by Carly J. Cais, Fashion Designer & ChicSteals blog
As a designer – my line is RIVETED Clothing & Accessories – I’ve developed an eye for style over the years, and an appreciation for the fact that sometimes, designer pricetags can be downright scary. While life necessitates a splurge once in a while on that can’t-live-without-it fabulous item, much of the fun of fashion is mixing high with low to create outfits that are creative, and also budget-friendly. Each week, I showcase five hot designer-style steals (each for $100 or, in most cases, for much, much less)…along with one must-splurge item.
Despite reluctant boyfriends and others refusing to Get Carried Away with Sex and the City: The Movie (all that relationship drama, wide-eyed optimism, female bonding, and glitter that is the onscreen version of life in NYC) this filmic fashion-fest will more than appease the need for gorgeous eye candy.

Ensemble after ensemble – and not just for uber-fashionista Carrie Bradshaw, but a much more chic Miranda Hobbes – stylist Patricia Field created a memorable movie wardrobe, which inspired this week’s picks…perfect for that quirky, Cosmo-swilling, clothes-obsessed Manhattanite in all of us:

GLADIATOR SANDALS The Dior gladiators Carrie sports in so many scenes, including the opening, are priced at just under $800. For $23 from Go Jane and available in white, nude, tan & black, these strappy gladiator heels let a girl walk in Carrie’s shoes…sans her un-sexy realization in Season 4, Episode 64 Ring a Ding Ding that she’s dropped so much on designer footwear over the years, she may actually turn into the old woman who literally lived in her shoes.
FLORAL DRESS Starting with the inspiring opening scene where Pat Field presented the audience with a lovely welcome back Carrie-flower and throughout the entire movie, the leading ladies looked lovely in florals of every variety. A garden of green/blue/yellow from is guaranteed to bring some flower power to your wardrobe, and priced at $29, you’ll have enough left over for a fetching floral jacket & neutral accessories a la Carrie.

GRAPHIC TEE DRESS Katharine Hamnett’s STAY ALIVE IN 85 tee is back – bigger, bolder, eco-chic, and better than ever. Carrie’s cobalt blue version is coming soon to the designer’s website, however, get the look for as little at $65 in a bright red t-shirt dress from Hellz Bellz at To keep from clashing with the PacMan-meets-mod print, keep accessories minimal…unless you’re feeling bold (and cold), in which case pair with over-the-knee argyle socks ($12/pair from, sandals, and a thin gold choker.

STUDDED BELT On all the ladies in scene after scene, we saw fabulous outfits made ever more fabulous with belts. Carrie’s fave (which popped up a few times) was definitely the wide studded belt which she paired with prim little dresses to give them her own little style-spin (as a fun aside, at a recent intimate Q&A with Patricia Field, we learned that Sarah Jessica Parker loved the belt so much, she wanted to wear it with everything, and even christened it Roger.) This $20 version from Da Kine looks sassy and hard (but not I-just-joined-a-biker-gang hard), and is ultra chic with both jeans and frilly frocks.

ANKLE-LENGTH PRINT DRESS Carrie rocked two different versions of this trendy summer dress, a lovely purple tie-dye by Veronique Branquinho, and an Alexander McQeen rainbow butterfly print. This $15 version from Walmart would fit – and flatter – a range of sizes, and would look most Carrie’esque with bare feet and a gold nameplate necklace.
ONE-STOP SEX SHOPPING AT ASOS Even with the abysmal dollar-to-pound exchange rate, you can pick up a Carrie-like floral sundress, gladiator heels, safari-style vest, and that jaw-dropping white one-shouldered vintage flower dress – all for slightly more than what I usually recommend in my picks – but for far less than their luxury-brand counterparts at

SPLURGE OF THE WEEK: SPARKLY PINK PHONE Carrie’s other Big accessory was her pink Swarovski-encrusted phone. For $160, the Blackberry Pearl Faceplate kit at Let’s Crystal It lets you pimp-out your phone, providing hours of girlie garrulousness. While the six month warranty covers any crystals that might come off, the high-quality adhesive ensures they will mostly stay put…which is important, if you’re planning to party like it’s 2003 again.
If there are any high-priced pieces you’d like me to find similar, less costly versions of, please email me at carlyjcais AT fashiontribes DOT com. ‘Til next week, fellow bargain-hunters!
– Carly J. Cais

(photos: top – AZ Valley Girl Blog; Katharine Hamnett tee –; print dresses & wannabes (above) – both Craig Blankenhorn/New Line Cinema)


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