Listen, I love a designer piece as much as the next girl, and I won’t even act like I don’t just give in and make the occasional splurge purchase from time to time, but the reality is that for all the luxury goods that are on my wish list every season, only a very small percentage make it to checkout. The good news, however, is that I’m PRETTY GOOD at finding the trends and staples I love at affordable prices. This means that if I can't budget for my first choice of shoe, dress, jacket, or anything else, I usually love my second choice just as much.
Curious to see what’s in my cart right now—both the first and second place picks? Well, for once, you get to. From the party dress of my dreams and the similar style I’m into as well to the black boots I love at over $700 and under $70 (and highly recommend), just keep scrolling to shop my dream fall pieces and my fashionable dupes.
The Party Dress
Isn't Area always the goal? I fall more in love with its party-ready pieces every season.
I'm eyeing this Topshop dress as a substitute because of it's similar metallic shine and flattering cut.
The Structured Jacket
Moda Operandi's styling always sells me on its pieces, and this perfect white jacket outfit is no exception. One day, it will be mine.
When I imagine this & Other Stories jacket with black pants and strappy heels, I feel like I can achieve a similar effect to the above Alessandra Rich jacket. Plus, I love the built-in belt for some extra waist definition.
The Snake Boots
Between the snake print, square toe, and slightly high shaft, these might just be the perfect fall ankle boots.
While I'd be giving up the square toe, I love how these Vince Camuto boots look way more expensive than their $150 price tag and have a classic appeal that would keep them in my rotation for more than just one season.
The Classic Coat
To be honest, seeing as I don't own anything similar and it's a classic investment piece, I haven't get given up on the idea of buying this Toteme coat. However, I figured there's no harm in finding a backup.
I chose this Mango coat because it has a similar, relaxed vibe, but the beige/camel color keeps it looking polished.
The Tie-Dye Top
The tie-dye trend hasn't gone away but, for fall and winter, brands are putting out darker, more muted versions to fit in with the season. This Marques' Almeida take is the perfect example of what to look for.
I imagine I'd get a lot of use out of this Lovers + Friends version because it can be worn alone with jeans and boots, but will also look cool layered under other sweaters and jackets when the temperatures get even lower.
The Leather Pants
I feel like my ideal leather pant changes every fall. This time, it's a looser cut like the above that I have my eye on.
For $40, I'm all for these Zara trousers—especially because if I change my mind on what style of leather pants I want next season, I won't have invested too much.
The Animal-Print Cardigan
Max Mara had one of my favorite runways of F/W 19, and this cardigan was just one of many things I've been coveting since I saw the collection back in February.
Sure, it's not mohair, but style this animal print cardigan with other animal-print pieces and some knee-high boots, and you have a runway-inspired look that's still chic.
I love how bodysuits give the illusion of a perfect tuck, and this one would look so flattering with midi skirts and high-waisted jeans.
I like how this Reformation version has a similar high neck and that it's not bright white like most of my other basics.
The Slip Skirt
I've always been a fan of Alexander Wang, but this season it seems like I want more pieces in his collection than ever—this lace-embellished slip skirt included.
Since I'm only 5'2", this miniskirt might actually be more flattering on me that the Alexander Wang version above. I'd style it with a sweater and kitten heels for a "chill" night-out look.
The Black Boots
Looking for the perfect black investment boot that's trendy but not too trendy? This is it.
I may have already invested in a few too many pairs (before fall even started), so for now I'm setting my sights on these great boots by Charles & Keith. The key detail for me is that it has a similar inverted heel to the above Jacquemus pair, which not only looks cool but takes some of the pressure off the heels of your feet.