Due to the rapid growth of online shopping, coupled with the overwhelming presence of social media in our day to day lives, many of these start-ups, most of which are mid-range brands, have seen rapid expansion in a fairly short space of time. Fashion influencers – and God knows there are a lot of them these days – have also played a huge part in this shift, and as a result, the way that most of us purchase clothing and consume fashion has changed considerably since we were teens.
Fashion influencers have played a huge part in this shift.
Still, the power that designer brands hold over us even today is not to be underestimated. I definitely know that I’ve caught myself daydreaming more than once about how much I should save each month so that I too can get myself those Gucci trainers that everyone and their mum seems to have. Certainly, the allure is strong, and considering that it’s pretty much rammed down our throats on a daily basis, it can be enough to make even the most sensible person go a little bit loopy.
But deciding what to spend your money on is not a decision to be taken lightly. When it comes to ‘dupes’, a concept that has become an entire underground industry in and of itself, there is a very fine line to tread. We’ve all seen counterfeit pieces before; from fake Gucci T-shirts and Chanel handbags, to Balenciaga trainers and Fendi belts. Many brands have come under fire for ‘ripping off’ their more expensive counterparts, and it seems somewhat inevitable practice, especially in an industry as ruthless and lucrative as fashion. At the end of the day, money talks, and affordable giants such as Zara, Topshop and ASOS amongst many others will evidently strive to create pieces that their clients are coveting, while appealing to a more modest budget.
So with all of that in mind, I decided to scour through some of my favourite runway looks, as well as some of today’s most sought-after designer pieces, and attempted to match them as closely as possible with affordable ones from the high street. It’s a time-consuming undertaking, but worth trying if you want to be kinder to your wallet and reign in on any potential wild splurges.
Although I haven’t braved one yet, I’m a huge fan of slip dresses. The high street has so many styles and colours to choose from, and best of all, they can be paired with a knit jumper and even some trainers to tone down the glam.
A waist belt and matching crossbody bag is a great way of breaking up a monotone outfit, especially when it’s something as specific as double denim. Pair it with a bright separate to add some colour and playfulness to the look – there’s really no need to break the bank for it either!
They could easily be mistaken for their pricier contemporaries.
I’ve always loved Alexander Wang’s designs, but I just can’t justify paying an arm and a leg for such simple pieces, when the likes of H&M and ASOS can provide me with great basics for a fraction of the price whenever I’m in need.
I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be picky when it comes to high street shoes. Unfortunately, with a higher price point often comes better quality and more comfort. On the cheaper end of the spectrum, economically-priced shoes inevitably tend to be poorly made, and most won’t live a particularly long life in your cupboard. These days, though, you really don’t have to look too far to find some serious designer doppelgangers at very reasonable prices.
This year, sandals in particular have been all the rage, and we can’t talk about this trend without acknowledging The Row, the brand owned by none other than Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson. Following the monumental success of their Bare Sandals a few months back, Topshop presented us with their own interpretation, which sold out in a matter of days and returned with more colour choices every week. Now, pretty much every designer we can think of has created their own versions of the throwback 90s style, delivering these barely-there sandals to the masses.
Designer handbags have always felt completely out of reach to me, and I’m sure many of you feel the same way. Thankfully, the high-street is teeming with incredibly well-made and luxe looking pieces that could easily be mistaken for their pricier contemporaries.
I tend to follow one rule in the handbag department: no matter the price tag, brown or tan pieces always seem to look the most sophisticated and often look a lot more expensive than they actually are. Black bags, although my first love and undeniably reliable, can be a bit harsh sometimes, particularly when pairing with a lighter summer palette. Any colour in the tan family is versatile, easy to style, and best of all, will never go out of fashion. Much to my delight, it’s a category that has more options now than ever before, and you’ll often find yourself buying a dupe without even realising.