The Item I Wear to Death: My Altuzarra Blue Checkered Skirt

I found this treasure at a sample sale.

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(Image credit: Kathryn Wirsing)

In our biweekly series, editors share "the item they wear to death," whether it be a basic white tee or a super-trendy jumpsuit. Prepare yourself (and your credit card) for some guilt-free shopping.

I have been working in the fashion industry from the moment I graduated college and that means I'm surrounded every day by beautiful clothes, shoes, and accessories that are all, sadly, always over my monthly budget. Luckily for me, though, my mother taught me how to find a bargain and, more importantly, she taught me to slash that price in half when my boyfriend asks how much I spent on said item (it's for his own sanity).

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A close up of the skirt's wrap details.

(Image credit: Kathryn Wirsing)

This explains my love for sales. New York City is one of the fashion capitals of the world, and, in my opinion, it's also the bargain capital of the world—if you know where look. I found my favorite piece in my closet—this Altuzarra wrap-effect checkered midi skirt—at a sample sale for less than $200. It originally cost more than $900.

I love this skirt for everything it offers: It's high waisted with a midi cut, which I find to be the perfect length for me. (Over the years, I've learned that longer lengths can be sexy, especially with a good slit.) The wrap-effect style, like that of a wrap dress, is universally flattering. (I've had friends try on the skirt and they also look amazing in it.) Though it's arguably best suited for the spring/summer seasons—just tuck a tee into the waistband for an easy work outfit—it's just as wearable for autumn if you throw on an oversized sweater or knitted crop top.

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This skirt looks great with everything, it's even pup-approved!

(Image credit: Courtesy of Taylor Ayers)

My advice to anyone who has designer taste on a T.J. Maxx budget is to take your time when shopping. Seek out those sample sales (here's a good website that tracks the ones in NYC) and look for classic pieces you can wear season after season. For those who don't live in the five burroughs, one of my must-visit sites to find designer deals is The RealReal. Investment pieces don't always have to break the bank.

When it comes down to it, my love for the Altuzarra skirt is not only about how often I wear it—which is all the time—but also the fact I got it for a steal. I'm not letting go of the thrill of finding an amazing sale anytime soon. And to be honest, that's the only way I'm able to afford the luxe taste I've developed over the past 27 years.

Get my exact skirt, which is currently on sale, plus similar options, below:

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(Image credit: Photo by Bridget Burns)

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Taylor Ayers

Taylor Ayers is a fashion editor at Marie Claire, covering the new editorial fashion trends, looks, and contemporary styles.