Welcome to Brunette with a Budget.
A style, runway & wellness blog created by Chicago-based fashion journalist Amanda Kaplan.

THE CONCRETE JUNGLE

THE CONCRETE JUNGLE

As soon as you step off the plane an entire different atmosphere is flourished upon you. No longer are there people dressed in your everyday Levi's and grey tee shirts, but there are beauty queens and fashionable men. You're transformed to a world where anything goes. Though that can be both good and bad, in the world of fashion, where anything is acceptable, that is more than amazing.

First stop: Times Square. Since I have lived in a suburb of Chicago my entire life, the city was no more than a train ride away. So, when I was walking around New York City, I didn't think there was anything different about the sights. When I approached Times Square, I felt an entirely different way. The lights. The stores. The feel in general was overwhelming. There were big time stores left and right. People were hustling and bustling.

TIMES SQUARE AT NIGHT / NYC / PHOTOGRAPHY BY: AMANDA KAPLAN

Though I love a big city feel, I don't like it when I feel like I'm packed into a sardine can, and I have to have a death grip on both my phone in person in fear of getting mugged at any given moment. The bright billboard lights may be fabulous and stunning, but the overwhelmingness of people could cause an anxiety attack.

Second stop: The Fashion Institute of Technology. Waking up Tuesday morning, I was beyond excited for what the day might hold for me. I was also nervous, because I knew that there were going to be other girls at the college tour who, just like myself, wanted to make an impression with not only what we said, but with how I dressed. Unfortunately for me, since I thought that the weather in New York was going to be on the cooler side, the outfit that I had packed for this event in particular wasn't weather friendly for the 90 degree weather that was currently occurring. Thankfully, the day before, we had done a little bit of shopping in Times Square, so I had bought a midi, floral print dress, that I had ended up wearing instead.

Dress: H&M

Flats: Target

Purse: Steve Madden

Hat: Target

Arm Candy: Charming Charlie / Forever 21

After we had checked into FIT for our tour, we were directed to their theatre. All of the girls were dressed to their nines (Some, not all. some girls were unaware that cropped tops showing off your belly and shorts that showed off your butt cheeks are not considered fashion). The information session made me feel quite nervous. They were pressing the fact that in order for FIT to be the right fit for you, you had to KNOW for a fact that fashion was what you wanted to do. I then began second guessing myself... did I really want to be a fashion writer for Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, etc....? Did I really want that fast paced of a lifestyle? Did I want to live in one of the biggest cities in the United States? Did I have what I took to be in the 3 billion dollar fashion industry? After second guessing myself, I realized that it didn't matter what anyone thought or perceived my fashion abilities. I knew that I had what it took to do great and astonishing things in fashion.

XOXO, Amanda

FASHION & 7TH AVE SIGN / NYC / PHOTOGRAPH BY: AMANDA KAPLAN

CHEESECAKE FROM JUNIOR'S / NYC / PHOTOGRAPH BY: AMANDA KAPLAN

BRANDY MELVILLE / SOHO / PHOTOGRAPH BY: AMANDA KAPLAN

9/11 MEMORIAL / NYC / PHOTOGRAPH BY: AMANDA KAPLAN

RADIO CITY / NYC / PHOTOGRAPH BY: AMANDA KAPLAN

FREE PEOPLE / NYC / PHOTOGRAPH BY: MY DAD

Dress: Free People

Bralette: Free People

Sandals: Steve Madden

Hat: Target

Purse: Steve Madden

THE FASHIONISTA GUIDELINES

THE FASHIONISTA GUIDELINES

FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY AT IT'S OOTRA-FINEST

FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY AT IT'S OOTRA-FINEST