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Broke Girl Erin Bunch's Rich Take on Style, Living Frugal

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Style Icon is a series that highlights Angelenos who aren't strictly in the business of fashion, but who have an affinity for style, clothing, retail—or just plain looking good.


All photos Elizabeth Daniels, 7/11

Erin Bunch isn't simply a Style Icon, she's a life style icon: Her recently launched website Broke Girls Guide serves up daily doses of discounts with panache and wit. She looks like a model and dresses like a superstar for less than you spend on lattes every week. We caught up with her for shopping at EM & Co, and got her to reveal some shopping secrets?and a few dark secrets about her days of wearing "the Juicy Jumpsuit." You've come a long way, baby!

First things first: What are you wearing?
Pretty much all Zara. The top is American Apparel.

Those shoes are Zara?
Yes, $40 on sale.

What's the story?
I was born in Texas, but I came out here for college. I always knew I wanted to write, and I studied screenwriting at USC. After college, I got a job at Dreamworks in development. I worked there for a while and they wanted to promote me?but I freaked out. I wanted to be creative, and I didn't think that job would open the right doors for me.

Randomly, in 2008, I met Tom Anderson of Myspace. He offered me the chance to work on the Myspace fashion/entertainment channels.

Oh yeah, they were still almost a thing back then.
Right. I had a lot of great experiences and met people I've continued to work with. Eventually, I connected with some people at CAA -- Seth Matlins, to be specific, and I've worked on things that I'm really proud of?like OffOurChests.com, a website that's dedicated to female empowerment. It's a very freeform platform for women to share things?things that make them happy, mad, frustrated; just a chance to tell a story.

Like a gender-specific PostSecret.com?
Exactly.

And then that brings up nearly up to present day, with Broke Girls Guide.
Right.

So have you always had a well developed sense of personal style?
(laughs) Not really. Um, no, in fact, I would say, for a long time, I probably had terrible style. It's something I wasn't raised to care about. My hometown wasn't exactly a fashion mecca. In college, I would be the girl who wore denim shorts out -- but not, like, cute denim shorts.

Whose style do you admire?
I'm consistently awed by Daphne Guiness; I really love how much fun she has and how she keeps pushing people's expectations. It's a totally different angle, but I think Blake Lively is always well put together. I really like people who take risks?not people who play it safe, like Angelina Jolie. If you drew a line with Angelina Jolie on one end and Helena Bonham Carter on the other, I'd probably be drawn to the midpoint. Oh?and I can't stand Katy Perry.

She's just a 3D marketing ploy. I don't think all pop stars have to be that shamelessly manufactured and prefab. Look at Kylie Minogue and Robyn?
Oh yeah, I love Robyn!

What are some of your biggest fashion annoyances with LA?
It bothers me when people make no effort. I get "leggings and a tee shirt"; I have to do that myself some times, but COME ON! There's that, and the people who stand out in a bad way. Short, tight dresses and bad club wear?it's like the worst part of Vegas got dumped in LA.

Ok, so shopping. Say you had $1,000 to spend anywhere in LA. Where would you go?
Part of me thinks I'd head to Barneys and buy myself one or two pairs of really exquisite shoes, total investment pieces that I'd have forever?but then, the Broke Girls mentality sets in and I think I'd probably try to get the most out of it.

Where do you shop consistently?
I'm a big connoisseur of H&Ms, Forever 21s and Zaras. I definitely have my favorites, and then locations I'll avoid. Other than the obvious, I really likeDecades and Decadetwo.1, and there's a place here on West 3rd called Entresnous that I've had good luck with.

Are you a fan of resale, in general?
Not usually, no. Especially not the selling part. It always feels like they're judging you, and that they're going to laugh at you as soon as you leave the store.

To see more of Erin's picks for ladies of every budget, click on the map. And check out the Broke Girls Guide daily for all things frugal and fun
· Broke Girls Guide [Official Site]
· All Style Icon Coverage [Racked LA]

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1. Entrenous Designer Resale

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8430 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

2. Button Store

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3. Jet Rag

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825 N La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046

4. Buffalo Exchange

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5. SimpleThings

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8310 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

6. The Grove

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189 The Grove Dr, The Grove
Los Angeles, CA 90036

7. EM & Co

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7940 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

8. Vinoteque

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7469 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046

9. Lucques

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8474 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069

10. Cafe Marcelita

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8316 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

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1. Entrenous Designer Resale

8430 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048
8430 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

2. Button Store

3. Jet Rag

825 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
825 N La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046

4. Buffalo Exchange

5. SimpleThings

8310 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048
8310 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

6. The Grove

189 The Grove Dr, The Grove, Los Angeles, CA 90036
189 The Grove Dr, The Grove
Los Angeles, CA 90036

7. EM & Co

7940 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048
7940 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

8. Vinoteque

7469 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
7469 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046

9. Lucques

8474 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069
8474 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069

10. Cafe Marcelita

8316 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048
8316 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048