How to Create a High-End Look on a Low Budget with Stylist Amia Serrano

chiconthecheap_aliceoliviaAmia Serrano is a noted fashion stylist who has styled photo shoots and editorials for numerous magazines, lookbooks, and websites, and is able to make the most mundane items sing by pairing high-priced with affordable finds. She is guest-posting today to offer her tips for getting a designer-inspired look-for-less just in time for Summer. Take it away, Amia!


Hi Chic Steals readers! My name is Amia Serrano and I’m so eager to share my great finds for you. Enjoy!

Many designer looks walk down the runway, leaving audience members and online viewers in awe, but these are already known to have a hefty price tag attached.

As a fashion stylist I often work to re-create designer-style looks, but on a real-world budget. Today I’m here to show you how to style a designer-inspired look from Alice + Olivia’s S/S 2013 Collection without breaking the bank. It mixes pops of bright color and on-trend florals: the perfect match for a Spring-meets-Summer ensemble.

Here are some affordable yet chic pieces to re-create the Alice + Olivia look for a fraction of the cost:
chiconthecheap_aliceoliviaRhinestone Cluster Stud Earrings – No need to over accessorize, so keep it subtle with these everyday studs.

Merona Women’s Trench Coat – A colored trench is a perfect way to add a pop of color to any look, especially for gloomy rainy weather.

Camellia on Club Ivory Floral Print Romper – This versatile floral dress can be worn casually or for a night out on the town.

Studded Faux Leather Wristlet – The studs outlining this handbag keeps the edge going, allowing the whole look to flow.

Embellished Spike Heels – Spikes are trending and pairing these edgy beauties with an overall feminine look goes perfectly.

This fun ensemble will take you from a a Spring day of shopping or to a fun Summer girls’ night out!

Until the next post, take advantage of this one and please do share what you find and come up with. I’d love to see them!


Thanks Amia! It was wonderful having you here. Don’t forget to leave a comment, lovely readers – did you like this feature? Want to see more Chic on the Cheap from Amia? Let me know below!!



cache_711097404 Fashion Stylist Amia Serrano has styled photo shoots and magazine editorials for publications such as Open Lab Magazine, Relapse Magazine, and Bridal Tribe Magazine. She has also worked with recording artist Mashonda to style the inaugural video of her video series #LifeStyleHer for, and Hemma Collection’s New York Fashion Week show. Working with brands such as Rehna Pendse, joe Dahan’s Seduka Jeans, and GET NYCE Clothing, her philosophy is to find great style using the resources you have.  Check her out here:

Website  /  Instagram  /  Twitter

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DIY Metallic Envelope Clutch

diymetallicclutch_introHi everyone!  Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

I’ve teamed up with the dress e-tailer London Times to do 2 DIYs featuring their dresses.  The first of two is up on their blog today: a DIY Metallic Envelope Clutch (made from a plastic file folder, some felt…and a surprising metallic material!) Click through to find out what it is and how to make one yourself…

Read How to Make a DIY Metallic Envelope Clutch on the London Times Blog


Happy DIY’ing!



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Guest Post: DIY Jensen Conroy Macrame Bracelet by Samantha from Bromeliad Living

As you guys know, I’ve gone out to Japan for a month to help with a family medical crisis.  In the meantime, some very talented and very kind DIY bloggers have come to my rescue with offering up some DIY tutorials to share with all of you while I’m away!  I’m so lucky to have such incredible friends who can help out with blog content during this time.

First up, Samantha from Bromeliad Living has volunteered an amazing DIY Macrame Bracelet tutorial – perfect for Summer and all those music festivals coming up.  Or just if you like saving a hundred or so bucks in mimicking the original!!;-)  Take it away, Samantha!

Hello, I’m Samantha from Bromeliad Living, and I’m pleased to be guest posting for Carly while she is in Japan. Carly’s information-packed blog has gotten me through many DIY projects, particularly the ones that involve inscrutable things like shirt sleeves.

In addition to my personal blog, I write about DIY Fashion and DIY Home Decor for

Today’s tutorial is inspired by Jensen Conroy’s Macrame and Brass Bracelet ($129; above). My version takes a few bucks and a few minutes to make, and the result is a nice, sturdy, giftable bracelet.  Here’s how… (more…)

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Guest Post: DIY Shamballa Bracelet from Katrine of Make It and Fake It

Hello lovely readers!  Today I have a wonderful talented guest poster here: Katrine from Make It and Fake It.  Though her blog is fairly new on the DIY scene, she’s been a posting a number of chic and easy tutorials that can help you get the designer look at a fraction of the cost.  And she’s been especially prolific with her bracelet tutorials – giving you a TON of DIY options to make your own pretty, bejeweled, knotted, blingy, stacked wrists full of arm candy.  Check out her tutorials for the Orange Stud Bracelet, White & Stud ArmCandy, Hair Elastic/Bracelet, and Gold Clover Bracelets and to get you started!

But she’s here today to share with you guys a never-before-shared tutorial…for a DIY Shamballa bracelet!  What’s a “Shamballa bracelet?” you ask.  Well, just read on!  Katrine, take it away!

Hi everyone,

I am so excited to be a guest here at Chic Steals! Today I’m going to share a special DIY with you all so I hope you love it as much as I do.

Have you seen the Shamballa bracelets everyone from Jay Z to Heidi Klum have been effortlessly rocking?! Well if you don’t have the thousands to spend on a black diamond real one, this is a pretty cool swap.

You will need black (or what ever colour floats your boat) cotton string, different kind of round beads and 30min of patience. Lets get started.

You cut a piece that’s long enough to go around your wrist with a couple extra inches on both sides (for the centre string), and one that’s about 4 times as long for the string you’ll be wrapping around the beads.

Tie the longer string about 4-5″ from one end of the centre string and start with “braiding” (see pic for how to) I love this technique and I use it for several of my bracelets (for different ways to use it you can check it out this tutorial here and my Orange Stud Bracelet [linked above]). How you do it is that you take the right string over the centre string, then you take the left string over the right string, under the centre string and up through the loop made by the right string (see pictures). Then you do the opposite, so the left one over the centre etc., adding your beads as you go.

The clasp is adjustable which is perfection; I hate awkward clasps that are hard to put on by yourself. For this one I just crossed the two sides of the centre string did the same “braiding” technique to lock them together.

I seal all my knots with clear nail polish, and I find that does the trick.

Add beads to each side of the string ends so they won’t slide through…and then you are ready to go!





Well, that’s it for you, readers!  Hope you liked this post, and if you’d like to see more of Katrine’s lovely creations, check out her blog below!

Make It and Fake It

Thanks Katrine, it’s been a pleasure!



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