Cheap Thrill

Who amongst us does not love a bargain? This is especially true lately, since prices for designer (and even non designer) items have become more and more mind numbingly surreal. But of course, we all know that there are many ways to beat the high price of fashion and one need not spend a fortune in order to look great.

Right now, with spring in the air, and the knowledge that warm weather is finally approaching, is a perfect time to start thinking about those great essentials that will take you through the spring and summer (or through the year for that matter). I’ve admittedly had ‘uniforms’ on my mind as of late, and it’s worth noting that spring and summer is the best time to stock up on distinctive basics – those items that never let you down, pack well, travel brilliantly, work from day to night, in town or country (or at the beach). I’ve recently come across several great finds that fit that bill and are under $50!

Since falling in love with a black and white Isaac Mizrahi for Target oversized tote from years back (which I still get compliments on when I carry), I’ve constantly been on the lookout for additions and I’m always checking out I recently found the perfect carry all: Isaac’s $49.99 clear plastic oversized tote with black trim. It’s a chic and mod take on the classic L.L. Bean boating tote, but far better. Measuring a whopping 23 X 16 X 8, it’s water and tear resistant (which makes it perfect for traveling or for the beach), comes with a detachable black luggage tag and shoulder strap, is lined in Isaac’s signature hot pink, and has a small pink zippered bag that can also be attached inside.

And speaking of plastic, Isaac took the large tulip that graced a clear plastic shower curtain, and emblazoned it on the front of a simple charcoal gray sleeveless sheath dress, also available on I know that the knee length cotton and spandex zip back number, which sells for $24.99, will be the perfect solution on a hot muggy day. And if you’re always looking for a simple long sleeved cotton shirt in white, or black (and who isn’t), check out Isaac’s $19.99 woven poplin numbers.

One of my most favorite purchases on is the Luella Bartley black and white striped cotton shirt with matching skinny tie ($24.99). Given the unbeatable combination of black and white, the punch of graphic stripes, and the recent love affair with menswear, this shirt has it all. Unfortunately, they are now out of stock online though you may be lucky to find it on sale in one of the Target stores!

What’s black and white and pink all over? Speaking of black, white, stripes, AND pink, another great find is Gap’s striped wedge espadrille ( for $29.50. On a 2 ½ inch platform, it’s available in several color combinations (yellow and white, green and white, pink and white), but the one that caught my eye was in black and white with a hot pink tie.

Marilyn Kirschner

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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