Growing up, I was always jealous of classmates who had casts, broken arms or legs. They had a cool new accessory that not only could be signed, it gave them cache, a coolness, a story.

Susan Dromey Heeter's Budget Vogue column sig

I no longer find myself envious of casts, which are primarily boots and rubberized slings these days, but casts got me thinking of how, as a Budget Vogue fashionista, I can turn any unfortunate accessory into something cool, fun and fashionable.

Let’s look at masks.

First off, I’m a fan. I like that I can put on sunglasses, a mask and become completely anonymous in CVS, Market Basket, the dentist’s waiting room.

I love the coverup — the fact that I can have a full beard beneath my face covering, yellow teeth, braidable nose hair and no one seems any the wiser.

If I were a “getting some work done” kind of person, I’d be in heaven. Who would spot my chin lift? My nose job? Masks can be pretty fabulous and, well, like a rash, they look like they are here to stay for a while longer, so we may as well embrace them.

And while, mercifully, I do not need a cane just yet, I do enjoy a good cane, a flashy walking stick.

I appreciate when someone has taken it upon themselves to invest in a solid, yet functional and fun accoutrement to their getting out and about. Why not? It’s lovely to move in any way possible, I’ll celebrate anything that gets me from point A to point B.

A good cane, some crystals appropriately glued? Oh, yes, that can change everything. Walking may be more labor intensive than it used to be, so it seems only right to celebrate that effort with glam.

Band-Aids have definitely upped their game with cool colors, characters, themes. When my children were little, I only bought the plain ones as I didn’t want them to be used up; only on Christmas would I put “My Little Pony” or “Dora the Explorer” Band-Aids in their stockings. Now? Well, now I think I’ll look for some color to make the next time I or someone else require a Band-Aid a little softer, a little brighter, a little less painful.

Why not? These days, Budget Voguers, are not easy but color and bling make everything just a little lighter, a little easier to digest. And if you’re wearing a mask, with a cane, and bandaged? Embrace it all, fashionistas, embrace it all.

Susan Dromey Heeter writes and teaches on the Seacoast. Contact her at