October 30, 2007

As a designer – my line is RIVETED Clothing & Accessories– I’ve developed an eye for style over the years…and right along with it, a nose for a bargain. Half the fun of fashion is looking fabulous without needing to declare bankruptcy. Here I’ll showcase 5 hot designer-style steals each week (each for $100 or, in most cases, for much, much less)…along with one splurge-worthy item.
As we head into late October and early November, the holiday season is looming. Before the party circuit hits its stride, stock up on a few items that can take you to that early-holiday event or get-together, and promise to boost your wardrobe’s versatility.

However, you don’t want to end up with a pile of party dresses, only to find that there are so many better options available once holiday merch hits the stores! Avoid the dreaded buyer’s remorse with these five fab picks:


‘Tis the season to sparkle & bling, and the mall is one place that’s always stocked with budget-friendly, on-trend pieces. Your first stop? Claire’s! However, beware: sorting through the huge selection of eye candy requires some serious stamina, but rest assured you’ll be rewarded with gorge jewels & accessories that mimic the high-end look. The proof? This featherweight jewel-encrusted pendant necklace – at just under $10, it’s as gorge on the pocketbook as it is to look at. Now I have something to adorn my shoulders, pair with some fancy satin dresses, or rock with skinny black jeans and a weathered tee for a retro 80’s glam look. Gem Necklace at Claires.com.


I am in love with the way Mike & Chris have redefined the hooded sweatshirt, but at $150 or more, high-end hoodies are simply not that affordable. Fortunately, a number of other lines have followed suit, serving up a plethora of girly, frilly, tailored, detailed, and oh-so-stylish hooded pieces. (And yes, I am also guilty of having a hoodie in my line.) The Royalty Jacket from Forever 21 (my go-to store for deeply discounted girly fashion must-haves) has everything I could want: fabulous gold-tone military buttons, huge kangaroo pocket, nipped-in waist, little puff-sleeves, and of course, a hood. Pair it with jeans, skirts, or – in place of a dress – a long-sleeved white top & a pair of dark tights. $28 from Forever21.com.


Regardless of whether you’re engaged, married, or still in the game, sometimes – as Carrie proved when she singlehandedly sparked a major trend by wearing Aidan’s diamond engagement ring on a necklace (prompting Marrieds & Singletons everywhere to follow suit) – what’s needed is a simple but gorgeous engagement-style ring. Forget your average (ie. boring) Princess cut diamond on a regular band. Instead, go avant garde with the Aerospace-Grade Titanium Tension-Mount Diamond Ring from Absolute Titanium. If the $500 starting price seems a bit much, try a stainless steel tension lookalike from RockCandles.com. At $35, it’s chic whether strung on a sterling chain or adorning your finger in a futile attempt to deter persisitant admirers.

If you thought Old Navy was the last place on earth you’d expect to find cashmere, you’re not alone. Lately, they’ve been coming out with more trendy, stylish staples & luxurious sweaters. This collar-shawl gem looks as fab over a lacy white cami with a flared skirt as it does paired with classic black pants. Simply add some bling accessories & prepare to brave the hols in style. However, do try to refrain (or not!) from purchasing one in every hue they offer: pastel pink, blue, gray, & black. $70 at OldNavy.com (If you’re a Old Navy, Gap, or Banana Republic cardholder, save an additional 20% until November 8th!)


Usually I avoid the kitschy holiday stuff, but since I recently (really!) passed the legal age of trick-or-treating, I could hardly ignore a chance to indulge in a little Halloween fun. In amongst all the black and S&M paraphenalia and body piercings lurks something fab at Hot Topic! For one of the best all-around, dressed-to-the-hilt-not-a-single-detail-overlooked Halloween costumes this time of year, look no further than the sexxxy Marie Antoinette mini-corset dress…but I digress. I also unearthed this mummy-ish, kind of macabre scarf with a mesh overlay that is perfect as an accent piece with a plain, dark overcoat, or with a fitted long-sleeved top. $24 at Hot Topic.

i>The silhouette of Fall is a cropped, swingy top with a monochromatic, leg-lengthening bottom, such as these high-waisted trousers. Bishop of Seventh spares no detail with the front-pleats, double-buttoned closure, tabbed waist & a figure-friendly wide-legged fit. Pair with a cropped, capelet-style coat in cream, tucked-in button-down white blouse or, if you’re headed for a holiday party, with a slinky silvery spaghetti-strap number. $295 at NeimanMarcus.com.
If there are any high-priced pieces you’d like me to find similar, less-pricey versions of, please don’t hesitate to email me at *carlyjcais AT riveted-clothing.com*. ‘Til next week, fellow bargain-hunters!
– Carly J. Cais


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