“Cheap Thrills”: Mid-Summer Edition

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? Well of course not. But 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). Let’s face it, most of us, without the clothing allowance of First Lady Melania Trump for example, can’t afford not to take cost into consideration. In some cases, I actually prefer the less expensive version and not just because of the price but by virtue of its design, size, etc.

FYI, if it appears that almost all but two of the inexpensive pieces are from Zara, that was 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…

The XL Multi-Striped Leather Shopper

Left: Balenciaga, $2550 More info/purchase : Right: Mango, $99 More info/purchase

The Fringed Black Leather Belt

Left: Azzedine Alaia, $6800 More info/purchase; Right: BCBG Max Azria, $98 More info/purchase

The Colorful Bejeweled Buckle Pump

Left: Manolo Blahnik, $695 More info/purchase ; Right: Zara, $65.90 More info/purchase

The Structured Wicker Bag

Left: Mark Cross, $1048 More info/purchase ; Right: Zara, $59.90 More info/purchase

The Elongated Frayed Edge Tweed Jacket

Left: MSGM tweed blazer, $785 More info/purchase ; Right: Zara elongated tweed jacket, $129 More info/purchase




The Vividly Hued Pointy Toed Over The Knee Stretch Boot

Left: Balenciaga, $1395 More info/purchase ; Right: Zara, $89.90 More info/purchase



The Silver Studded Black Leather Bag

Left: Elizabeth & James, $695 More info/purchase ; Right: Zara, $69.90 More info/purchase

The Fringed Cobalt Blue Tote

Left: Stella McCartney, $868.50& More info/purchase ; Right: Binge Knitting, $98 More info/purchase

The Minimal White Slingback Pump

Left: Tibi, $425 More info/purchase ; Right: Zara, $59.90 More info/purchase



The Striped Wide Legged Trouser

Left: Lanvin, $458 (50% off) More info/purchase ; Right: Zara, $69.90 More info/purchase



The Slouchy Trench Coat

Left: Vetements, $2867 (reduced from $4095) More info/purchase ; Right: Zara, $219 More info/purchase



The Silver Oxford

Left: Loeffler Randall, $395 More info/purchase ;Right: Zara , $49.90 More info/purchase

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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