Guys, we survived 2016. Barely. Let us take a moment for the following casualties: Kanye's fashion career, the gorilla Harambe, the US and, of course, our bank accounts.
We're broke. First year out of college internship broke. Salticrax instead of sushi, Oros instead of MCC. This may seem like the time to give up on aesthetics and wallow in post-debit order blues but, my fellow budget babes, I'm here to share some wisdom. Being fabulous is a mindset. It is a choice that we can make, no matter how depressing that ATM slip may be.
Do you imagine that Carrie was always rolling in it? No ways, guys! She was a freelance writer paying New York rentals, so of course the Cosmopolitans ran dry sometimes. But if this didn't stop Ms Bradshaw from being fabulous, then there's no reason why it should stop us. See below my tried and tested tips for surviving January's financial drought.
Wear perfume to bed
Sure, dinner may have been couscous and that can of sweetcorn you've been stockpiling, but you can still fall asleep like a wealthy Trust Fund starlet who lives on Fifth Avenue. Dab just a touch of your favourite scent on to your neck, or your hair (it lasts longer that way), and get your 8 hours in smelling of opulence.
Wear a faux fur coat to the supermarket
Or a slip dress to the shopping mall. Day-to-day activities become an event when you dress as if you've just stepped out of a Parisian boutique. I loathe my daily trip to Checkers (Woolworths can miss me in January), but revel in turning an aisle of canned goods into a runway.
Keep a hairbrush and fancy hand lotion on your desk at work
No-one can get you down when your hair looks good and your hands feel like velvet, not even that one co-worker who insists on eating hard-boiled eggs near your desk. A quick brush of the locks and a 2-minute hand massage will add just the right amount of indulgence to your 9-5.
Treat yourself to a small item that makes a big impact
Loosen those purse strings just a tiny bit, and indulge in an accessory (you're only human after all). A high-impact item such as a choker or statement socks can completely change up an outfit, and you can fund it simply by hunting for spare change underneath your couch. How to get the most by spending the least? Flaunt your socks by styling with artfully frayed denims and a pair of brogues, and get the choker look right by wearing it with a slip dress and a T-shirt à la Bad Girl Riri.
Steal (I mean, borrow) from a man in your life
Be it your boyfriend, friend, uncle, dad, brother, hey even a work colleague with semi-good taste will do. A crisp white men's work shirt can easily become a dress when belted; his favourite sports team's jacket looks great with your slinky slip dress and a blue-and-white striped T-shirt is the perfect pairing with a metallic pleated skirt. Pro tip: wear it so well that he won't ask for it back.
Get creative with what you've got
In times of bank account despair one truly learns to appreciate the little things in life. Light some candles and pour your cheapest wine into your most expensive glass to elevate your Salticrax smorgasbord. That fancy designer dress you bought for a special occasion? Wear it to go to the office. Add thin slices of cucumber and lemon to your bottle of tap water. Don stilettos while watching a movie in your dressing gown.
Rework the shirt
You know that basic button-up shirt that's in your closet? The one that you bought because it's a capsule wardrobe piece? This item, my fellow budget babes, has serious power. Unbutton the top few buttons and pull it down onto your shoulders to reinvent the shape. Wear underneath a cold-shoulder dress to flip the trend on its head. Take your most OTT, Instagram-worthy skirt and give it new life by styling with a shirt, Jenna Lyons style.
Skip the bar and opt for a trip to Stars Hollow instead
Broke times mean that you'll have to skip some drinks dates with your more budget-savvy friends. To avoid intense FOMO, I suggest that you swop out your IRL friends for Rory and Lorelai Gilmore and the rest of the Stars Hollow gang. Hit us up when you've watched the final episode of the reboot (No spoiler alerts here, but OMG).