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 hot designer-style steals (each for $100 or, in most cases, for much, much less)…along with one splurge-worthy item.
Who doesn’t covet celebs’ closets (or what the savvy stylist foists onto the next hot young thing in an effort to up their paparazzi quotient). But the price of being looking like a star can be, well, pricey…and so we’ve scouted out some deeply-discounted items that are lookalike-a-licious:

RED DRESS WITH BLACK BELT What better way to punch up a gray winter day than with a splash of vibrant color? At under $30, this sexy number will transform you into the Lady in Red without breaking the bank. Tip: keep your accessories toned down and the focus on your hot bod. After you whip off your fluffy white jacket (a la Eve and Kate Hudson), you can wow admirers coming or going. Sexy open V-back red dress $28 – (Hayden Panettiere & Natasha Bedingfield via People)

FOOTLESS TIGHTS Step out on the fashion forefront! If you don’t might the chill, pair with some uber-lowcut pumps for a tantalizing peek of skin. Love the $38 pricetag almost as much as the fact that they’re available at Neiman Marcus. Wolford Velvet de Luxe Legging $38 – (Rihanna & Paris Hilton via People)

THIGH-HIGH BOOTS Seen on just about every A-lister from Hilary Duff to Carrie Underwood, the thigh-high boot is one of the season’s more fun trends. If you dare, wear them high up on your thigh. Worried you’ll be mistaken for Pretty Woman? Then slouch them to the knee or fold down a cuff. To ward off the cold, tuck into skinny jeans and enjoy the fact that the long length and solid black hue makes your gams look endless. Leather Feel (vegan) slouch boot $34 – (Hilary Duff & Kate Moss via
ANIMAL-PRINT BALLET FLATS A fab way to meow up whatever you’re wearing. This pair boasts a sexy peep-toe that will be perfect for those warming spring days on the way (or breezy L.A. nights). For a Chanel’esque Resort ’08 take, wear with wide-legged jeans, a white blouson tops, and a red patent belt; alternatively, pair with a breezy floral dress for a fun pattern mix and match. Cheetah-Print Ballet Flat $19 – (Ashley Olsen & Katherine Heigl via People)

SPLURGE OF THE WEEK: ORKA MESICA GOLD BEADED BRACELET With its single gold circle symbolizing success, rebirth, and creation, this friendship bracelet is said to improve your stylistic mojo. Which is probably why it’s gracing the wrists of so many BFF-happy Hollywood types, including Lindsay Lohan, Lauren Conrad, and Audrina Patridge. For a celeb vibe, wear a stack of three, and get your money’s worth by wearing them with everything from jeans to the red carpet. At $125 each, it’s but a (relatively) small drop in that big karma bucket. Orka Mesica Triple Gold and Black Beaded B
$125 each at (to save 10%, coupon code castyle.

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, fellow bargain-hunters!
– Carly J. Cais


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