How to Shop at Kmart and Look Like Ricky Martin

Last May while getting ready for my college graduation, I realized that I had no dress clothes to wear to the ceremony. With only a little time and very little money, I had no choice but to run to the local Kmart. Later, my discount duds ended up getting me mistaken for Ricky Martin. Here's how you too can shop at Kmart and look like a star.

Stick to the basics.
Nice black slacks. Not too shiny, not too dull -- what Goldilocks would have chosen if she was looking for a pair of men's slacks.

Find the right dress shirt.
For me, short sleeves were a must, because the ceremony was being held outside. The shirt had to have a lot of breathing room. I ended up with a basic white dress shirt that had just a hint of stripes.

Get plain black dress socks.
They are the only sensible choice when dressing up. There is absolutely no need for paisley or other patterns unless you are a little kid who wants something to laugh at in church.

Have a good pair of shoes at home.
Fortunately, I already had a pair of black and white wing-tipped Docs. They were the finishing touch. If you're gonna go cheap and basic, you should always have something cool to top it off. Good shoes will draw eyes away from your low-budget attire, and maybe even start conversations.

Once in my new threads, I ran to meet my parents at the ceremony. It all went well and everyone commented on how nice I looked. Little did they know, my secret was Kmart.

The big moment: After the graduation, we attended a party being held by friends. It was at the Soho Grand Hotel, which is the kind of place where celebrities and socialites congregate. While walking my parents up the stairs to the lounge, I turned around for a second. A girl did a double take. When we got to the top of the stairs my parents were laughing. I asked them what was so funny. They said that the girl had screamed, hit her friend, and said "Oh my God! I think that was Ricky Martin!" My parents were laughing because the girl had been pointing at me.

Who needs Armani or Versace? All you need are a few bucks, some practical clothes, complimentary lighting, and you're set. Whoever people think you are, you'll be the one with the last laugh and the extra cash!

--Fred Flores
Photos: Lisa Beebe
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