Broken stiletto heel while strutting down Broadway? Cat fights at the designer discount outlet? Harvard alumna Claire S. Sulmers ’03 has been through it all and lived to tell about it in her blog “The Fashion Bomb,” accessible through her personal website, clairesulmers.com.
The twenty-something writer-researcher for Real Simple magazine has a passion for fashion that makes one wonder just how many chunky sweaters and designer heels a girl needs. Not to mention how we are supposed to pay for it.
“I’ve seen so many Harvard students who get credit cards and max them out to $10,000 of Louis Vuitton,” Sulmers says.
Sulmers is a fashion-conscious New York writer, but unlike never-wears-the-same-bra-twice Carrie Bradshaw, she’s a bona fide human being who shows that the price tag for fabulousness doesn’t have to cost you your rent or your sanity.
“It’s unrealistic to think women will stop shopping,” Sulmers says. “So if you want this image, do it the smart way—buy it for 30 percent off with a coupon.”
Sulmers’ fashion safari takes her from consignment stores to high-end locales. On a given Saturday, Sulmers rides the R-Train between Soho and Brooklyn, tearing through racks of massively marked-down designer jeans and rummaging through vintage threads, schmoozing with owners and snapping pictures as she shops. Later that night, photos and descriptions of the sales she saw go up on the blog.
It’s not just cost-conscious, either. The blog is also relevant for women who don’t have the waif-like bodies of heroin-chic models, and Sulmers will candidly remind readers that skinny jeans aren’t for everyone.
“It’s a beautiful thing to have the hope that after four years in this awful place, I can re-find my sense of style,” says Kimberly D. Williams ’07, who interned with Sulmers last summer.