Happy Thursday everyone!
I don’t know about you, but I have the taste of a rich person and the budget of a homeless squirrel. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, but my point is that I often fall in love with expensive items that I simply can’t justify with my new grad budget. So, when this happens to me, I often look elsewhere to see how I can get the same look for significantly less. It got me thinking that perhaps this is something my readers might also experience, so I thought I’d write a post on it.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it’s easier to tell when someone is wearing cheap accessories (purses and shoes, mainly) rather than clothing. So, how do we go about pulling off a cheaper look without letting anyone know about it? The key here is to look for INSPIRED pieces rather than knockoff ones. This is the number 1 cardinal rule of shopping on the cheap. Trust me, it’s a game changer. Something that is inspired by a designer item means that some elements are similar to the original, but it is not an exact copy. A knockoff is when someone replicates the exact same thing, but using super cheap materials and shoddy craftsmanship. Since we’re trying to get as close to the real deal as possible, you might be inclined to think that knockoffs are the way to go. Don’t make this mistake!
How do you tell the difference between a knockoff and something that is inspired? An inspired item will still have it’s own flare, but a knockoff will not. For example, the shape of the bag may be very similar to a high-end designer bag, but it might have cutouts or lack detailed stitching that the high-end version has. The best way to demonstrate this is by showing some photos, which I’ve done below. Most fast fashion stores (Zara, Forever 21, the Gap, etc) take a majority of their inspiration from the major runway brands, so it’s likely that a lot of what you own is inspired already!
Here is a list of examples I’ve come up with over the past few weeks. On the left is the genuine piece from a designer brand, and on the right is an “inspired” piece for way less money. It quickly turned into a monochromatic list, so if you’re looking for something neutral, I’m your girl 😉
By looking for inspired pieces, you don’t need to feel bad about ripping off a designer item. You get the same general look, but for a fraction of the price. That’s a big win in my books! I often rely on “inspired” shopping to pull together most of my outfits on a modest budget, and hopefully now you will too!
Thanks for stopping by!