As a designer (my line is RIVETED Clothing & Accessories) I've developed an eye for style over the years...and right along with it, a nose for a bargain. Half the fun of fashion is looking fabulous without needing to declare bankruptcy.
So now that it's mid-October, I do my annual closet-cleaning: getting rid of old stuff I no longer wear, packing away summer clothes for next year, and deciding which items I can still wear into the Fall and chillier months. This is also the perfect time to score some of those trendy items that have been calling your name since they first hit all the magazines. The good new is, these trends are still going strong into Autumn, and now is the time to rotate them into your wardrobe before the next big thing comes along. Plus, since you cleverly avoided jumping on the bandwagon at the first sign of popularity, trend pieces & foolproof lookalikes are now available at deeply-discounted prices.
Here are this week's six stylish, budget-friendly fashion & accessory must-haves:
CONVERTIBLE JERSEY DRESS
Since I design clothing that offers different styling options, I am completely taken with other designer pieces that are multi-functional. In particular, I'm obsessed with Normal Kamali. She designs an exclusive collection for Spiegel, with dresses, skirts, and tops in a slinky-soft jersey spandex, many of which can be styled in different ways. A batwing long-sleeved dress converts to a fitted halter-neck dress, for example, and at long last - it's on sale! It's lightweight, so it would go wonderfully with leggings or cardigans during the colder months - and can stand on its own for an elegant evening out. Good luck choosing between the six different colors. Normal Kamali Timeless All-in-One Short Dress $63 (sale) - available at Spiegel.com
Necklaces, earrings, detailing on bags, accessories...the pyramid stud has been a hot it item this year. But it's also commanded a commensurately it price until now. (I know because I've been fighting the temptation to shell out more than $180 for a sterling-silver hand-forged designer ring adorned with an oversized pyramid stud.) I had been holding off & waiting for the right time, so I felt super-smug when I snagged a silvertone lookalike from Macy's for $8 earlier this week (not on their website; you'll have to visit the store itself). But smugness has a price...I just located an even more spendthrift-y version on sale at Urban Outfitters for just $4.99. $4.99??! at UrbanOutfitters.com...plus, they also carry a cute pair of matching pyramid stud earrings for $12. Lovely!
BLACK PLATFORM PEEP-TOE SNAKESKIN SLINGBACKS
If you're like me and totally addicted to The Fashionista Diaries on the SOAP Channel, and you probably also feel head over, er, heels for the gorgeous black Report Signature Gala Snakeskin pumps that Bridget was wearing on the first episode with her totally cute Sretsis dress. Talk about perfect: a sexy platform in black snake with a hot gold lining...I just had to have them! But with a $179 price tag at Amazon or Zappos.com (which now only has the white version in size 9) I lost hope.
I even scoured eBay in vain, and then happened to stumble into Walmart.com's shoe section where I almost fainted! There were my lovelies! And with the gorgeous gold lining too. I headed to my local Walmart (because yes, I am even a cheapskate when it comes to paying shipping fees), slipped on a pair in a size 8, and was further amazed not only that they fit, but that they're unbelievably comfortable, and priced at $17. Perfect with breezy summer dresses, sexy pencil skirts, fabulous with jeans and still gorgeous with brightly-colored tights for Fall...but act fast, ladies, these are going fast! Metro7 Tiffany Peep-Toe - Walmart.com.
So retro, so Disco-era fabulous when paired with a drapey jersey dress - I've been coveting a golden bib-style necklace. Lucky Magazine featured a stunning copper version from Lazuli Jewelry earlier in the year, but at $70? We can definitely do better than than. For $15, this Crescent Moon necklace from Urban Outfitters is perfect. (Is it obvious I'm totally obsessed with this store??)
It first made an appearance at Calvin Klein (if I remember accurately), and then at NineWest. Now, I'm happy to report, it's finally affordable in a chic metallic pewter at Newport News. The ruched bootie is simply so 80's - and so perfect with leggings and an oversized sweater. Soft Leather Ankle Boot $50 (sale) at Newport-News.com.
SPLURGE OF THE WEEK
I just have to wear gray in the fall. Gray sweaters, gray booties, gray tights...gray is my color this year, which I why I have totally fallen for this lovely gray Josh Jakus felted handbag, handcrafted by the designer in the San Francisco Bay Area. Not only is it the perfect size, but in a sublime melding of form & function, it unzips completely flat for storage...plus it's crafted from recycled factory felt remnants. A feel-good, utterly chic purchase! $95 at BeeHiveCo-op.com.
If there are any high-priced pieces you'd like me to find similar, less-pricey versions of, please don't hesitate to email me at carlyjcais AT riveted-clothing.com. 'Til next week, fellow bargain-hunters!
- Carly Cais