Category Archives: luxe or less

luxe or less: isabel marant

This Isabel Marant “Reilly” jacket from her Spring 2011 collection has been haunting me. First, I spotted it…

marant jacket luxe or less: isabel marant

Then I spotted it being worn so casually and beautifully by Anja on Garance Dore’s blog:

anja rubik garance dore luxe or less: isabel marant

Then I spotted it being worn in a bit more uptown style by Blake Lively and Katie Holmes (via coolspotters).

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Then I spotted it in Lucky with a perfectly-layered, hip downtown vibe.

marant jacket 1 768x1024 luxe or less: isabel marant

Sadly, spotting it is all I’ll be doing. It would set me back anywhere from $1,500 to $3,500 (there are a few different trim versions floating around out there) – and it’s been sold out for months. I’m thinking a few alternatives may be in order.

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The first option is by Roberto Cavalli – it’s the priciest of the bunch at $560, but the style is also the closest. That said, there’s a bit more boho to this version than I’d like. The sequined jacket from Tory Burch ($348, on sale) has the embellished trim I love, but the rest is a bit more subdued. I quite like this Verona jacket from J.Crew (bonus that it’s on sale for a bizarrely reasonable $99) – it has the same silhouette and feel as the original, but it definitely doesn’t stand out in a crowd. And last, this floral bomber style jacket from Manoush ($253) definitely has the vibe of the Marant, even if the color palette is decidedly different.

So, what do you think? Do any of these styles come close to the original?

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luxe or less: laptop tote

the agony of the ‘luxe or less’ debate haunts me a little too often, i have to admit.  do i buy the one i really adore, or do i save a substantial sum by going for the “almost there, but not nearly as spectacular” steal?

last week, for example, i succumbed to the “less” version of an hermes notebook i lost long ago (some little punk that broke my car window is now carrying hermes…can you believe it?!).  it’s a style i showed you in this year’s gift guides, and it’s lovely – in fact, in person, it’s better than the photos made it look.  it’s a dead ringer for my beloved hermes…but it’s just not the same.  still, in this case, when we’re talking $265 plus $60-80 for a refill, versus $35 including two refills (!), my frugality won out.

you can see how my bargain-buying tendencies have been pushed to the max.  so, i need some help if i’m going to brave the “luxe or less” debate yet again.  that’s where you come in, dear readers.

i’ve been looking for a great, ultra-slim laptop tote for months (hmm, probably more than a year, actually), and have now come across two that would work.  when it rains, it pours.  first, the luxe option – this divine tory burch “alice” quilted laptop case:

Picture 11 luxe or less: laptop tote

i go into palpitations just looking at this one!  the quilted leather, the slim profile, the subtle logo…it’s somehow professional and chic at the same time.  but at $195, for something i’m essentially using to tote my macbook over to starbucks to blog, it’s giving me pause.

in the “less” corner, we have this chevron-embossed version from acme made:

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cute, right?  and not nearly as perfect as the splurge.  i know.  but it’s only $30, which helps immensely with the cute factor, i think.  still….oh, that tory burch version is just so lovely.

so, help me out, dear readers:  luxe or less?

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luxe or less: marni vs. target

 

picture 7 luxe or less: marni vs. target    picture 6 luxe or less: marni vs. target

we’re going to be talking a lot about florals in the next couple of weeks…after all, it’s spring, and florals are a perennial stand-by for the season.  but this year, the styling is a lot more hip and nontraditional…which i’m loving.  these bags are a great case in point.  i love the abstract leaf patterns, and they’re a great twist on a classic floral, which can get a little laura ashley.  (i do, however, love taking a really traditional floral pattern and mixing it with an ultra-mod design…something along the lines of this fab charlotte ronson dress, or that steven alan top we talked about.)

either of these bags would be a great way to bring a little of that hot spring floral into your life – i’d add one to a winter-friendly ensemble like slacks and a blouse to warm things up a bit.  your choice:  left is marni, $600 at net-a-porter; right is hayden-harnett, $49.99 at target.

so, which one would you choose:   luxe or less?

 luxe or less: marni vs. target

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luxe or less: kirna zabete style genius

justinwinterbluesFINAL luxe or less:  kirna zabete style genius

every so often, an email hits my inbox and i just exclaim “yes, exactly!” when i open it.  such was this email i received yesterday from kirna zabete.  kz is every new yorker’s secret source for the latest and greatest in fashion lovelies, this fantastic store is finally offering its designer wares online.

i think each and every one of their picks is a flawless, investment-worthy choice…and, if you can swing it, you absolutely should.  if nothing else, you should at least spend some time playing on their site…there are so, so many lovelies to ogle.

but i love this look so much that i’m going to give you some budget-friendly ways to get the look…so that you can look as hot as this picture without walking the streets begging for spare change to finance your fashion.

i love this version of the tie-neck blouse from banana republic (in the lovely purple, not that blah tan color), and it’s just $69.  equally lovely is this version from marc by marc jacobs, marked down to $78 at nordstrom.  but best of all is this stunner from roberto rodriguez, which i may even prefer to the original, on sale for $200.

and if those loooovely lanvins just don’t fit the budget, i’d swap for this version from bloch london for $163 – gorgeous (and a perfect match for the banana republic top above!)!  for an even better steal, i have to admit that i would never have thought to check here, but plus-size site silhouettes has a quite lovely satin cap-toe flat (in sizes 7-12) for a cool $40.  i’d go for the wine color, i think…perfect for this time of year!

the clutch is vastly more complicated, as i adore their choice and hate to mess with it.  so…how about if i find the exact same alexander wang clutch for you at 50% off?  yep…$325 at shopbop.  don’t say i never did anything for you!


 luxe or less:  kirna zabete style genius

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