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Frugal Fashion: Evan Rachel Wood at the Venice Film Festival

September 7, 2011 |  7:00 am

Evan Rachel Wood Early September in Southern California marks the start of cooler, post-summer nights and for many, the sound of school bells. The beginning of a new school year is a time for fresh starts, hitting the books and the perfect first impression outfit.

Even women beyond school age are experiencing "first-day-of-school" outfit jitters as they plan their fall wardrobes. Finding a fabulous everyday outfit to wear is difficult enough, but if you're on a budget, it can be especially daunting.

Not to fret. Some key closet staples will have you looking your best through winter, into spring and beyond.

At the recent Venice Film festival in Italy, Evan Rachel Wood made an appearance at the "Mildred Pierce" photo call in what could be the quintessential back-to-school or start-of-fall outfit. She wore a white ruffled blouse, Dolce & Gabbana black vest with leopard back, black cigarette leg trousers and Christian Louboutin Bibi 140 Kid Pumps. Her menswear ensemble looked sophisticated and, most importantly, comfortable.

Each element of Wood's look can be a back-to-school or fall work staple, worn together or  paired with any number of items you might already own. For a similar ruffled blouse, get the Eryn Brinie ivory gauze ruffle blouse for $58 from or the women's raw-edged ruffle top from Old Navy for $16. Pair the blouse with pants for fall, a maxi for spring or shorts in the summer.


Wood's vest adds a menswear twist to her ensemble, but can be a fun addition to any look. For a classic vest, get the slim vest from the Gap for $59.95 or for something a little funky, the BCBGeneration vest for $39.99 from Kohl's also carries a fun, light weight vest, the LC Conrad pintuck ruffle vest for $28. Wear with trousers like Woods, or try with a pair of jeans and white T-shirt or over a dress.


Cigarette leg trousers are must-have items that will take you through the seasons. For a pair similar to Wood's trousers, get the Ponte cigarette trousers from Topshop for $40 or the Warehouse cigarette pant from Asos for $87.82. Wear with a sleeveless top and heels for a night out or a T-shirt and flats for more casual wear.


Grab some comfortable shoes, and you're ready for a fashionable first day of school.

Happy shopping!

Have an outfit you're dying to buy but need a frugal alternative? Email us a picture. We're up for the challenge.

-- Jenn Harris


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Photos, from top: Evan Rachel Wood is shown at the  'Mildred Pierce' photo call during the recent 68th Venice International Film Festival. Credit: Claudio Onorati / EPA.

Blouses, from left: Eryn Brinie ivory gauze ruffle blouse, $58 / Women's raw-edged ruffle top, $16 / 

Vests: Gap slim vest, $59.95 / BCBGeneration vest, $39.99 / LC Conrad niptuck ruffle vest, $28 /

Pants: Ponte cigarette trousers, $40 / Warehouse cigarette pant, $87.82 /