February

February
Some people build their wardrobes methodically, contentiously acquiring specific pieces as a part of their master plan. Others tend to shop in a more impulsive manner, preferring to fall in love organically, even if the sum of their selections adds up to an armoire full of random buys. Regardless of whether you prefer structure or spontaneity, one thing's for sure: your closet already contains the necessary pieces to create the season's best runway looks.

Before you roll your eyes or decide that we've lost our marbles, we must point out that we're aware that the previous statement sounds extraordinary. That said, we also know that if you closely consider some of spring's key styles, you'll realize that these outfits often contain at least one essential item you already own. Using this logic, it's easy to breath new life into those classic or basic articles of clothing. Just by styling an old favorite in an of-the-moment way or adding a few inexpensive, trendy touches, you can recycle those beloved pieces into cool new looks.

Bearing this in mind, we tackled two spring collections--Isabel Marant and Balmain--to see if we could create our own versions of the looks. Consider it our thrifty version of Runway to Real Way, inspired, in part, by the current contents of our closets!

Isabel Marant
We started with a look from Isabel Marant's Spring 09 runway, as the designer's casually chic style is both highly desirable and relatively easy to emulate. The foundation of this look is an unfussy pair of lightweight gray sweatpants, which we assume most of our readers already own. (If not, try H&M's Drawstring Sweatpants ($13), shown above.)

The next necessary item is a classic camel trench, another piece you might already own, but if not, we like the simplicity of Old Navy's Belted Trench Coat ($50). The final--crucial--requirement for achieving the Marant look is a slouchy pair of black high-heeled boots. While the shoes shown on the runway are out of most price leagues ($1050, at Curve, 212.966.3626), it's not difficult to track down a likeminded pair. We pulled type Z's Amy Boots ($129) for this story, but certainly the options abound!

You Have: H&M Drawstring Sweatpants ($13)
Go Buy: Old Navy Belted Trench Coat ($50), type Z Amy Boots ($129)

Balmain
Our next runway to real-way ensemble, courtesy of Balmain, is slightly edgier and in the vein of Kate Moss or Carine Roitfeld's glam-rock style. Despite the collection's luxe look, you can get the same sort of effortlessly cool outfit through a simple combination of to key pieces. First, we will be so bold as to assume that you can count a sharp black blazer as one of your closet's assents. (If not, try H&M's Blazer ($50), shown above.)

With this necessary requirement in hand, just pair it with this season's popular, bleached-out, thrashed jeans. We like bebe's Carmen Rolled & Destroyed Skinny Jeans ($139), but feel free to customize a pair of your own. Then, as a final nod to the Balmain runway, pick up a pair of fashion-forward, studded heels--perhaps the Aldo Molavi Sandals ($125), pictured above? Throw it all together and voila! Last season's blazer looks relevant again and you've got a new, Balmain-inspired outfit!

You Have: H&M Blazer ($50)
Go Buy: bebe Carmen Rolled & Destroyed Skinny Jeans ($139), Aldo Molavi Sandals ($125)

Next Up:

EXPLORE: Shopping, Carine Roitfeld, Isabel Marant, Kate Moss, Balmain
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