Fall Fashion on a Budget

Janet Lanman, Style Reporter

Leather is hot for this season in pants, skirts, and jackets.  This beautiful Theory Caon Leather Skirt for $575 from Saks Fifth Avenue can be emulated with Forever 21’s Pleated Faux Leather Skirt for $22.80.

Theory Caon Leather Skirt Pleated Faux Leather Skirt

The structured stolen-from-the-boys look is another popular trend for fall.  The Lafayette 148 New York “Hierarchy” Tweed Jacket ($698, Nordstrom) can be substituted with H&M’s shimmery jacket for $29.95.

Lafayette 148 New York H&M

Surprising Sweaters
The fun animal trend in Burberry Brit’s wool/cashmere sweater for $495 can also be found in H&M’s knit sweater for $24.95.

Burberry Brit H&M

Boots are a fall essential every single year.  Instead of the Frye Dorado Polished Leather Riding Boot for $498 from Neiman Marcus, wear the Steve Madden Intyce boot in Cognac for $129.95.

Frye Steve Madden

Try a Flash Sale Website:

These websites have name brands for a lot less, but you need to check frequently as sales usually last a day or two.  My favorites include Gilt Groupe, Hautelook, and Ruelala.  Hautelook and Ruelala both give you $10 in credit after a friend makes a purchase from the site through your invitation, so share the fashion love!

How to ensure these inexpensive finds don’t look cheap:

1.  Check the fabric of the item before you buy it.  Fabrics high in synthetics will look far cheaper than natural fabrics like cotton, silk, and linen.  Aim for blends with less than 20 percent synthetic material.

2.  Be wary of cuts and seams.  Look for the item on the rack where the patterns match up on the seams, the buttons are placed correctly, and the “grain” of the fabric is not diagonal.  These often overlooked details will make almost anything seem high quality.

3.  Know how to mix and match your clothes.  The styling of an outfit will always shine through, even if you didn’t spend a fortune on it.

4.  When in doubt, buy the more simple items.  You can’t go wrong with a black top, except when it’s covered in sequins.  The quality of a piece shines through with embellishments.

5.  Don’t skimp on accessories.  An inexpensive outfit will look fantastic with the right bag or shoes, and fakes of these items are typically easy to spot.  Plus, we walk around campus enough that higher quality shoes are worth the investment!

6.  The fit is everything!  Regardless of the price, an ill-fitting item of clothing will not look as luxurious as something that looks like it was made for you.  If something doesn’t fit off the rack but you still want it, be sure to take it to a tailor.