Happy Monday, mavens and bargainistas. Each week, your neighborhood mecca of style Brick City Varsity endeavors to replicate designer looks on a Brick City budget. Featuring items purchased from Newark-area thrift stores (all of which are available for purchase at our private, appointment-only showroom in North Newark), our weekly column aims to show our fellow residents exactly how to polish and refine the gems that surround us. So, tune in every week as we map out a sartorial how-to that will help you create show-stopping looks tailored for your life in Brick City!
This week’s spread is titled “The Newsie,” a nod to news boys whose style constitutes the perfect intersection of youthful resilience and industriousness present in urban America at the turn of the century. The iconic film “Newsies” tells the story of the Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City during which the thousands of homeless and orphaned children who were selling newspapers effective changed the way in which Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst’s newspapers compensated their child labor force. Because the look is inextricably tied to the development of our nation’s child labor laws and, more specifically, the legacy of folks with meager resources banding together to transform their realities, we thought it to be an ideal style reference for Brick City Varsity with its “rebel in style” tag line.
As the base for our ensemble, we selected a wine-colored corduroy short ($18, a indefatigably durable fabric that’s perfect for the season. Of course, a short isn’t exactly the first choice for a fall/winter pairing, so we’ve featured a matching tight and boot combination that’s equally fashionable and practical. The newsie feel is advanced by the trademark suspender ($12) and iconic cap ($20). The plaid blouse ($16) contributes to the ensemble’s playful androgyny which is achieved by the fastidious buttons while simultaneously undermined by its demure ruffles. Of course, if the look is too costume-y for your destination, you can add a blazer for less whimsey and more seriousness. Here, we’ve used the blazer to a 2-piece skirt set, which has the added feature of a wonderfully regal coat of arms embroidered for a prep school feel.
All and all, it’s a fitting tribute to the youngsters that forever transformed our nation with their labor regulations, and a wallet-friendly way to ensure that you – our beloved fashionista – are on trend and making headlines in your BCV ensemble.