When I saw Leighton Meester at the recent Louis Vuitton S/S 2010 show, I thought one thing and one thing only: I absolutely must duplicate that outfit. A click of my mouse sent it into my inspiration folder, which at the moment is about 75 percent Ashley Olsen images. But there was one tiny issue: Leighton’s ensemble cost about a semester’s tuition.
How could I duplicate such inspirational ensembles for a fraction of the cost? Here is my best go at making three pricey looks affordable:
Leighton Meester in Louis Vuitton
Outfit total: $7,511 before shoes and bag
My version: Forever 21 is always my one-stop shop for pretty, cheap floral dresses. I mimicked the colors and shape of Leighton’s Louis frock with their Belted Peacock Dress, only $19.80. (I’d remove the tacky attached belt.) Then I e-grabbed their Oversized Chevron Vest ($24.80) to cinch over the dress. Add some simple black socks and open-toe heels and ta-da! A Leighton-esque ensemble for only $44.60.
Alexa Chung in Burberry
Outfit total: Trenches start at $900
My version: Burberry trenches are always touted as wardrobe essentials, but they’re unattainable at the moment. I love how Alexa’s looks so casually thrown over her black silk dress. Luckily, the girls at Fashionista.com alerted me to Old Navy’s $49.50 version. Throw it over this grey ASOS +chiffon dress — very Alexa for $61 — and add a chunky bootie like this $88 Nash Bootie from Urban Outfitters to top it all off. Find a long necklace at a vintage shop like Blacklist Vintage and Voilà.
Rachel Bilson on the street
Outfit total: $1,000+
My version: Here’s something a little more appropriate for day-to-day class-going wear. Start with aviator sunglasses ($10 for a cheap pair or $130 for classic Ray-Bans) and a luxe wrap scarf. Throw a Forever 21 faux-leather bomber ($37.50) over a basic white tee (I like American Apparel’s deep-Vs or American Vintage) and a pair of black skinny jeans or jean leggings. Nordstrom has $44 skinnies that are almost as nice as their $200 contemporaries in the Savvy department. Rachel’s scarf is mustard yellow, which is kind of a passé, hipster hue, so I chose a bright orange wrap from Love Quotes. They’re a bit spendy at $85, but trust me — a quality scarf improves any outfit. Cuff your jeans just a tiny bit to show off your shoes; for a more class-friendly look than Rachel’s heels, I’d do a flat oxford. Urban Outfitters line Deena & Ozzy has a good one for $66.
Start your own inspiration board
My roommate and I recently made our very first inspiration board, and it’s something I highly recommend doing. When you can’t decide what to wear, looking at images that appeal to you can really lend a creative boost. We bought a bulletin board at Target for about $8 and filled it up with runway images.
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