With spring finally upon us (74 degrees today!) I thought it seemed appropriate that we salute the fashions we’ll finally be wearing. So with a nod to one of my favorite editorial tricks -- the affordable vs. blow out comparison page -- I’ll guide you through the swarm of online shops, comparing the best of the best, with the best of the budget.
Cotton vs. cashmere. You know this trick. A shopping magazine will compare two tops, one in the aforementioned cotton and the other in a much more luxe cashmere. Maybe they’ll start with the cotton -- let’s say an empire-waist cut in white or ecru like this cute number at Old Navy. Separated by a line will be a similar style in cashmere, a little richer, a little softer, like this version at Bluefly. While both are similar in color, style and shape –- there is one distinct difference and that’s in the price: With Old Navy you save a whopping $150.
The fact is it’s always fun to dream. Which is why these pages are so useful. Though you may covet the designer denim on the left (not a problem, you’ll erase the price with your cost-per-wear) the economical sandal on the right is enticing. Take these comparison wedges for example. Perfect for spring with their bright sunshine hue, each offers its own unique attributes. The patent leather Robert Clergerie’s are, of course, French. But besides that admirable point, they’re also glossy, chic and go perfectly with khaki. Likewise, at $130 a pop, these raffia, roped natural wedges with their yellow, snake skin appeal, are far more casual when worn with a jean skirt and a whopping, $350 or so cheaper.
Now we’re onto something. Let’s head to the beach with a perfect, throw-it-all-in-and-go bag. The always-perfect Kate Spade has this Nantucket-esque offering, which boasts matching lobster print lining. The Cape Cod raffia is the quintessential beach bag. It’ll take you from sand and sun to poolside cocktails all in the course of a day. Now if you’re designer dimes are better spent, then check out this similar version at J. Crew. Missing are the lobsters but instead we have an equally preppy kelly green stripe with a slightly more causal feel. You may not be taking this to your five-star-dinner, but you could stop by the local clam shack and nary an eye would wander.
Last but not least on are the always needed, always forgotten accessories. Here’s a list of my top faves. Neon pink sunglasses from Urban Outfitters. Practical? No. Pop. Yes. Kenneth Jay Lane’s oval, resin bangles with gold, center stud. Roberto Cavalli’s sexy wood serpent ring with rhinestones. And finally, this fantastic, Indian-inspired, tiered necklace by Lee Angel. Spring starts here so get a move on.