by Carly J. Cais, Fashion Designer & ChicSteals blog
As a designer 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.
It has now been a year since Carly’s Chic Steals launched on! Fashiontribes has been there, day in and out, spreading fashion goodwill across the world and bringing our weekly column to the far-flung corners of the Internet, and our fabulous-in-all-its-forms editor Lesley Scott has toiled away week after week, arranging our random recommendations into cohesive and well-written articles. Since we’ve managed to stay around for an entire year (even spawning a blog of the same name), we’re now in the mood to celebrate in a floaty party dress, mini-sweater, and on-colorful on-trend shoes. We plan to extinguish our single candle on our virtual birthday cake, dressed to the hilt in pieces that we scored for less than a simple song and dance. Come join the celebration in these 6 picks which are guaranteed to make you fabulous, festive, and fashionably frugal:

A cute party dress and festive accessories by Fashiontribes

FABULOUS FROCK Usually an item of clothing dubbed Trixxi would make us turn a well-polished heel and never, ever look back, however this little party dress from is exactly what we we were craving for the big event. Frothy and delicious, it’s guaranteed to make anyone feel like a princess – especially with statement jewelry; this is a piece best saved for a party (no points for dressing it down with black leggings underneath). And after all, what better time to be a Trixxi than on your birthday? (But just for today, we promise.;-) Trixxi Bubble Dress $60 (sale) at
SPARKLY SHRUG Top off your Trixxi and ward off the chill in this stylish sweater shrug with a metallic sheen that echoes the sparkling dots on the sash of the dress. Sophisticated without being fussy, this would look equally at home layered over a white tee and cuffed boyfriend jeans during the day, or with a black satin swing skirt and slinky top when the sun goes down. Wear into the warmer months of next spring, and watch your $30 investment pay off major style dividends. Shimmering Shrug $29 (sale) at
HUGE BLINGY EARRINGS Nothing says “I’m gorgeous – pay attention to me!” more than gigantic sparkly stones flashing at your jawline. Huge 2″ oval faceted gemstones dangle from crystals, surrounded by yet more crystals, making these blingy, fabulous, and able to inject some glamour into the most mundane of outfits. Pair with a black cashmere twinset and classic jeans to let them do all the talking, or rock them at night when more is more is more. Red Carpet Earrings $19 at
PEEP TOE BOOTIEThe peep toe bootie has proved to be the shoe of the season, both on the runways and the streets. Winterize this version with tights, and go barelegged come spring/summer. For more mileage, pair with crisply-pleated wideleg tweed trousers and a cream wrap cardi, or black tights and a metallic-sheen shift for go-go glam. Satin lace-up bootie $42 (sale) at
BOLD TIGHTS With winter headed our way, fashionistas in northern climes are pulling out the colorful leggings and tights – which makes up for the chill in the air, especially since this is officially The Year of Legwear. Whether it’s peeking out between the top of a boot and a skirt hem, under contrasting knee-length socks, or with a peeptoe or even a sandal, the right tights can totally upgrade and funkify whatever you’re wearing. Hue is a fab source of purely opaque colors, especially in gorge shades like steel, peacock, and a wild hot pink. (For our party look, a cheery bright contrasts nicely with the more muted tones on top.) Whatever you choose, have fun and let your gams do the talkin. Opaque Tight $12.50 at
Margiela_gift_bow_wallet_clutch SPLURGE OF THE WEEK: MARGIELA GIFT-BOW ACCESSORIES Trust the fabulous Maison Martin Margiela to take a tacky drugstore gift bow and elevate it to a unique, eyecatching accessory. Adorning a grainy white wallet/clutch in a matching fabric, it’s divine (not to mention way too special to get lost in the depths of your bag). And throw caution to the wind and walk the line between cutesy and sophisticated by sporting the matching Gift Bow ring at the same time. Maison Martin Margiela Gift Bow Wallet $500 and Gift Bow Ring $250 – both at
Now blow out those candles…and 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
(photo of Marilyn Monroe)


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