Glaby 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.

Starting with Fall ’07 we saw one of the hottest trends for this year emerge : Grecian Chic, with sparkling jeweled necklines, flashy clutches, flowing fabrics, and strappy shoes. With Spring ’08 comes an update on this trend, making it more effortless, down-to-earth, and ultimately wearable. But savvy fashionistas know that you can still get mileage out of those embellished pieces from Autumn by mixing them with the more bohemian separates we’re seeing lately. Grab these five hot picks (without breaking the bank!) and ramp up your inner Goddess:

We saw them layered over tights for Fall, and now we can finally wear those shorts we’ve been coveting – and show off gorgeously glowing (and bare!) gams at long last. With a paperbag waist and pretty satin ribbon tie, this pair skims over any midsection flaws, and the white color showcases an early Spring tan to perfection. Throw on a pair of glossy patent pumps and a tissue-weight tee for a schoolgirl-meets-callgirl look, or dress them down with a breezy tunic and some flip-flops for warmer days. On sale for $15, they’re a worthwhile investment that will take you all the way through to Fall with ethereal ease.
Lux Sunday in the Park Short, $15,

Skip the gold clothing and pile on the gold accessories this season – but take care – a little goes a long way when it comes to shine and sparkle. With two chains to choose from and a wealth of stones adorning the top, this little clutch offers versatility and sass in a small package. Marked down to $50 now that the hols are over, now is the time to snap up this pint-sized gem and put some gleam in your handbag rotation. Pair with anything – go for a pair of dark skinny jeans if you’re feeling adventurous – or stick with more sophisticated pieces for a night out – and let your inner Goddess roar.
Virgo Jeweled Clutch, $50 (sale),

On all legs in the know this Spring is the gladiator sandal (and you probably spotted Dior’s version on Carrie in the Sex and the City movie promos too!). Love that Old Navy put out their own budget-friendly version at just under $20. With metal rings holding everything in place, and available in bronze or black, they’re sure to add a bit of female glamazon to an otherwise bland ensemble. Pair them with everything from jeans to a tiered bohemian skirt for an effortless warrior vibe that emulates far more pricey versions-for far less of an investment.
Gladiator Sandals, $19.50,

If you’ve been watching the latest season of Project Runway (admit it – we’ve all practically been riveted to the latest installment of the season), you’ve probably been drooling over the gorge draped confections that Rami Kashou has masterminded on the show. Though his Red Carpet designs might not be particularly affordable for the average gal, this drapey top is reminiscent of his amazing ability with fabric (and that fab gown he made back in the first episode!). In grey, purple, or black, and for a mere $33, this piece can be worn as a sweet and sassy mini-dress or as a flowing tunic over a great pair of jeans. Add a strappy gladiator sandal and you’re set for a Spring ensemble that will take you from coffee to a movie to a night on the town in a flowered flash.
Aisling Dress, $32.99,

Sometimes you just don’t need extra jewelry – and this top does double duty as a hot little tunic and a piece of sparkle on its own. With a soft blouson-style waist to keep everything loose and flowy, its glittering neckline brings the attention up to your glowing cheeks and glossy pout. At only $24, this top infuses a shot of glamour that looks oh-so-coquettish peeking out from a structured jacket for day or gracing sparkling shoulders at night.
Jeweled V-Neck Halter Tank Top, $24,

Cast from an actual piece of string, this sculptural ring serves as a little golden reminder for all things forgot. Also in silver, this 14K gold version will add a touch of ethereal sparkle to an otherwise unadorned finger – or sit nicely in amongst more showy pieces. At $190 for this hand-crafted accessory, it’s a wise investment that can be both understated (and deliciously sexy!) in its delicate knotting.
Gold Forget-Me-Knot Ring, $190,

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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