Style & Saving? Author Lilliana Vazquez Proves the Two are Not Mutually Exclusive

Meet Lilliana Vazquez, the Cheap Chica, who has “Balenciaga taste on a strict budget.” Known for her killer closet with a price tag to covet, this New Yorker has hosted countless television shows, from New York Live to Good Day in Dallas, voicing her advice for cheap chicas in training everywhere. Here, on the eve of her debut book release, Lilliana gives Rue a look at her personal style habits – and a few exclusive tips of our own.

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Rue La La: You’re the queen of finding the most stylish steals. How did you find this niche?
Lilliana Vazquez: For me, budget shopping is a way of life, not a niche. My mom has always believed that saving should be a way of life and that you should take more pride in what you can save, not what you can spend… I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! We would take outlet road trips just to hunt down the best deals. So, in some ways, I was raised to be the Cheap Chica.

RLL: Do you follow a personal rule book?
LV: When it comes to fashion, I’m willing to try anything once. I’m a bit of a risk taker. But I’m also very honest about how it looks on me and whether or not it’s a fit for my body, budget, and lifestyle.

RLL: Do you ever splurge just for the sake of splurging?
LV: I’m human! Of course – but it’s few and far between. My favorite splurge is my black quilted Chanel bag. A splurge should be something that you will have for a lifetime and something that you can wear every day without ever getting tired of it. You can check out my “splurge” checklist in my book, The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style. A few questions may save you thousands.

RLL: How heavily do you rely on accessories? Do you prefer to keep it simple or pile them on?
LV: The more the merrier is my motto when it comes to accessories, and the layered look is really having a moment in fashion right now. So I’ve been layering everything – necklaces, midi rings, bracelets, etc.

RLL: Do you dress for the weather or the season?
LV: Both. As a New Yorker, there has to be a little bit of function with my fashion. So, while I have to dress for the elements, I try to have an outer layer or accessory that feels trend-right, like a brightly colored coat or a bold scarf. And lately, I’m really into hats.

RLL: Name your top 5 can’t-live-without-them wardrobe staples?
LV: A well-tailored blazer, nude pumps, skinny ankle jeans, a colorful shift dress, and statement necklace.

RLL: Which wardrobe pieces, if any, do you refresh every season?
LV: I always update my jeans because I live in jeans and denim trends tend to change every season. You can always find jeans on the cheap – especially on Rue La La.

RLL: What do you hope your book, The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style, will do for readers?
LV: I wrote this book for savvy shoppers like me who have Balenciaga taste on a strict budget. It’s a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know on shopping cheap and looking chic. And I hope it helps give new meaning to the word “cheap” and show women that style and saving are not mutually exclusive. Think of this book as the bible of budget fashion. It’s the first time a book has ever combined styling, shopping, and saving all into one very fashionable package.

The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style: Secrets to Shopping Cheap and Looking Chic is available for preorder now. In the meantime? Catch Lilliana (and her exclusive style tips) this week on TODAY and New York Live.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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November 4, 2013