As the feisty TV personality on BET’s “106 & Park” and host of her own daily nationally syndicated radio show “Rocsi on the Radio,” Rocsi Diaz is a true Renaissance woman. But she’s also a smart shopper, willing to go the extra mile for a good deal — or walk away from a bad one. So how does this no-holds-barred lady play by the rules?
“My motto is ‘when you feel good, you look good.’ We all love to shop – I myself am guilty of spending many a weekend in search of beautiful fashions — but if you don’t feel good on the inside how can you possibly look good on the outside? Being in debt does not feel good and neither does feeling like you have to live a spartan life in order to be frugal and build savings. Here are four simple guidelines I use when shopping and treating myself. No matter how wealthy you may or may not be, budgeting and maintaining your finances are the key to succeed, especially in an economy like ours!”
1. Just say “no” to impulse shopping. As much as I love to shop, I often tend to let my impulses get the best of me. Whenever I see I’m heading in the wrong direction, I ask myself, “do I like it or do I love it”? Always weigh the pros and cons. As silly as this may seem, thinking rationally is great practice, not only with shopping, but with everyday decision making and spending as a whole. Take a moment to step back and reevaluate your decisions — the results will pay off, literally! The key is learning to differentiate between a luxury and a necessity. Also, try not to shop when you are feeling anxious, sad or distracted — you might end up purchasing based off emotion.
A fun tip is to keep an inspiration binder and shop in your own closet. I look at sites like Style.com and fashion magazines like Purple and clip the pages of looks I love. To recreate the look I search my own closet for things that resemble what I saw in the magazine. 9 out of 10 times I have something that is very similar or at least has the same texture/length/style or print. Shopping in your closet can be fun!
2. Purchase an investment piece. Trends are temporary, investments are eternal. Every girl needs essential items that are their “go to” pieces. You always want to purchase an item where you will be able to maximize its use. A perfect pair of denim jeans in a dark wash that fits you like a glove, a little black dress, black pumps, solid trench coat and a crisp white button blouse, all of these are pieces that can be worn more than once in many different ways and can be worn for every day use, work and going out.
I also practice what I call the “upgrade.” For example, when the skinny denim craze came in, I bought an affordable pair of jeggings for a test run. I wore them all the time. Wwhen I realized that this wasn’t just a trend but something that was going to be a permanent moment in denim, I invested in a pair from my favorite denim designer.
3. Mix and match the highs with the lows. One of my guilty obsessions are shoes — and pricey ones! Some of my favorite brands are Alexander Wang, Christian Louboutin, YSL & Giuseppe Zanotti. “106 & Park” has introduced me to a world of stylish and vibrant personalities – not only the celebrities but all of the cool young women in the audience. I have been inspired by so many viewers and their trends. Large department stores such as Bloomingdales, Barneys, and Saks Fifth Avenue usually have warehouse sales or outlets, where you can find the same items at a much cheaper price. You also have more affordable retailers such as Urban Outfitters, BCBG, Scoop, Zara, and Banana Republic. This gives you the option to mix and match your pieces. For example, you can pair Giuseppe Zanotti wedges with your favorite denim jeans and a basic top from Urban Outfitters. Jazz it up with accessories from your recent thrifting experience or from a jewelry wholesale place (if you live in NYC like me you can go to the bead district on Broadway). Don’t be afraid to mix and match your clothes, look fabulous and still be budget friendly!
4. Plan a dinner party. My friends love going out all the time and restaurant bills add up, so I suggest dinner parties at home instead. I have a set menu that all my friends agree on and I tally up about how much groceries will be and we all chip in. We have just as much fun sitting around my kitchen table laughing as we do sitting in a restaurant. You can switch it up by having friends bring different side dishes and taking turns hosting at each other’s apartments. You don’t even have to buy cookbooks — there are plenty of wonderful and easy recipes on the internet. If there is a restaurant that you’re just dying to try, sign up for Restaurant Week deals or their newsletter and go when they are having a special.