Excerpt: 'Never Pay Retail Again'

Photo: Book Cover: Never Pay Retail Again: Shop Smart, Spend Less, and Look Your Best Ever

You don't have to pay a lot to look like you spent a lot -- at least according to Daisy Lewellyn, author of "Never Pay Retail Again." Lewellyn explains how to get the runway look without paying a fortune.

Read the excerpt below, and then head to the "Good Morning America" Library to find more good reads.

Introduction

Fashion is in my genes. A fourth-generation seamstress, I was born into a family of fashion lovers. If my Granny, Mildred McGill, had ten bucks, she would sew an amazing dress for herself and one for her sister—and each would look as if they were worth hundreds of dollars. My late Nana, Louisia Samm, lived to be nearly eighty and was still sporting stacked heels and fabulously exquisite hats until her final days. Both women passed on a secret to me that has a special place in my heart: you don't have to spend a lot to achieve your best personal style.

VIDEO: Author and bargain shopper Daisy Lewellyn offers style tips from her new book.
Budget-Friendly Style Tips

We've always been a fashion-forward family. My sister wore a lime green leather pencil skirt and matching bustier to her prom's after-party in 1990 and passed down her Guess jeans obsession to me (we would take trips to Tijuana for deals at the Guess outlet). At just two years old, my niece T'sai stumbled around the house in my silver sequined, high-heeled mules. And my niece Assata loves to dress "fancy." Like I said, I'm surrounded by full-fledged fashion girls.

I always knew I was destined for a career in fashion. My junior year at Howard University, I did an exchange program at New York City's Fashion Institute of Technology to study accessories design. I also interned at Honey Magazine, which was beyond cool at the time. I instantly fell in love with the world of fashion and craved every bit of it. After graduation, my very first job was back in Manhattan at InStyle magazine working under fashion legend Sydne Bolden, who taught me the ins and outs of making it in the business. I was living out my most glamorous dream. Only one minor issue . . . my reality was a $23,000 salary before taxes. I quickly learned that a clothing allowance could not equal your entire paycheck. It was time to be resourceful. My sample sale education and designer-duds-for-less passion took off. I soon gained notoriety as an expert on turning runway looks into affordable fashion. The matriarchs of my family were right: It is fun and smart to stand apart from the crowd as a true fashion girl while secretly smiling about all the money you've saved.

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