Not to worry, though! I have been avoiding the piles of homework on my desk to help us achieve that fall wardrobe without doling out cash like a Super PAC. So grab a pumpkin latte and enjoy the beautiful designer items on the Wish List, but definitely check out what fall essentials under $55 you should be buying now on the Must List.
Tory Burch Wish List vs. Alloy Must List
But never fear because I found these Alloy boots in almost the exact color for $55. Alloy usually has great sales going on 24/7, so be sure to keep your eye on their website for even more steals.
Rodarte Wish List vs. Mod Cloth Must List
But being the savvy fashionista I am, I stumbled upon this ModCloth version for only $53. I’m not the best at math, being a journalism student, but that’s a lot less, ladies. It has the same collar and rich color that can transition from day to night, heels to boots or tights to bare legs in the spring.
Yves Saint Laurent Wish List vs. Francesca’s Must List
Rich, emerald green is hands down the color to keep your eye on. Like any great trend, it looks great on accessories, too. Enter this YSL stunner, a.k.a. the prettiest bag of the season. The “Cabas Chyc” is made of rich leather, and I must agree with Net-a-Porter’s description that it is an investment piece. So much so that it costs over $2,000.
My recommendation? Pick up this great bag from Francesca’s Collection, which also opened a store recently in the Columbia Mall. My favorite part of Francesca’s $48 version is the additional arm strap that comes in handy when you’re trying to juggle keys and books.
Burberry Wish List vs. Forever 21 Must List
If you are left out in the cold on the price tag (bad joke, I know), try this version from Forever 21. It has the trimmings and classic shape of the Burberry original but for $40, you can actually afford your rent and meals! This is the perfect piece to pull on for the trek to class on chilly days in fall (the thinness of the coat won’t double for Missouri’s unbearable December days, unfortunately). Ditch the hoodie and try pairing it with skinny jeans and boots for the ultimate fall look that screams ‘college woman,’ not high school football game.
J. Crew Wish List vs. J. Crew Factory Must ListThere is nothing that screams “fall!” to me quite like J. Crew and Italian cashmere. I think I would have to revoke my previous statement that I would sleep in the Burberry parka because it has nothing on cashmere, especially a cashmere cardigan. Can you spell heaven J-C-R-E-W? Because I do. Take the ultra-soft fabric of cashmere and couple that with the richest colors and you have a winner for any occasion and any season. The only downside? $238.
Don’t leave that J. Crew page just yet ladies, because my go-to place for that J. Crew esthetic without the price tag is their factory page. Here you will find all the best trends for a fraction of the cost. Think a sample sale available all day, every day. For example, these factory cardigans are offered year-round with the colors typically changing seasonally. The best part is that it's still a part of J. Crew’s shopping page and ships with items you buy from the regular J. Crew so any splurge items from the main site can ship with their equally as fabulous factory counterparts.
3.1 Phillip Lim Wish List vs. Target Must List
While you can start small with a mustard cardigan that I saw everywhere while shopping for this post, I prefer a pant or trouser in this marigold/mustard color. The trouser is an essential in any man or woman’s wardrobe and you can really show your style with these 3.1 Phillip Lim beauties.
The I-am-broke $22 alternative from Target in toffee are just as chic and hit at the ankle just as the $350 ones do. They are simple for class or for meeting the girls and can be paired with everything from a chambray shirt to a chiffon blouse. I would style the look with another hot trend, polka dots, or with a cable-knit sweater in navy or cream.
So while the leaves fall and the tights are broken out, remember to enjoy fashion no matter your budget because there is always a way to enjoy it without going overboard. As an Instagram post mentioned on my feed the other day, “Fashion one can buy, but style one must possess.”
By: Kayla Elam | Images: Listed retail stores