‘Cheap Chic’ Book Resurfaces From 1975 as a Modern Manifesto

cheap chic

The New York Times writes: “It was an imperfect, yet memorable, title for what would become the handbook to a revolution.

First published in 1975 and updated in 1978, Cheap Chic was a guide to personal style that blew a big raspberry to establishment norms with a pugnacious manifesto: “Fashion as a dictatorship of the elite is dead. Nobody knows better than you what you should wear or how you should look.”

This month, Cheap Chic by Caterine Milinaire and Carol Troy has been reissued by Three Rivers Press.

The book features pages of outfits featuring celebrities like a young Fran Lebowitz and even a preppy Lauren Hutton.

Cheap Chic co-author Caterine Milinaire told the New York Times Cheap Chic wasn’t about buying tons of fast fashion.

“I always worried about the high price of chasing cheap, the human cost. Whatever comes out of the sweatshops is not what we want to be wearing on our backs.”

Tonne Goodman, fashion director at Vogue tells the New York Times, she “had spent the day at fashion shows and was truly horrified, she said, by the rail-thin models she saw there. ‘So this is on my mind,’ she said, as she quoted from the book’s introduction: ‘The most basic element of Cheap Chic is the body you hang your clothes on. Building a healthy, lively body is far cheaper than buying a lot of clothes to distract from it. What more feminist manifesto can you have than that?”

Read the full article on the New York Times.