Cheap Thrills: Holiday Edition

If you’ve been reading my ongoing “Cheap Thrills” column, you already know the drill. For those who may be checking this out for the first time, read on.

High fashion undeniably comes with astronomically high prices. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t bargains to be found. And who amongst us doesn’t love a bargain? Once again, I have reprised my “Cheap Thrills” column; selecting a number of items in the market, I show their high priced version along with their (far) less expensive doppelganger (in most cases, they are a fraction of the cost of the originals).

Will the quality, workmanship, fabrication, and detailing of the latter be on par with the former? Probably not, but then again, there are times when it is and in many cases, the differences are miniscule, barely discernable, discernible only to those with the most well trained eye, and not enough of a negative to outweigh the positive (the price tag). In some cases, I actually prefer the less expensive version and not just because of the price but by virtue of its design.

The fact that most of the inexpensive pieces are from Zara is unintentional but given how in sync they are with the pulse of fashion, and how successful they are with creating affordable fashion, it shouldn’t be that surprising. Is it any wonder that Amancio Ortega, the founder and owner, has been named the third richest person in the world?

Click images for full size views:

Left: Maximillian striped Saga mink fur coat, $3850 More info/purchase Right: Zara faux fur with multi-color stripes, $129  More info/purchase

Left: Azzedine Alaia 1991 leopard printed calf hair bolero jacket, $7500 More info/purchase Right: Vintage 70’s faux leopard cropped bolero jacket, $175 More info/purchase

Left: Balenciaga shearling scarf, $2795  More info/purchaseZara faux fur stole, $89.90 Right: More info/purchase

Left: Norma Kamali black fringed pants, $695  More info/purchase Right: Zara fringed trousers, $89.90 More info/purchase

Left: Norma Kamali 1980’s black fringed jacket, $550  More info/purchase Right: Zara black fringed jacket, $89.90 More info/purchase

Left: Givenchy embellished black mink tailcoat,  $15,000 More info/purchase Right: Zara bejeweled faux mink jacket, $149   More info/purchase

Left: Moncler short red puffer jacket, $1590  More info/purchase Right: American Eagle short red puffer jacket, reduced from $99.95 – $27.99  More info/purchase

Left: Louis Vuitton Speedy 30, $2800 More info/purchase  Right: Loqui Store Botticelli Birth of Venus bag, $12.95 More info/purchase

Left: Alexander McQueen metallic textured sneakers, $287.50 (reduced from $575),  More info/purchase  Right: Zara contrasting sneakers, $55.90  More info/purchase

Left: Moncler Gaura shiny black puffer jacket, $1735  More info/purchase Right: Zara black vinyl quilted jacket, $89.90 More info/purchase

Left: Azzedine Alaia leopard printed pony hair tote bag, $1090  More info/purchase Right: Vintage faux leopard tote with cut out handle, $128 More info/purchase

Left: Ranjana Khan raffia hoop earrings, $207 (reduced from $305)  More info/purchase Right: All Things Mochi Dream Catcher earrings, $57 (reduced from $125) More info/purchase

Needless to say, many of these items would make for a perfect gift, particularly the inexpensive offerings which be considered as perfect stocking stuffers.

– 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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