At first glance, 32-year-old South Boston resident Linda Nguyen (www.instagram.com/trendyonabudget) appears to be your average compliance specialist at a financial services company. She’s engaged, dotes on her precious Yorkshire terrier, and has an obsession with fried chicken and travel. But take a closer look at her fashion choices and it’s clear we’re not dealing with just any financial services employee. Nguyen loves to hunt down bargains and then share (OK, brag about) them on her blog. Which could only mean one thing: She’s our Instagram style star of the week.
Q. As a professed handbag-aholic, have you been tempted by the allure ofdesigner knockoffs? Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone, except all of these readers.
A. I must confess, when I was in college, I used to go to Canal Street [in New York] for my “designer” bags. But once I landed my first job, I gladly parted with my knockoffs and started saving for the real deal. My first designer bag was a Fendi from BlueFly.com and I still carry it today.
Q. You really put yourself out there by posting photos of yourself on your blog and on Instagram. Have you received any creepy e-mails from strangers, other than me?
A. I did get one bizarre message on Instagram and it was not from you. In one particular picture, I wore a pair of tights because it was so cold. The message asked me to take a picture of myself in my tights from my legs down to my feet with no shoes on. I thought it was a rather interesting request.
Q. Your blog is all about being trendy on a budget. What was your biggest discount score?
A. This is a hard question because anything that I want and can get at a discount is a big score in my book. The most recent discount score that comes to mind are my Oliver Peoples Braverman 55 sunglasses from a sample sale in New York. Tagged at $420 and purchased at $125.
Q. Sometimes pet owners can be a bit excessive and frightening in their adoration. (I am speaking from experience here.) Have you ever been guilty of dressing your dog, calling him Baby, or talking to him like a baby?
A. Guilty on all counts. Why wouldn’t I talk to my dog like a baby? He is my baby. Over the years, Bentley (my Yorkie) has amassed quite a wardrobe. My favorite item he owns is a navy Ralph Lauren polo. My fiance isn’t quite on-board with dressing up Bentley. However, we have reached somewhat of a compromise. If Bentley is to be dressed up and my fiance is with us, it can only be one of three things: a Celtics, Red Sox, or Patriots jersey. I think this is his attempt to man-up little Bentley.
Q. When your boyfriend proposed, was your first thought “I need to start shopping for a discounted wedding dress”?
A. Surprisingly, no. I started laughing hysterically and asked him if he was serious. I think he got a bit nervous because it took me a few minutes to come to and say yes. I was complete-ly surprised and couldn’t get over my ring. Once we made some phone calls to our families, the next order of business was dinner. I was starving and things can get ugly if I am not fed.Want to be featured as our Instagram style star? Hashtag your photos #BostonSnap. Christopher Muther can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Instagram@Chris_Muther and on Twitter @Chris_Muther.