Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Champagne Tastes, Beer Budget

If you're anything like me, you may find that your tastes occasionally exceed your budget. And by occasionally, I mean every single day of my entire life. The good news is that it is often pretty easy to find a similar, more budget-friendly version of the item you're lusting after. I'm not talking knock-offs, because that's just tacky. For me, going cheaper this doesn't work all the time. There's something to be said for the quality and durability (and sometimes, the luxury) of higher priced items (not to mention the very real issues created by the fast fashion industry). But designers across many brands are inspired by the same trends, so sometimes you can scratch that itch for less. Here are some of my favorite high/low options right now:

This style of sturdy black heel is a great addition to any closet. It's simple and timeless without being boring, and looks great with dresses or pants. DvF's version has a mini platform and a slightly almond-shaped toe, making them flattering and walkable. H&M's version is nearly identical (even more evident in person). If you'd wear these heels all the time, the higher quality version is a good investment and probably infinitely more comfortable.

A roomy duffel in a classic plaid print seems like a smart buy -- think of it sitting in your closet, just waiting for fall weekend adventures. This Abercrombie & Fitch tote seems like it would be great for long weekends or even just a busy Saturday. Old Navy's version is larger and might fit a week's worth of clothes (if you're a brilliant packer!).

A denim shirtdress ticks a lot of fall boxes: 70's vibe, cool denim, etc. The Alexa Chung x AG Jeans dress has an edgy downtown vibe. H&M's version is softer and more relaxed, perfect for work or play.

If you're looking for a smart plaid coat, this is your lucky year. This Tory Burch coat is so elegant and ladylike, and a great investment if you live in a part of the world where you'll be wearing a coat often. I was really tempted by this very similar H&M topper -- I particularly love it because it isn't lined, so it's light weight makes it perfect for my neck of the woods (Central Florida rarely sees temps lower than the mid-60s). 

Right now I don't have anyplace to wear a dramatic lace gown, and that's a damn shame. This Suno lace midi dress is modern and elegant but a bit pricey (and available in ridiculously limited sizes). I actually love this full-length version from H&M more, and for just $70 it might make sense to pick it up and wait for the right event to appear (this seems like a good time to link to one of my favorite posts about learning to shop your closet).

Statement earrings don't get quite as much love as statement necklaces, but sometimes they're just the way to finish a look. I love these Oscar de la Renta beauties -- they have so much energy and plenty of sparkle. For the same effect (but a little less dough), these Bollywood-esque drops are fun.

A long gold maxi skirt probably isn't on the top of your fall shopping list, but maybe it should be. This sparkly alice + olivia skirt would be so pretty for parties or maybe even a fall wedding (I've always wanted to attempt a Sharon Stone moment and wear a crisp button down with a full skirt). I also really love Anthropologie's version, which is much more toned down and appropriate for day or night.

Unbelievably, I found a near dupe for my beloved deco heel shoes. The Kate Spade heels still give me major heart-eyes -- I love that sparkly stacked heel. Zara's version has a very similar effect, though the mirrored heel is replaced by a clear heel with gold detail. I haven't seen it in person, but I trust the heel veers more high fashion and less stripper.

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