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.
Muggy summer temperatures make everyone want to retreat somewhere cool. Whether you plan to beat the heat with the central A/C at the office or are lucky enough to head somewhere balmy and exotic, create the feel of cruise ship cool with a crisp palette of nautical neutrals. Add some chic gold accents and look like you globetrot in high style with these five stylish picks:

SCARF-PRINT TUNIC Taking you from deck to dinner, covering up that teensy bikini top, or under that office suit for something spicier than a boring button-down, this piece features a fresh flower pattern in sky blue, gold, and geranium red. Available in XS to XXXL, the fabulous $20 price and summery cotton fabric means less time at the dry cleaners and more fun in the sun. Scarf-Print Tank, $20.50 at
GOLD CHAIN BRACELET Update that charm bracelet of yore with a chunky gold chain bracelet woven through with a ribbon of leather for a fun pop of color at your wrist. For jetsetting style, pair with crisp white slacks and matching oversized pebbled-leather travel bag. To save 40% on your purchase, enter the code firstpick40 at checkout. Leather Chain Bracelet, $17 (with discount code) at
TERRY COVER-UP/MINI If your morning routine tends to involve a long run rather than a leisurely latte, this Halter Hoodie Dress will take you from an early a.m. surf lesson to your afternoon pilates in sleek style. The two-way zipper lets you determine how much skin you want to display, and instead of swaddling you in an excess of fabric, its curve-skimming backless design shows off all your hard work. Halter Hoodie Dress $69 at
FABULOUS ONE-PIECE No self-respecting cruise wardrobe is without the LBD of swimwear: a black one-piece suit. With plunging neckline, removable pads, and ruched midriff control, it shows off your curves flatteringly, but still leaves a little something to the imagination – all with a hefty dose of retro glamour. DKNY Ruched One-Piece, $72 (sale) at
CORK WEDGES The classic summer shoe, these come in hot pink, navy, and sunflower patent leather – perfect with that coral pedi peeking out and paired with some fabulous mini-shorts. The inch-high platform means the 3.5″ heel is practical but still high enough to show off legs at their sleekest. And at just over $40, it’s a small price to pay for all the walkin’ you’ll do in them well into September. Marc Fisher Osteria slingback wedges, $42 (sale) at
SPLURGE OF THE WEEK: DESIGNER CUFFED SHORTS Instead of Daisy Dukes (ugh!), sail through summer in these fabulous cuffed – and classy – shorts by Vince. With their signature luxurious simplicity, they’re short without being too revealing, in a versatile length that works equally well with a flowing tunic and oversize Jackie O shades as dressed up with a ruffled blouse. Vince Cuffed Shorts $96 (originally $185) at Now that’s a steal.
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


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