I Wore Clothes From Target to New York Fashion Week This Year

Gerard Ortiz
  • I attended runways, fashion presentations, and more during New York Fashion Week this season.
  • At most events, I wore clothing I’d bought at Target — some even from the clearance section.
  • The rest of my clothes were thrifted from stores like Goodwill.

At the start of this year, I had grand plans for my winter New York Fashion Week outfits.

I was going to spend hours in my closet throwing together new looks, and days at my favorite vintage stores to find unique pieces. I was even ready to invest in a designer purse as a treat.

But outfit planning isn’t my forte, and I was overwhelmed before the week started. So I turned to a place where I’ve always felt safe: Target.

Reporter Amanda Krause at New York Fashion Week.

Outside of Spring Studios, wearing a dress, tights, and boots from Target.

Amanda Krause/Insider

My affordable NYFW street style included items from Target and Goodwill

When celebrities and influencers attend NYFW, they usually wear high-end clothes picked out and loaned to them by the designers who host the runways they’re attending.

But my search for Fashion Week outfits started in my own closet. I pulled out my favorite chunky boots, a bunch of thrifted dresses, and my kitten-print Coach purse — I was off to a decent start.

But I quickly realized I was missing a few staples. Why didn’t I own classic trousers, a versatile blouse, or a blazer?

I didn’t want to spend a ton of money, and the thrift stores in my area closed before I finished work each day. So I went to Target, grabbed a couple of things — mostly from the clearance rack — and hoped for the best. 

Then Fashion Week began. As I rushed to get ready each morning, I wasn’t thinking about where I bought each garment I was wearing. I just wanted to look good and feel comfortable.

But more often than not, I stepped out the door, looked down at myself, and realized that I was wearing almost entire outfits from Target.

The first day, for example, I attended a Madewell showroom and BruceGlen presentation in a $20 ripped sweater tank from Target’s Wild Fable line. I originally bought the top for a concert, but have now made it a staple in my everyday wardrobe.

I also wore pinstripe trousers created by designer Kahlana Barfield for the department store. They usually cost $40, but I got mine on clearance for $20.

Only my sneakers, a burgundy pair of platform Converse, were bought elsewhere.

Reporter Amanda Krause at New York Fashion Week.

I took this selfie in BruceGlen’s Fashion Week showroom.

Amanda Krause/Insider

The next day, I mixed a sparkling Wild Fable slip dress, which I got on clearance for $10.50, with the same shirt in black on top.

To complete the outfit, I added $40 sock-style boots from the store’s A New Day line, and sheer Hanes tights that I bought at, you guessed it, Target.

Reporter Amanda Krause at New York Fashion Week.

This was one of my favorite outfits I wore during Fashion Week.

Amanda Krause/Insider

But it was my Valentine’s Day outfit that got the most attention.

Because I was attending runway shows like Naeem Khan’s during the holiday, I wanted to create an outfit around the $30 heart-print cardigan I had ordered from Target’s website. I also wanted to wear a pink cargo miniskirt created by fashion editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson for the store that I’d gotten for $28.

So naturally, I went as pink as I could go. I added a sparkling tank top from the ’90s that my aunt previously owned, and platform Steve Madden heels that I found at Goodwill for $9. 

Reporter Amanda Krause at New York Fashion Week.

This outfit included a mix of Target and thrifted pieces.

Amanda Krause/Insider

This outfit got compliments everywhere I went. Street photographers wanted to document it, and “Gossip Girl” star Taylor Momsen told me she liked the look at Christian Cowan’s runway show.

And I never hid where I bought each piece.

While backstage at the Christian Cowan show, singer and YouTuber Trevi Moran complimented my look and asked if my shoes were Versace’s famous sky-high heels. I proudly told her: “No, they’re from Goodwill!”

I want to keep elevating my style, but I’ll never be opposed to wearing department-store duds

Until this year, I didn’t know that it was an option to wear department-store clothes at Fashion Week.

I previously wore thrifted outfits to Fashion Week events last year, but even that felt chic in its own way. After all, sustainable fashion is in.

But I guess in my mind, I assumed there would be Anna Wintour-esque guards at every door who would sense Target garments and turn me away. 

Of course, I’m happy to report that there’s no such thing.

In my experience, most people at New York Fashion Week were too preoccupied with their own outfits to care about mine. And the ones who did notice me said they liked my clothes — never questioning where I got them.

Every day I learn more about fashion, and even more about my own style. But one thing I’m certain of is this: Target clothes have never let me down.

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