Twenty-year-old fledgling model Heidi Gaudet just moved to New York City from Las Vegas a month ago. It can be hard to pull a wardrobe together anywhere, but even harder in a style-conscious fashion-focused city like New York. We did some thrifting, and came up with a few looks that can take Heidi from a casual afternoon to a formal cocktail party with no style stress at all.

For the first look, we decided to jump on the military trend with an Army jacket from RAG (located in the 42nd St subway station) layered over an old Gap jean jacket, and belted with a braided leather belt from Urban outfitters. Fluttering from beneath the jacket is a silky Silence + Noise sundress with a muted grey-and-black watercolor pattern (also from Urban Outfitters). The knotty studded necklace was a Forever 21 find, and the leather cuff was from H&M.


Next, we used a 90’s era embroidered Tocca dress as the basis for a funky but feminine work look (if you work in a creative field, that is). We played with color here by using magenta tights, but toned it down by topping them with black lace. A grey wool Topshop vest adds warmth without bulking up the fitted lightweight tweed blazer (Buffalo Exchange). Cute triple strap Mary-Janes from Aldo keep the outfit girly but edgy.

Heidi has a wild side, so we channeled London punk and Edie Sedwick for this outfit. It’s all about layering: a ripped-up H&M satin slip is the first layer, worn under a long tank top with a shredded hem. Topping those layers are a tiny American Apparel t-shirt, a black, beaded bustier from H&M, and a fluffy faux leopard jacket. While maybe not appropriate for a casting, this could be a great look for clubbing or a fashion party. We finished it off with Lancome’s L’absolu Rouge on her lips, and Nars Mekong eyeshadow around her eyes for a tough-girl look.


Now, this is a look that can go to a more upscale party or fashion show. We cut the neck of a bright blue Georges Marciano stretch dress, and added a chain and studded belt for a more punked-out effect. The herringbone pattern in the Alfani jacket is mirrored in the shoes, and we’ve used a red hairclip (worn on the lapel) and bangle to add sass. The blue leopard print knee highs were a Forever 21 impulse buy that worked layered over Heidi’s own mesh tights. A dark lipstick highlights the shape of Heidi’s mouth, and adds another measure of sophistication.


Our last look would be great for a more formal dinner, exclusive party, or cocktails. A vintage jersey Oscar De la Renta dress with a feathered overskirt – it also has clear sequins for sparkle – and two little pockets can go anywhere. The dress is such an elegant statement that Heidi can mix in more casual elements without losing any fashion cred. We added a beret (she is French, after all), a huge sculpted metal necklace with a Garden of Eden theme, and a gorgeous pair of red leather boots with buttons up the side. A braided leather-and-chain bracelet on her wrist keeps it punk rock.

You don’t need a fat wallet to create a fashionable wardrobe. Go to Beacon’s closet or Buffalo Exchange, or any thrift /consignment/clothing resale shop in your area to score designer items for less. If there are no similar stores near you, get on the Internet and hit up Ebay. Sift through sale items at department stores and boutiques. Use these items as building blocks for wardrobe styling. Keep up with current trends, then play with them to get your individual style.

Stock up on good shoes, in colors other than black, and take good care of them. Look for jewelry that you can use to make a statement, even if it’s cheap – you can use it to make your style point. Most of all, don’t be scared. Wear what you like, and what feels good to you. Make yourself smile first. Your confidence will carry you through every time.

Photos and wardrobe styling by  Faith Bowman