Style Counsel: Anthony Buchanan Shares How He Stays Stylish on a Budget

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Occupation: Bartender/server/host at Ché
Style: Flirty and festival-ready

Photograph by Aaron M. Conway

Describe your style.
Flirty and fun but also very goofy. If you looked in my closet, you’d be like, Who lives here? I am 100 percent this grandma in a young shell. I don’t dress like my grandma, but I go through her stuff all the time and I’m like, Girl, Imma need this piece. I’m a borrower. I borrow pieces from friends and I get a lot of free merch at work and ask, How can I make this feel and look like me?

How do you make a garment look like you?
I love to manipulate and customize my clothes. Things always get shorter in my closet, because I keep scissors right on my nightstand, and I’m like, This shirt was great yesterday, but today I need it to be cropped, which is a big issue when fall comes around. If I’m wearing a button down, I usually tie it up in knots. I use styling tricks to make [garments look] refreshed and a little quirky.

Styling tricks save you money, too. What advice can you offer others trying to be stylish on a budget?
I never want to appear like I have some wild means just because I don’t wear the same outfit every single day. Being stylish on a budget is so easy and fun, but I think people get insecure about it looking low-cost, and that’s the beauty of it. Own your situation, because low budget is cute as hell. Sales racks are frickin’ lit. Go to St. Vincent de Paul. Don’t be afraid to cut shit up, especially if you got it for free. Everyone has a friend who’s crafty and loves a scissor, so link up with them. Also, repair your things. If it’s something that you really love and it’s a minor issue, go find somebody to fix it. Don’t just throw it out, because that is such a waste.

Have you always expressed yourself through your clothes?
My mom would always put me in these really boring outfits as a kid and they were cute, but I was like, You have this really fun floral print on and you got all this exaggeration and I want that. So I would find different ways to have these expressive moments, but I would always think, My sisters have all these cool colors and I’ve got the essentials like maroon, green, and navy; one day I’m going to be out here fully wearing whatever I want, and I do.

Do others’ opinions affect how you dress?
That 100 percent influences the way I get ready, because I never want to make people uncomfortable. Even though it’s my body and I can dress how I want, I also understand that people have different points of view. So I’ll try to have a day-to-night experience; this might look more day-appropriate and then at night I can run around in my sheer shirt and not feel like I’m causing a huge scene. I definitely love a shawl for that reason. It’s a good go-to because I might have on a festival-ready outfit, but I have to go to work and I can’t wear my biker shorts to work, so this shawl is going to double as a skirt.

How do you maintain your style at work?
That’s always been an issue working in hospitality. It definitely affects the jobs I apply for. Ché is perfect. I’ve probably been censored twice in the two years I’ve worked there. I’m able to be my full self. I might not be able to be Weekend Anthony, but I can go into work [and be accepted and have a good shift].

Who is Weekend Anthony?
He’s just a big ass flirt. It’s festival wear constantly—all the plunging necklines, that ’70s rock-and-roll disco groove and funk situation. I get dressed and I’m like, Would I pass as a Spice Girl?

So who’s Weekday Anthony?
He’s like a more reserved crop top. It’s still pretty explosive.

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