Saturday, September 24, 2016

Red Carpet on a Budget

I was at a high-end mall today, shopping for a gift, and I noticed that one of the stores was showing some dresses that reminded me quite a bit of several gowns featured in one of my recent red carpet reviews. And it occurred to me, "I wonder what it would cost me to recreate some of the looks I've seen on the red carpet? How close could I come, by shopping in regular retail stores?" So that's exactly what I did. I looked up some of the gowns that I've reviewed on the red carpet and tried to find a similar gown and similar accessories. Read on to find out just how much YOU would pay to get these red carpet looks!

Let's begin with Julianne Moore's look at the 2016 Oscars:
Moore's flared black gown features criss-cross straps and a plunging neckline, and is paired with large circular diamond earrings and an unusual wrap bracelet. To find a similar gown, I started at the store that inspired me, BCBGMAXARIA, and found this:
This gown features a less full skirt and no beading, but it does have a plunging neckline and criss-cross straps, and costs a cool $338. A slightly smaller version of her diamond circle earrings is available at Saks Fifth Avenue for $250.
I took a closer look at her bracelet and her coordinated ring. The ring was fairly basic and easy to find; Lord and Taylor carries this channel set diamond ring for a mere $800. 
The bracelet was a bit more unusual, and therefore a bit more difficult to approximate. I couldn't find anything with a similar flared field of gemstones, but I did find this lovely rhinestone stretch bracelet at USA Bride for a mere $35. 
This total look would cost you $1,423. What a bargain!

Let's try another look: Tina Fey, also at the 2016 Oscars.
Fey's striking but simple purple column was strapless, gathered in at the waist, and had a small train. She accented her look with a gorgeous diamond and sapphire necklace. Could you recreate that look? Try starting with this gown from JJ's House, for $219.
But you'd better be prepared to shell out some serious cash for that necklace; I found a reasonable facsimile at Macy's for a whopping $14,200.

That brings your total for the Fey look to $14,419.

If you think you might be brave enough to emulate Helen Mirren, try replicating her look from the 2016 SAG awards:
Her clinging silver gown featured a v-neck and 3/4 length sleeves, and was accessorized with a diamond cuff bracelet, diamond hoop earrings, and a silver clutch. How much would it cost YOU for this look? Well, you could start with this lovely silver gown from Primavera Couture, for $469.

No doubt the stunning diamond bracelet would be prohibitively expensive, but a similar vintage rhinestone cuff can be had for $345 on Etsy.
Etsy also brings us these lovely multiple-hoop rhinestone earrings for only $205.
And finally, the rectangular, metallic silver clutch: a similar Yves St. Laurent bag from Poshmark will set you back a mere $1600.
So your grand total for pretending to be Helen Mirren for the night would be $2,619 (and a bargain at any price). 

Is Sofia Vergara a cheaper date? Let's recreate her look from the 2016 SAG Awards:
Her stunning fuchsia column featured a sweetheart neckline and very straight, simple lines, and her accessories were a coordinated rectangular magenta clutch and a gold and diamond necklace and earrings. If you happen to share her va-va-voom figure, try this gorgeous column from Dressale, for $265.
The matching clutch is an absolute bargain at only $22 from

We can head back to Etsy for this vintage gold choker, priced at $58:
Similar square diamond, citrine, and gold earrings can be had from for $190:
Which brings Vergara's look to a grand total of only $535!! Beauty on a budget!

Vanessa Hudgens brought some youthful fun to the 2015 Tony Awards with this delightful poppy print gown:
She accessorized with simple drop earrings and a metallic gold clutch. The dress is surprisingly easy to copy with this poppy print maxi dress from Lulu's, for only $89. 
A sparkly gold clutch was easy to find, from Kate Spade, for $328.
The earrings were difficult to see, but appeared to be small hoops with a gold bauble hanging from  each. The most similar style I could find was these gold hoops with dangling hearts, FOR $50 at

And finally, let's try to recreate Winnie Harlow's gorgeous look from the 2016 VMAs:
Harlow's gorgeous ruched and wrapped deep taupe gown was paired with gladiator stilettos and a kind of necklace that hung over her head almost like a necklace-headband hybrid. A similar gown is available from Dolce & Gabbana for only $5,395:
The gladiator stilettos are much less pricey, at only $47 for this pair from Cici Hot:
And for the bib necklace/headband, we return once again to Etsy to find this black bead and crystal bib necklace, for $75:

This brings the Harlow look to a grand total of $5,517. 

So I guess the bottom line is, decide who you can afford to be, and be her!! Happy shopping!

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