New Looks for Under $50

The challenge today is to look fashionable without breaking the bank.

High fashion can be expensive. What you see in the magazines can drain your wallet in a hurry.

So what can you do about it? challenged five people to break the trend. They were asked to create runway fashions on a penny pincher budget in just one week.

In the experiment, five students at the Fashion Careers College were handed $50 and told to spend every penny of it to dress a model from head to toe.

Since it’s tough to find a good pair of shoes for under $50, you can see this was a competition where fashion and frugality need to fit like a glove.

“They’re always looking through the pages of magazines or on fashion blogs,” said teacher Tanya McAnear. “But it’s about being able to show the general public what is fashion and affordable.”

The students spread throughout the county looking for bargains.

Under the rules, they could shop new or used, retail or resale. They wandered on their own looking for deals, from discount stores to swap meets, from brand new to vintage.

At Goodwill, Ariana Brubaker said, “I try to just start looking wherever starts catching my eye and if I find one piece, I’ll do the outfit around the piece.”

Once the shopping was complete, the models got dressed and presented a fashion show of sorts to a room full of students.

“My mind was blown,” said one of the students. “The skirt is actually Anne Taylor and that was $9.99.”

The styles were different but the savings were the same.

Among the finds was a $700-dollar Valentino dress for $10 and a Chanel necklace for $4.99.

“I love thrifting and going to all those little stores and finding deals,” said student Juliet Czoka.

Not one outfit went over the limit.

The class voted Ian Grove the winner for his sophisticated look complete with black silk blouse, necklace, skirt, handbag and shoes all for $43.95.

“The idea of having shoes and everything all pulled together for under $50 was a little intimidating to me, I’m not going to lie,” said Grove.

But Grove said he found items with a lot of designer influences.

“You wouldn’t ever guess that there wasn’t anything over $15 there,” he said.

Do you agree with the judges? Would you like to know where Ian and the other fashion students bought their clothes?

Let us know what you think. Comment below, send us your thoughts via Twitter @nbcsandiego or add your comment to our Facebook page.

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