Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Anything You Can Buy, I Can Buy Cheaper

I fell down the Pinterest wormhole this morning. It's been a while since I looked back over some of my boards, so I started browsing some old pins, including a board I have called "Stuff I'll Buy When I Finally Write That Best Seller". And I started thinking, "I wonder if I could find a nice, inexpensive (or at least, less expensive) version of some of these items?" So I put on my Bargain Hunting pants (they're fabulous and I got them on sale, of course) and started shopping. Here's what I found!

Jimmy Choo Swarovski Crystal-Covered Suede Sandals: $638 at Saks Fifth Avenue
These sandals are, sadly, no longer available, but according to the site linked above, they were previously available at Saks Fifth Avenue for $638 - which, considering that many similar Jimmy Choo styles I found cost as much as $2,000+, is something of a bargain. What I love about these shoes are the graceful curlicues of the straps and the restrained crystal detailing, particularly along the stiletto heel and the ankle strap. So what is the closest affordable version?

This Fioni Lumiere strappy heel is only $35 at Payless Shoes. It features a similar silhouette, with a tall, tapered heel, peep toes, gracefully arched straps up to the ankle, and a glittery crystal finish all over. It's no Jimmy Choo, but it'll still make you feel like a movie star.

Movado Museum Watch - $495 at Movado.com
I love the simplicity of this watch: a basic black face with a single silver dot in the twelve o'clock position, silver hands, and a plain black leather band.


This similar Seiko diamond-accent watch from JC Penney is still slightly pricy at $206, but significantly less than half the price of the Movado. It has a plain black face with a single diamond chip at twelve o'clock, gold hands and a thin gold band at the edge of the face, and a textured black leather band.

Vintage black velvet and satin Valentino gown - $5,000-$15,000 at Neiman Marcus
Julia Roberts wore a similar stunning vintage black velvet and satin Valentino gown to the 2001 Oscars. The front is a slender velvet column with a y-shaped line of white satin down the front and a black mesh inset, and the back features a flared train accented with black and white beaded stripes cascading down from a large white satin bow. I'm just guessing at the pricetag on this one; most of Neiman Marcus' Valentino collection runs from between five and fifteen thousand dollars, although some are upwards of thirty grand.

Not surprisingly, it's not easy to find a gown similar to the vintage Valentino that's not simply another vintage Valentino. However, this gown, a cool $173 from JJ's House, is a long black column descending into a train at the back, and the front features a black mesh yoke with rhinestone trim. You might not look like a Julia Roberts level movie star, but you'll look like a movie star.

Harry Winston Holly Wreath Diamond Choker - About $1M at auction from Christie's
Even the rich and famous often borrow Harry Winston diamonds rather than buying them, that's how pricey they are. So even if I do write that best-seller, I probably won't be picking up this gorgeous choker. But maybe I can find a pretty cubic zirconia or glass version that has a similar pattern.

The pattern of these gems is noticeably simpler, but still a similar style. For only $35 from Etsy, I'm willing to go for a bit simpler.

Mink Coat - $6,597 from Macy's Fur Vault
There's nothing that says luxury quite like a genuine mink coat. The feel, the color, the warmth...it appeals to every sense. But if the real thing is out of your budget, what's a reasonable substitute?

This beautiful full-length faux fur coat from Burlington Coat Factory is only $109, but it still provides wonderful luxury with its soft, thick fur. Details include contrasting trim on the collar, cuffs, and hood. And no minks were harmed in the making!

Karmann Ghia Convertible - $17,500 on the Collector Car Network
There really is no reasonable  - and affordable - equivalent to this sweet little Karmann Ghia convertible. So until I can afford the real thing, I guess I'll just tuck this one into my purse and dream:




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