Shopper Profile: It Girl Tina Alvarado-Morales

I always talk about honoring your friends and their shopping and fashion sensibilities but there are few that I honor more than my Fall It Girl Tina Alvarado-Morales. She has an uncanny fashion and style sense that puts most to shame. As an MBA graduate and member of a prominent South Texas Family, fashion and style have always been a huge a part of her life. We have been friends for almost two decades now and I still remember her on the first day of Prep school. She mentioned how she hated my everchanging *knee high styles. Who could appreciate this blunt comment more than I? We have been friends since that day. Over the years, we have experienced marriages, deaths, new lives, sickness and cattiness, and despite all of it, Tina’s fashion sense remained on point and unwavering. It has always inspired me and also made me a bit jealous. Her Gucci collection is enviable.

Now that we are adults and out of prep shcool, Tina is a PR Consultant and Event Planning guru whose expertise is sought after by politicos and CEO’s alike. Her high profile positions and clientele require her look to be up to date and stylish but essential pieces and affordability are key in her shopping decisions. Thank the Lord for **The Internets because we were able to compile a very worthwhile look into her shopping style and outlook on life. It’s real, pretty luxurious and never lacking in style.

Saks2Salvation: What is your favorite place to shop?

Tina: Since I am on a budget, I love Saks Off 5th for their luxury designer clothing and accessories The deals that I find on each visit are amazing deals. It is all of the previous seasons apparel stockpiled into an outlet. I am lucky enough to have one less than 45 min. away from my house. Maybe a little too lucky. Though my approach to shopping has changed by taste will never do the same.

Saks2Salvation: What are your favorite brands?

Tina: Ralph Lauren is an essential for bottoms. Their quality and style, even for plus sizes, is phenomenal. I love Banana Republic for the essentials. I shop the clearance rack every season and have pieces that have lasted for years. Their clothes are great for those days off when I just want to be comfortable yet put together.

Saks2Salvation: How would you define your style?

Tina: I am definitely a classic style girl but I incorporate Bohemian elements with accessories or large bags. I love to layer with scarves and necklaces when I’m dressing casually. Vintage pieces are also some of my favorite pieces to wear and collect. I’ve traveled the world over from a very young age and have created my style from a compilation of what I saw in Europe and the U.S. I still have pieces from when I was a little girl that I’ll never get rid of.

Saks2Salvation: What collections have you started in your wardrobe?

Tina: I have started to shop for only Ralph Lauren pants and view each purchase as an investment. I have to. They cost an arm and a leg. No pun intended. My Gucci collection counts, too, right? Collecting them is like collecting art. They are worth the investment and will be a part of my life forever.

Saks2Salvation: How does work affect your style?

Tina: I find myself shopping for more essential pieces in neutral colors and staples like black and ivory. Comfort is key. I do event planning and my days can run into a 12 hour shift really fast so I need something that is wearable all day. Wide leg pants, well made shoes and handmade scarves are a few key items that are finding themselves into my everyday wardrobe.

Saks2Salvation: What is your latest shopping find?

Tina: I recently purchased a pair of metallic gold Kate Spade loafers with a canvas bow. Loafers are some of my favorite shoe styles and are perfect for busy event planning days both on-site and in the office. I look for comfort and then mix it with style when it comes to shoes these days.

Saks2Salvation: How do you set a shopping budget?

Tina: I always pay my bills first and then decide what I will shop for during the month. This month I have decided to save my money to use for vacation shopping. The holidays are just around the corner any my family always heads out for a luxury skiing trip. It’s a tradition and shopping funds are needed for the full experience.

Saks2Salvation: Now despite your budget and travel saving plans, what do you have to splurge on?

Tina: Bags & shoes most definitely. I love them and yes, my Gucci collection does grow slightly larger each year. As for shoes, Tory Burch and BCBG are a few standouts. Stuart Weitzman shoes are also great. too. I also own a few pair of TOMS Shoes which I wear everywhere.

Saks2Salvtion: Do you shop for your spouse?

Tina: Of course I do! I created the monster.

An aside here: Her husband is highly stylish. When the two of them step out together, it is like a multi-paged glossy ad in Vogue that you can’t help but go back to for outfit reference.

Saks2Salvation: What shopping advice do you want to share?

Tina: I love the finer things in life because of their quality and construction not because of their price. I was raised around these things and naturally grew an affinity towards them. I have learned to shop modestly and purchase pieces as I need them. Not as I want them.The best shopping is shopping with purpose no matter where your budget allows. I was an Account Executive at a very large bank right before the mortgage meltdown and I saw people spending in ways that were unimaginable. I vowed then to remember my roots, be modest and never overspend like I saw so many people doing.

Please see below a style set devoted to and inspired by my friend Tina Alvarado-Morales. I conjured this up after years of knowing her as a person which is really the best way to define someone's style. It is classic and sophisticated just like she is and I love it. There is always an It Girl around you. She is the one with all the the best clothes and accessories each season. And for good reason you are a bit jealous of her. Her style, poise and sophistication is to be envied. We can't have It all so you better just learn to love her. I know that I do!

Shopper Profile: It Girl Tina Alvarado-Morales

*This was one of the few ways that we could express ourselves outside of an archaic daily uniform. Random sock patterns was major rebellion.

**One of our Presidents referred to the internet as The Internets less than a decade ago.