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. To celebrate the official start of summer here in the Northern hemisphere, we’re showcasing nature-inspired pieces that are seemingly straight out of the garden. So shed those layers, and infuse your wardrobe with flowery frocks, leafy jewelry, and sandals adorned with blooms. With these frugal, floral finds, everything will be coming up roses:

FLORAL SKIRT Oversized blooms in a smart minimalist print keep it chic rather than too flowery, while godets produce a universally figure-flattering fit-and-flare shape. Pair with ankle-wrap espadrilles and a black vest or a simple white tank and killer gold jewelry for carefree summer chic. At just under $20, you could splurge on both color options, pale blue/brown and shades of pink…spend $75 or more at and get free standard shipping! Apt 9 Floral Godet Skirt $17 at
FLOWERED FROCK Bring on the verdant vibe in this unexpected and fresh shade of green. The red, yellow, and brown in the rose-print harkens back to Victorian floral designs, but the bubble hem and sexy halter neck create a more modern hourglass. Just add nude sandals and a little wicker clutch – and you’re set for the next beach party or Saturday shopping excursion…and not even the sweltering humidity city can bring you down. Jennifer Dress $40 at
BOTANICAL BLOUSE This super-cute screenprinted kimono top comes in a number of options – black, tan, gray, white, and royal blue – and would look equally fabulous with a skinny pant, legging, or short shorts. The generous sleeves balance the low-cut V-front, and the lightweight fabric makes this perfect for long nights of dancing, or as a cute bikini cover-up at the beach or pool. Jersey V-Neck Kimono Dress $33 at
LEAFY EARRINGS Unlike just about every other flowery earring out there, these unique brass-and-verdigris leaf earrings from indie designer Jade Gideon’s We Dream in Colour line are sophisticated without being too girly, and would look just as good with a LBD as with an embroidered hippie tunic. Demeter Earrings, $28 at
FLOWERY FOOTWEAR Marked down from $120 to $95, these are high enough at just under 4″ (3.75″/90mm) to lengthen legs, but still comfy enough to stand up to a stint on bridesmaid duty at a friend’s summer wedding. Whether you wear them with a white sundress or skimpy khaki shorts, don’t forget the leg bronzer! Hale Bob Rosette Sandals $95 (sale) at
SPLURGE OF THE WEEK: TATTOO-INSPIRED TEE The tattoo-inspired, celebrity-fueled rock ‘n roll t-shirt is in high demand these days, so give the come-lately’s a miss in favor of the original designer, Christian Audigier. So much attention was paid to the exquisite detail of this rose-patterned tee – gold foiling, tattoo ink hues, a touch of bling – you only need to pair it with jeans and let it speak for itself. Perfect for days when you’re feeling less flowery and more about showing off some savvy streetstyle. Black Faded Floral Design Short Sleeve Tee $143 at
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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