Broke AF With Ben Gutierrez

Summer is calling, and it’s about time for our second edition of ‘Broke As Fuck’, featuring the effervescent, always-stylish Ben Gutierrez at The Break Vintage, shot by the amazingly talented NY-based photographer, Sabrina Santiago.

While we may be young, broke, and artsy AF, we’re certainly not sacrificing style. And Gutierrez is no stranger to eloquently explaining his style theories to the uninitiated: in fact, it’s his job as a writer to do exactly that (read: we’re in for a serious treat). Check his finds in the photos above and read his ballin’ on a budget diary below.

This may sound stupid, but thrifting is kind of a lifestyle. I like a challenge, I like the thrill of the unknown, and I like a little bit of clutter! If things are too clean there’s no opportunity to stumble upon that denim trench, those gold leaf bell-bottoms, or the pair of platform velcro boots you didn’t even know existed. Creativity most certainly comes from chaos, and sometimes you’ve got to dig (and dig, and dig) for the diamond in the rough.

Creativity most certainly comes from chaos, and sometimes you’ve got to dig (and dig, and dig) for the diamond in the rough.

Having the means to buy whatever gets sent down the runway each season or whatever the kids are queuing up on Lafayette Street for isn’t inspiring to me. Don’t get me wrong: I like clothing that’s well-designed—and I have my eye on a few pieces that could definitely subsidize my rent—but looking like you just “dropped” is probably about the least stylish thing I can think of.

We’re fortunate to be living in a city that accepts and celebrates difference, and what we choose to put on each morning is a primary way for us to communicate this difference. So why limit yourself to a mode of dress that says “I am a consumer”? Go to the thrift store and get funky!

“Go to the thrift store and get funky!”

This was my first time visiting The Break Vintage. It’s definitely not cluttered, but it is stocked with plenty of amazing (and affordable!) vintage finds. One of the first pieces to catch my eye was a knit tank by Missoni. I’m pretty pro-pattern these days, and this shirt has a really neat stripe on it that reminds me of the Grand Canyon. I’ve paired it with my favorite find of the day: leather pants in OLIVE GREEN! They fit like a glove, too.

If I had to give a first-time thrifter advice it would be to simply try it on. Every garment has the potential to be great, but you’ll only know if you give it a go. Oh, and look in both the men’s and women’s sections, because at the end of the day it’s all just fabric, you silly.

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