Wednesday, September 06, 2006

White Trash With Style

I realized recently that I grew up as white trash. Oh, we were smart and not as smelly as the ninth level white trash kids, but we were white trash. I realized it when I was talking to a guy who grew up in the ghetto and we were reminiscing about the delighful flavor of government cheese. That's either ghetto or white trash.

I spent my high school years trying to improve my station in life. My family was broke and there were a lot of kids. I got a job and bought cheap clothes that helped me blend in with all the middle class kids.

In Hollywood, status is a big deal whether you're in the industry or not. You have to look like you have enough money to be worth someone's time. (Stupid, I know. It's still a truth.) Being an actor is expensive and doesn't always pay as much as you hope. You still gotta look good. I have some tricks for this.
  • Hand bags: I bought a couple Lulu Guinness status handbags on eBay for under half price. Why Lulu Guinness and not some other label? Because not everyone has Lulu Guinness. It's fashionable, interesting, and higher quality and value than a Wal-Mart purse. I got compliments all the time. I found I needed something a little less flashy so I picked up this Liz Claiborne handbag at Marshalls for $13. Looks great, high quality, but I found a bargain.
  • Jewelry: I have a few really interesting jewelry pieces but they look a little to flashy for most occasions. I have three strings of pearls - I got two on eBay for under $5 each and the third in Chinatown for $9. I also have a gold watch I got for Christmas, a few pairs of gold hoop earrings and a gold necklace. If I need to look like money, I come up with a clever combination of these things.
  • Shoes: It's important to have good quality shoes and keep them polished. I have some Pumas at home that need to be replaced because the suede picked up too much dirt so they look like white trash shoes. Shoes in simple styles and colors work just fine. I bought two pair of leather sandal wedges from Target in different colors because they were clean and classy. It's a lot easier to wear things out of season when they're simple.
  • Good makeup: I will spend more money on makeup than I usually like to spend on tops. Good makeup hides facial flaws. Good makeup also acts as an accessory. When I pull my $30 foundation out of my $13 handbag, it gives the impression I have more money than I do. Ladies in Beverly Hills are very well made-up.
  • Simple things: For the standards, I go cheap. This means solid color stuff like tops & bottoms. If I need it to last a while, I may spend a little more. I try not to spend over $30 for a pair of pants. I rarely spend over $30 on a shirt. I have lots of tank tops in different colors to pair with things. Simple things make it easier to mix and match a wardrobe and make it look like you have more money. I shop at Wal-Mart, Target, Gap and Old Navy.

These are the key white trash survival tips I have if you're trying to make your way in a world where people have plenty of money to burn (or at least give that appearance).

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