The most positive thing I can say about our current economic times is that it forces us to use our imaginations. We have to figure out how to stretch our budgets to eat, dress and function throughout the week.

Instead of looking for ways to subtract from our lives, we need to look for ways to add to them. One of my favorites is with small touches of glamour.

When you look around you see glamour everywhere. On the political front there’s Michelle and Barack Obama, and on the pop culture scene, sexy vampire Edward Cullen from Twilight. Nostalgic, in an F. Scott Fitzgerald way, is the hit show “Gossip Girl,” and realistically lush, MTV’s “The Hills.”

If totally vintage glam is your style the best place to shop is the Federation of Vintage Fashion’s Vintage Fashion Expo at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. The last one I attended in October 2008 I bought a 1950s men’s suit, vintage tie and black cardigan sweater, all for under $100.

Thrift stores, garage sales and the Internet are also good places to hunt for glamorous finds. Varga (10800 W. Pico Blvd., #126, Los Angeles), a chain women’s store in Westside Pavilion, is another great source for a glam fix.

A little bit of glam goes a long ways so the best way to wear it is discreetly. Jeans and a white button-down shirt can be spruced up with a plain cardigan sweater or a 1940s tie. Jewelry choices from chunky beaded necklaces to gold or silver bracelets can also add glamour to nondescript ensembles.

The next Vintage Fashion Expo is Feb. 7 & 8 at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St., Santa Monica. For more information, call

(707) 793-0773 or visit