by Carly J. Cais, Fashion Designer

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. Each week, I showcase five hot designer-style steals (each for $100 or, in most cases, for much, much less)…along with one splurge-worthy item.
However, with my recent birthday followed almost immediately by Christmas, I decided to draw up a fantasy a-girl-can-dream wish list of five fashionable trinkets that up the chill factor for maximum iced-out fabulousness:

SILVER SKULL CLUTCH The icicle-like swirly depth and stone-gray hue of this hard-sided clutch are reminiscent of winter, but the showstopping Swarovski crystal-studded skull adds a fabulous Goth touch. A steal at $1010. Alexander McQueen Skull Clasp
SEXY TURTLENECK SWEATER Silk, milk, and cashmere (!) are the main ingredients in this eco-chic concoction from uber-eco designer Linda Loudermilk. This perfect shade of Polar Bear (winter white) would go fabulously under any dark, wide-necked dress you own, and unlike the rest of the crowd in their basic boring standard turtlenecks, the hot cut-out neckline will make you really stand apart. Linda Loudermilk Icy Sweater $433 –
SATIN PRINCESS PUMP How do I worship this shoe? Let me count the ways: fierce pointed studs that temper a sweet, frayed satin bow; a fabulously rounded toe; the steel gray color that is so now; the cushioned sole that keeps a girl party-hopping in comfort; the sexy slink of leg (& the bow again!) that will turn heads as you hop into a cab/limo/pumpkin at the end of the evening. Report Signature Bette princess pump $175 –
PEARL CLUSTER EARRINGS When it comes to metal manipulation and jewelry that looks equally eyecatching on the red carpet or with a plain white tee from Old Navy, Philip Crangi is genius. The rows of black pearls drip like twinkling grape clusters, studded with tiny diamonds in their centers for a breathtaking effect. And priced at $3425, think of them as your own little investment account the way Carrie Bradshaw liked her money: hanging right where you can see it. Philip Crangi Black Pearl with Diamond Earrings –
STRUCTURED WOOL COATThis wool/cashmere blend stunner has a high foldover collar (which can be worn down for a touch less drama in the daytime), exquisite detailing on the back, and puffed Bishop sleeves that slim out the arms gorgeously. The flared skirt and hidden belt nip in the waist and lend a flattering Victorian feel, whether you’re wearing it with jeans, to a holiday party, out on the town…oh, the options are endless. Mackage Principessa Coat $748 –
STEAL OF THE WEEK: TEXTURED CARDIGAN Sweet & snuggly, this affordable cardie has a wonderfully nubby texture and the 3/4-length sleeves that are so hot right now. Perfect for lounging around, its swingy shape can easily top off any pencil skirt or bubble-hem dress you pair with it. To really play up the contrast in textures, try it over something silky. Honeycombed Wool Cardigan $35 (sale),
If there are any high-priced pieces you’d like me to find similar, less costly versions of, please email me at *carlyjcais AT*. ‘Til next week (when this article is back to its usual format), fellow bargain-hunters!
– Carly J. Cais


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