that I find myself making comments out loud. I also find myself laughing out loud while reading some of her stories as I am sure many gals can relate to from past experiences like getting stupid looking bang due to over enthusiasm. Yeah... I did that before. Instead of cutting slowly, I just chopped them. Oops, I had bad hair day everyday for a while. I also found out:
***Neutrogena moisturizer is about the same as Aveda.
***A gal can burn about 150 calories wash dishes for 45 to 50 minutes. Hmmm... that is a lot of dishes.
***Olive oil with salt or sugar can be a great exfoliate.
***A couple drops of lemon juice (fresh or bottle) can dry and clear up blemishes.
***Various strategies for shopping and getting that deal, such as asking for a discount even in department stores or free shipping. I have asked for discount at Cartier and Bulgari before and I usually get a break of some sort on the larger pieces. A savvy gal will always avoid paying full price if possible.
This book is great to have around for a fun read and reference in case a certain tidbits slip the mind. I am happy I have had the opportunity to spend a fun 2 hour afternoon reading this.
Do you know the prime time to shop for resort wear? What about the best time to have drinks? Waitin for the answers? February & March, and Happy Hour silly!
The pinch on the penny doesnt have to squeeze out the style!
City Chic by Nina Willdorf, Editor-in-Chief for Budget Travel, is the must-have economy conscious companion for the modern girl. Get tips on everything from furnishing your home and entertaining to make-up and fashion.
Youll love its flair, sensibility and down-to-earth common sense advice. Its chock full of money saving tips that preserve your cents and your fashion sense.
Even though it’s only been a few months since I left the student life, I’m now living in a whole other city country with NO idea how to “live large on less” here.
Enter this book. It’s now my bible, my guide to LIFE.
Whether you’re a student, a recent graduate or just trying to survive this horrible economy, it’s full of tips and tricks on how to make the most of a very small salary. The perfect book for dipping into when you need to know where to find a decent coffee table or how to remove sweat stains from a white tee.
I have read it and it has some great little tips from how to save money in the home and also in terms of fashion (prolonging the lifespan of your clothes etc..). This book claims that its never been more en Vogue to be budget-conscious in every aspect of life.....and what a perfect time for the book to debut....a recession where we all need to start thinking of budgeting and sqeezing the most style out of a small salary!
i recently took a peek at "city chic: the modern girls guide to living large on less." author nina willdorf is editor-in-chief of budget travel, which is always my first travel magazine pick (hey guess who cant afford the worlds best secret spas/beach getaways/european escapes?), so i was excited to see what advice she had to say about doing more with less.
the book, an update to its initial 2003 release, offers tips on everything from sprucing up your space and wardrobe to getting the most out of a haircut and getting fit for less (she almost has me convinced to start running). willdorfs advice seems easy enough to follow small steps (packing a lunch, trimming your bangs) that not only help you save money, she says. youll also start feeling great about controlling your formerly spendthrift ways. i can totally vouch for that, except in my case, i like to reward myself with something bought. bad.
in short, the book is a smart buy (a mere $10 investment on amazon) and addresses the issues a lot of us will be facing in the months ahead. curse you, economy!
if i havent yet convinced you, perhaps the greatest endorsement of anything ever, from simon doonan, will do the trick:
"city chicks no longer need to turn tricks or sell dope in order to live a glamorous lifestyle just read ninas brilliant book."
thank god for that!
Look past the blinding pink cover of Nina Willdorfs City Chic: The Modern Girls Guide to Living Large on Less. Its deceptive, because whats inside is actually not chick lit but really good advice on how to live fabulously in these tough economic times.
Topics run the gamut from decorating a swank pad to downloading the perfect party mix on the cheap. Make your beauty products multitask, whip up a scrumptious feast, get a deal on a gym membership and more.
I wish Id had this book when I was 22.
I recently received a copy of City Chic by Nina Willdorf, and was pleasantly surprised at how great the content was. It totally reminded me of those girls-guide type books I used to read when I was a teenager, except it included tons of simple tips on how to be a grown up girl, living a fabulous life (on a budget). Amazing book, especially considering the times we are living in - love that Nina re-released her book just in time to help us fashionistas out!
This gem of a book is the ultimate resource for all you recessionistas out there. It is a savy and smart go-to guide for a city girl living on a budget. If you have been following our "Recessionista Tips" you will love "City Chic."
"City Chic" written by Nina Willdorf, has an array of tips on how to maintain a fabulous life when living on a budget tighten than your skinny jeans. With a wide range of suggestions from how to furnish your apartment to the best ways to make your makeup last, this guide is overflowing with suggestions. In a big city like New York, there is expensive temptation everywhere. As a woman in my mid 20s working in fashion, I lack the resources to live an expensively fabulous NY life. So, instead of compromising everything to save a dime,"City Chic:the modern girls guide to living large on less" has suggestions such as making lists before grocery shopping, doing clothing swaps, pregaming before going out, the cheapest ways to do laundry, free exercise, and how to get free furniture.
I found the book useful and it is currently sitting on my coffee table. I have even come home and found my roomates perusing it and yelling out ideas for the next time we go out to eat etc.
Even though the state of the economy has everyone talking about savvy spending tips, it has always been in style to be thrifty.
While I love living in the city, Ill admit that it isnt without its challenges. Namely traffic! That, and the way the fun city stuff can slowly drain your budget. Happy hours, boutique shopping, sushi nights, Broncos games...I can definitely use all the help I can get when it comes to my budget.
Ive been lucky enough to receive a copy of Nina Willdorfs brand-new book, City Chic: The Modern Girls Guide to Living Large on Less.
I found City Chic to be such a fun and informative read! I love the authors entertaining writing style (shes also the editor at Budget Travel magazine), and shes got some pretty phenomenal tips.
From decorating your home, to fitness, to makeup, to cooking, to wardrobe - the book infuses modern and useful budget advice into every topic. Some of my fav sections include how to reduce your haircare budget by waiting much longer between cuts (something Im trying right now!), recommendations for maintaining the most effective wardrobe (Willdorf recommends owning more tops and less bottoms), and utilizing DIY options and cool websites to glam up your living space (have you heard of CB2?).
Even if you dont live in the city, this books got something for every woman on a budget. I think City Chic would be the perfect summer pool or beach read too!
I just started reading yesterday and cant get my paws off of it. My favorite chapters so far: "free finds you can pick up on the street" and "drink your way into a savings stupor". Of course, I couldnt leave you guys coming out of this deal empty-handed! They sent an extra copy especially for one of being reds wonderful readers!
Money may be an object but you refuse to let it be an obstacle… what you lack in funds you make up for in daring and desire.’ Well, this book certainly does require a little daring; City Chic challenges and inspires you to jump head first into thrifty living with its extensive list of savvy survival tips. If you’re looking for the perfect pocket companion to a beautifully budgeted lifestyle, this could well be it.
Evaluation: City Chic is utterly practical, by no means does it have you scrimping every last penny away into your retirement fund; instead Nina encourages you to have fun with money; to know where to save and where to pick your luxuries Life would be bananas if a girl didn’t go crazy every once in a while… Occasional excess is an important part of mindful thrift. It’s the yin to the yang. The tonic to your gin.
Helpfully divided into ‘Home’, ‘Body’, ‘Eat & Drink’ and ‘Wear’, each section is packed full of practical tips with each chapter crowned by its own list of ‘Modern Girl’s Websites’ to help you further your mission for fabulousness in specific areas, which I thought was a great addition.
The book is primarily aimed at an American audience, and specifically the New Yorker, but don’t let that put you off if your nationality differs, it doesn’t tend to make the advice any less accessible. Interesting features included ‘Seasons for Curbside Shopping’ (although I’m not totally convinced) ‘Best Case Life -Span Scenarios’ for your wardrobe, tips to ‘Refashion Found Furniture’ and even a wine guide; this book has everything covered.
The best bit about reading the book was the excitement it ignited in me to embrace a budget lifestyle; you sense that it’s a worthy past time; that you need feel no shame; that you’re part of an elite even!
Summary: If you’re a cosmopolitan gal with shopaholic-like tendencies who yearns to embrace frugality, then this is the boost you need. Nina writes in such a way that makes City Chic both entertaining to read from cover to cover, and handy as a reference tool to dip your manicured hands in as you wish! A great and comprehensive lifestyle guide that will stand the test of time from student to career girl.
City Chic 2E: The Modern Girls Guide to Living Large on Less is a must have read for a beauty at this moment in our time. Im really blessed that right now Im able to cut back on certain items, but still able to splurge on what I truly love. Im forever grateful.
Nina is the editor-in-chief of Budget Travel and Girlfriend Getaways (my favorite) so if she can teach me how to snag a deal at five-star resorts I know she can help you live large on less. She has a guide on finding the best deals for home, travel, and clothing. I have the first edition and the second is a lot more comprehensive. It also includes recipes which is great because everyone should know how to fix something fabulous to eat on a budget.
My personal shopping motto for 2009 is buy what I love.
In one of my first posts, I told you about one of my favorite books- "City Chic" by Nina Willdorf. I called it "The Cheap Chica Bible" because it gave you tips on how to make the most of your small budget. Well, Nina is back with "City Chic 2E: The Modern Girls Guide to Living Large on Less. I think this is a must read for anyone whos looking to recession-proof their life because its packed with tips for just about everything- from decorating your place on the cheap to "walletless shopping". Now, this book was just released yesterday, so I doubt if its at your local library for check out. Get it from Amazon (link is above) or Barnes and Noble.
city chic - the modern girls guide to living large on less
seriously the motto i live by... im quite the bargain hunter.. and very price conscious.. i dont mind digging or mess as long as i can find a good deal. and i dont mind hand me downs.. shopping in moms closet? yes! the guide varies from thrifty tips for furnishing your apt (like going dumpster diving for goods) to cooking, to saving monies on the upkeep of your hair as well as fashion tips.. i kind of wish i had this book back when i was in college or even immediately after.. i could have definitely used it! but there are definitely some good tips that i can still use today! i mean, especially with the economy... living large on less.. should be everyones motto!
so check it out!
With the economy affecting so many of us these days, it sucks to have to worry about even the smallest of purchases! A few years ago, we never used to worry this much, remember?? So, this is where this lovely book, City Chic, comes in, sent to me by Source Books....thanks! So, all of us modern women want to live nicely & be able to afford the things we have worked for right?? This book talks about how money may be an object, but it shouldnt be an obstacle.
Home Decorating (big ideas for small places)
Cash saving culinary tips and price saving pantry ideas.
Behind the seams: Shopping, tailoring & dry-cleaning , DIY style.
Go Green: Save the environment & your checking account
How to use the web to your advantage
How to creatively cheat at looking chic
and much more!!
Plain & simple, City Chic by Nina Wildorf, is an insiders guide on how to squeeze the most style out of a small salary! I read this book this past weekend & recommend it!
City Chic is a book written for the modern girl on a budget. Its a book of tips on how to live large on a small budget. It kind of reminds me of the "Girls Guide to Everything" book that we used to read as kids, except this time its for young professionals in the real world. City Chic talks about everything from home decor, exercise, food, beauty, fashion, and shopping.
The first edition of City Chic was published in 2003 and was wildly popular, even translated into 3 languages (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean). This March Nina Willdorf is back with updated tips and revised tricks to show you how to squeeze the most style out of a small salary, how to creatively cheat at looking chic, and how to use the Web to your best advantage. Tips include:
Home decorating: Big ideas for small places
Cash saving culinary tips and price saving pantry ideas
Behind the seams: Shopping, tailoring and dry-cleaning, DIY-style
Go green: Save the environment and your checking account
What I liked about this book:
There are truly some useful tips that I never knew before reading the book. For example the perfect color combos that go together, or a list of foods that should not go together. I find the section about makeup, food, and "shop n save" to be most useful and informative. The makeup tricks are probably relevant to all chicas out there. The food sections is so detailed that you learn so much about herbs and spices from reading it. Then theres the "shop n save" section, which I think is perfect for those who are confused about how to save and only spend on the essentials.
City Chic is an easy-reading that you can pull out whenever you need tips or advice, kind of like a guide, rather than sitting down and reading it from front to back. This book will be handy at the times you least expect it!
Length: 8 in
Width: 6 in
Weight: 15.00 oz
Page Count: 304 pages