top 5 dupes that made it (too?) close to the original

top 5 dupes that made it (too?) close to the original

In the world of fashion you cannot always afford everything you want to have. Simply because the majority of us makes X amount of money each months, we have bills to pay apart from fashion bills, and we all need to eat (this is probably my other passion outside of fashion). On top of that – there are many luxury items out there that are very far from being affordable anyway. 

Naturally, these are known facts that lead us to the simple truth of modern world: demand creates its own supply. If there are many people out there wishing to get designer items (or even medium segment) they cannot afford, there will be brands and producers that will make something similar to those items at a fraction of the designer price. This is where dupes, and copies, and fakes come into play. 

In the past couple of months I came across a few really interesting ones which I would love to share with you. Just as a side note – all the items I list here are highly on trend, so, even though I only mention pairs, you will easily find something very similar in pretty much all high street brands.

  1. Checkered blazer


Price tag: 385

Material: 64% viscose / 20% wool / 12% polyester / 4% polyamide

Sandro checkered suit


Price tag: 79,99

Material: 64% viscose / 20% wool / 12% polyester / 4% polyamide

H&M checkered suit

Here we go with my favourite dupe couple: blazers from Sandro and H&M. What do we see here? Two checkered blazers that come with matching skirts. The amazing thing is that checks are identical and so is composition! The only difference is in fit – Sandro’s blazer comes double-breasted, while H&M is single-breasted with two buttons. The question is – is double-breasted fit worth 300 euro difference?..

2. Snakeskin ankle boots


Price tag: 700 dollars (300 on sale)

Material: real leather

Acne snakeskin ankle boots


Price tag: 99,95 euros

Material: real leather

Zara snakeskin ankle boots

If you missed out on Acne snakeskin ankle boots when they just came out, or you just didn’t want to spend 700 dollars on them – Zara will happily provide you a decent alternative. In this case you can clearly see the difference in the heel design and the front of the boots, but you can also easily see how much inspiration Zara got from Acne, including the colour of snakeskin. With a slightly higher heel (8 cm in Zara boots and 7 cm in Acne) and a significantly lower price tag, you can get a great and oh so on trend alternative!

3. Leopard print midi skirt

Realisation par

Price tag: 180 dollars

Material: 100% Silk Satin

Realisation par leopard skirt


Price tag: 29,99 euros

Material: 100% Polyester

Loavies midi animal print skirt

Let’s be honest this Realisation Par skirt became a real it-skirt of the season, so, of course, many other more affordable brands came up with something of their own (e.g. I’ve got mine from River Island). So why have I picked a skirt by Loavies as a not-so-subtle dupe? Mainly because of the product name, which is “Realize me” – I really liked this pretty obvious reference, even though the colour and the pattern differ from the original. In addition to that, here we are also talking about different materials, where 100% silk will always win over polyester which will be obviously reflected in the price. However, if you’re looking for a trendy piece that you would not want to invest in… you know what you should do 🙂

4. Crossbody saddle bag


Gate bag

Price tag: 1700 euros

Material: real leather

Loewe brown leather bag

Looks like summer

Nina bag

Price tag: 175 euros (87,99 on sale)

Looks like summer brown leather bag

I think bags are the most frequent candidate for copying – not many people can afford designer bags while many want to own one which opens a niche for producers of similar (or very similar) designs. When the Nina bag from Looks like summer popped up on my Instagram, I was very surprised, to say the least. Let’s put it this way – it is difficult to say that it was just inspired by Loewe. However, there are differences in colours that these bags come in and the finishing – Loewe Gate bag come with more of a matt finish, while Nina bag is made of more glossy leather. You can also spot a difference in shape despite a very close resemblance. But, all in all, both are real leather bags with a very similar unusual design and a significant difference in price (just think of 90 euros versus 1700!), and for the rest – you can decide whether you feel like it is fair or not.

5. Letter pendant


Price tag: around 300 euros (as seen on Vestiaire Collective)

Material: Gold plated (?)

Celine alphabet pendant

*Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find the letter pendants on sale anymore which probably makes sense now that a new creative director Hedi Slimane is out and about. However, you will be find them on resale sites, like Vestiaire… if you’re quick enough 🙂

DesignB London

Price tag: 13,99 euros

Material: Metal

DesignB London letter pendant

The original Celine pendant is one of the last pieces made while Phoebe Philo was still a creative director of the brand and it quickly became a must-have with many influencers featuring it in their accounts. As per usual this has become a trigger for others brands to come up with more budget alternatives. For this pairing I picked a letter pendant by DesignB London which is not a straight copy, but most certainly makes a reference to the original. Both pendants are gold, with the one of Celine actually being gold plated and DesignB London – just simple metal which you can expect for the price. 


And this concludes my list of dupes that I picked from some of this season’s favourites! I would love to hear from you: is this topic interesting for you? How often do you buy dupes and do you ever specifically look for them if you like a certain design? 

reselling your old clothes online: pluses, minuses, tips

reselling your old clothes online: pluses, minuses, tips

Over the last few years my lifestyle and personal style have changed several times, and every time I faced the problem of what to do with the clothes & accessories that were not me anymore. In my previous blog post, I’ve shared with you some insights & ideas on how to identify those items and what you could potentially do about them. In this post, I’m digging deeper and sharing my experience of reselling clothes – because it’s still sustainable, but also bring you some extra cash – and who would mind that, right?!

Like with many things in life these days, here you have two options: go online or offline. Both have their pros and cons, and I tried both, so in this post will be happily sharing all about my online reselling experience here in the Netherlands.

General tips:

  • Take clear photos (front, back, close-up, and how an item looks on). If you upload an item with only one photo of it, 99% of the time you will be asked to upload more.
  • Don’t overprice your items & be ready to reduce the price if it’s reasonable (especially if it’s been online for a while and haven’t been sold yet)
  • Think from the buyer’s prospective: if you were to buy a second hand item online, what information would you want to know and what would make you buy something?
  • Be responsive. In online world, it’s very easy to lose the attention, so if someone shows interest in whatever you’re selling – be nice & helpful 🙂

United Wardrobe

This is an app that plays a role of a broker in reselling your clothing & accessories. I personally really like it because you can not only sell your stuff, but also find some really cool items that got sold out in store/ not available in your size with a reduced price (Winning!). 

How it works:

You can use both a mobile app & a website – I personally find the app more convenient. When you create your account you’ll need to provide your address and your bank account details, so you can get paid if you sell something. After that you can start adding items yo your “Closet”, which is essentially your personal page with all things you’re selling. You can change your profile pic & background to make it look more appealing. The whole interface is pretty straightforward and if you have any questions, there is a whole FAQ section waiting for you. 

When someone buys an item from you, the payment goes to the UW account. Once the item is sent, your as a seller update the status indicating that you sent the item (and include a tracking code if you have it). When the buyer receives their purchase, they can update the status that the item has been received and, if they decide to keep it, UW will transfer your payment within 24 hours. 

What if a buyer doesn’t want to keep an item? Returns are possible only if the seller didn’t inform the buyer about correct sizing or some defects. If the information was shared correctly, but the item doesn’t fit properly, the buyer can decide to resell this item via UW straight away. If, however, an item was, for example, damaged, the buyer can submit a return request with some photos and explanation. In this situation, the seller can either accept or reject the request. All the rejected requests are also checked by UW Support team and they make the final decision whether the return is reasonable or not. 


  • Easy to use
  • Payment protection
  • Diversity (you can sell pretty much anything fashion related there, both cheap and more expensive items)
  • No scam accounts (to my knowledge)
  • Seamless bidding/ buying 
  • You can easily promote what you’re selling on Instagram & Facebook
  • You do not need to pay any fees to extend “expired” items


  • Available only in the Netherlands, Belgium, and France
  • Seller & buyer fees (10% of the purchase for sellers & approx. 2 euros per purchase for buyers)
  • You need to include the shipping costs into the price & you need to arrange the shipping
  • It’s quite difficult to sell out everything



If United Wardrobe is a fashion oriented marketplace, Marktplaats (“marketplace” from Dutch) name says for itself – it’s an online platform where you can sell essentially anything – from clothes to cars & puppies. Apart from that, one of the biggest differences from United Wardrobe is that you can see other online retailers advertise there, so you can get both brand new and second hand stuff.

How it works:

Again, here you can use a website or a mobile app – matter of preference really. You do not need to provide that much personal info when creating your account, which can be more attractive for some people (privacy & all). After that, you can start adding products you’d like to sell – an here it can be anything, not only fashion items, just don’t forget to put everything in the right category 🙂 When you’re filling in the product info, Marktplaats will also give you a hint on average pricing for this specific category. You can also decide to have open bidding, but then it’s always a good idea to put a starting price.

Buyers can contact you via messages to show their interest, or make an offer, but that’s about how much facilitation you get here. It’s up to you to discuss whether the buyer want to have their purchase delivered or if they’re going to pick it up. It’s also up to you to arrange the payment – you can decide whether you want to do it via Marktplaats “Betalverzoek” or just exchange your details with the buyer. 

Keep in mind that free postings can stay on Marktplaats for something like 5 weeks (this is a recent change) and after that it is possible extend them for a small fee.


  • Easy to use
  • Payment facilitation available with a small fee
  • You can buy literally anything there
  • Diversity – you can buy & sell anything
  • Essentially no fees are involved unless you use payment functionality, or extend your ad


  • It’s only relevant for NL based individuals
  • Even though you can sell clothes here, it’s less targeted, so it can take longer
  • You need to understand Dutch (no English version available)
  • You can get scammed, though Marktplaats closely watches all suspicious activity
  • Bidding/ buying are not really seamless, so it involves some manual work
  • A bit less secure – you deal with buyers directly, so it’s a matter of trust with payments & delivery

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook is constantly changing and extending its application, going far beyond being just a social network. Noticing that some people were using Facebook to resell things (e.g. student marketplace groups), Facebook went ahead and created a separate Marketplace section which made resale much easier. 

How it works:

If you have a Facebook account, which I assume, you do, all you need to do is to click Marketplace icon & off you go. Hit sell, upload product photos, description & price – et voila! – your item is on this social market. Potential buyers can contact you via PMs, and that’s where you can discuss the price and answer questions about whatever you’re selling. This is where you also discuss the delivery/ pick-up and payment method.


  • You don’t need to create a separate account
  • Very easy to use
  • Can be used anywhere in the world
  • You can easily reach a lot of people
  • You can sell anything there 
  • It’s free


  • Not very secure – there’s no payment protection and no delivery guarantees
  • You can get scammed & get some dodgy messages (personal experience :/)
  • Bidding/ buying are not really seamless, so it involves some manual work
  • It’s not very targeted

Other platforms & final thoughts

I’m well aware of other reselling platforms like The Next Closet, Vestiaire Collective, Vinted, Depop… but I haven’t really tried them (yet). Some of them are too specialised, and some seems to be used more in other countries. For the moment, United Wardrobe is really my favourite online reselling platform for fashion items which I use the most, but when I feel like trying something new I will definitely give it a shot. 

By the way, what platform do you think I should try next?

how to be a fashion declutter guru & sell, donate & recycle like a boss

how to be a fashion declutter guru & sell, donate & recycle like a boss

Hi everyone,

The holiday season is over, and I am now fully back – it is not easy to blog frequently when you have a full time job, but I will do my best to improve this 😉

A while ago I mentioned on my Instagram that I often buy second hand clothes and also sell, donate, & recycle my own. It is kind of inevitable if you are into fashion and want to follow (some) trends – and with those trends changing all the time, fast fashion brands having 6-12 collections per year, it all becomes way too easy to just keep on buying. It is also inevitable that some clothes get worn out, don’t fit you like they should, or you just fall out of love with them.

Whatever the reason is – you don’t want to hoard all the clothing you accumulate over years, because – why would you clutter your personal space (unless you live in a huge house and you don’t care about it 😉)? But what do you do with all those unloved treasures (or call it junk if you like)? And how do you make sure you keep a “healthy” balance of old and new in your closet?

One might say: “Just stop buying so much!” And it is true in a way, but this is a topic for another post. Here I want to focus on what you do when you have already accumulated lots of clothes.

I usually do a closet clear out twice a year – when I switch from Fall/ Winter to Spring/ Summer, and vice versa. This way it helps you to rethink your old clothes, think of what you would like to add to the wardrobe for a new season, and it is frequent enough to keep your closet in order. I do get rid of some more things occasionally throughout a season, e.g. when I try something on and realise that this is not quite me anymore, something is wrong with the fit (I shouldn’t have washed that handwash only viscose dress in a washing machine, I know), or it is just worn out. These are general rules I follow when going through my wardrobe in one of the big clear outs as well. Probably one more rule to add to it though – if you haven’t worn something in the last 6 months to a year, even if it’s a new item with tags – have another critical look at it and get rid of it – it must have been not your thing, even though it might have looked good on a hanger.

So, once you have a pile of things that you don’t need in your wardrobe in your life… what do you actually do with them? Putting them in a rubbish been doesn’t count – it’s not very sustainable and can be mentally difficult, especially if you’re getting rid of a brand new item… As an (almost) a pro in this, I’m happy to share some ideas & pointers  to make your life easier. Disclaimer: as I live in Amsterdam, some apps & places are location specific, but you can definitely get the general idea and add your local spin on it.

In short, you can do three things: sell, donate, recycle. But how do you decide what to do with what?



What: This is a category of things that is actually worth reselling, i.e. new/ good-as-new clothing, shoes & accessories that didn’t get enough love in your closet. These are also usually the most pricey items.


Online: United Wardrobe app, Marktplaats, Facebook marketplace, Facebook groups (Buy & Sell Amsterdam, ISN Amsterdam Online Market, Amsterdam Expats Online Market)

Offline: King’s Day in Amsterdam, NDSM flea market, Secondhand stores (De Ruilhoek,  Mooizo), garage sales

What do you need: good quality photos, energy to take those photos, some time/ money reserved for posting items or meeting up with buyers, patience to wait till someone buys whatever you’re selling


Donating & Recycling 

What: These are items that you were not able to sell, you don’t think they are worth the effort to try to sell, or you just want to do the right thing and instead of reselling donate them to those who need clothes more than you do.

Where: your friends & family who you think might like your stuff, Zara, H&M*, &other stories* (these stores pick re-usable items and donate to different charities, or recycle), various charities directly (some examples here), containers around the city that say “Kleding/ Schoenen”, or just check here.

What do you need: time to go to drop off the bags** with your old clothing at one of the stores or charities


*By donating your clothes there, you get a 10-15% discount voucher for your next purchase.

**Actually, if you order something at Zara & indicate that you want to donate some clothes as well, you can have a courier who delivers your purchase also pick up your bag with donations.


As you can see, there are plenty of options out there to keep your fashion adventures under control, and you can choose whatever suits your preferences and moral standards (except for throwing clothing away – please opt for recycling instead). My personal scheme here would be: declutter -> let my niece choose whatever she likes -> sort into sell, donate & recycle piles -> post things from the sell pile online & give away the donate & recycle pile -> if cannot sell everything online, try to sell the remaining stuff offline -> if that doesn’t work either, donate!


P.S. if you want to know more pros, cons, and tips on selling your clothing & accessories on different platforms, be on the look out for my next post!


summer in the city – how to spend staycation in style | the style part

summer in the city – how to spend staycation in style | the style part

I hope I got you a bit inspired about spending your summer in the city  – really curious to see though what ideas were your favourites? Or did you already try any of them? Please leave your comments on this 🙂

As you could notice, I called the post “how to spend staycation in style”, but I didn’t quite cover the style element. So, I’m making up for it guys! 

What are the things that come to your mind when you think of summer? 

What clothes you imagine when you think of your dream summer wardrobe? 

Hey, you know what – there are no wrong or write answers here, because we are all different and the season cannot fully determine your style. You should do you. However, there are some things that are universal (& a bit of a common sense) and there are things that can help you shape your summer style, but not determine it. So, let’s dive into this summer [in the city] style guide!

Some universal summer rules:

Let your body breathe

You want to wear natural/ breathable materials like cotton, linen, silk – heat can be already quite stressful for your body, why increase it by overheating in polyester?

Open up in moderation

I know in some cities it can get so hot that you would want to wear as little as possible, but what can be appropriate at a resort or by the beach, does not always work in a city setting. For instance, a. this can bring across a wrong message to your fellow citizens, b. you risk to burn in the sun, c. there are so many other ways to stay cool & stylish at the same time!

Sun protection

Everyone is talking about the harmful effects of the UV on our skin, so make a sunblock your main summer accessory.

Check the weather forecast

A bit obvious, but it helps you to determine how many layers to wear. That’s why when I create my summer looks, I think of both possibilities – options for both hot and more chilly summer days/ nights.


Summer trends

If you are into fashion, it’s always a good idea to be aware of what is trendy this season and cherry pick the trends that fit your personal style. More on how to deal with fashion trends in my older blog post.


I really believe that you can find your style only through experimenting – so take advantage of the summer weather and go for it! And to put you on this creative styling wave, I’m sharing with you some of my summer outfit ideas – maybe it’s something for you, or maybe it’s completely not your thing – let me know in the comments!

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summer in the city – how to spend your staycation in style

summer in the city – how to spend your staycation in style

It is summer time and we are getting bombarded with tons of vacay images everywhere we go – we watch our Facebook friends going to Greece and Italy, our Instagram inspo bloggers going to Ibiza and the Caribbean, the work places are buzzing with what-are-your-holiday-plans talks… 

But what if… you do not have anything planned – for whatever reason – do you have to feel like you are missing out? Hell no. For all those of us who are spending summer in the city rather than chilling by the blue waters of Maldives, there is a staycation. In fact, it is now almost as trendy as going overseas – and I really love the idea! 

Indeed, why not rediscover your own city and surroundings and have fun instead of feeling low about staying home for summer? Believe me, this can be just as exciting and can give you just as many positive emotions and cool photos.

picnic, Amsterdam, doughnuts, tulips, flowers, sweet life, inspo, summer, city, style, girl, brunette, smile, fashion, ootd, canal

Here are some things I love doing when on staycay:

  • Go on a free walking tour

This is a really great opportunity to meet some new people who are visiting your city, learn something new (because usually every tour guide has their own twist to a city tour), and get some exercise – walking for 3 hours ain’t easy!

  • Buy a guide book for your city and explore your city as a tourist

If walking tours is not your thing, this could be a good alternative. Sometimes we are so involved in our daily routine that we stop noticing cool things around us – looking at the city through the eyes of a tourists can be quite refreshing! Additionally, good guide books usually have inspiring pictures and list some new city hotspots.

  • Go to a cafe that you always pass by

Do you have a cafe that you pass by almost every day and think “Ah it looks like a nice place – I should go there some time”, but you never actually go there? Then the time has come. Arrange a meeting with someone there or just grab a book – the one you always wanted to read but never did – as your companion.

  • Explore a neighbourhood you have never really been to or go on a day trip to a nearby town

You might be surprised what you might discover there – and , if in doubt, use a guide book for some advice. Traveling is easier and cheaper than you might think.

  • Have a spa day at home or get a deal elsewhere

What yells “holiday” more than a relaxing spa day, right?

  • Go thrift shopping

If you read one of my earlier blog posts, you know that I love shopping at vintage stores and discover treasures at flea markets. Items that have a story also give a real travel vibe.

  • Take a new tram/ metro route that you don’t usually use

Treat it as an adventure and don’t be afraid to get lost – GPS will always save you 🙂

  • Have a picnic

Find a picturesque spot in your city and indulge yourself with your favourite snacks… Nothing else to be said.

  • Dress with a holiday vibe and get some photos taken

To be applied every day when you’re on staycay – you gotta save those memories (and show your style of course).

  • Go to a meet up (with strangers)

There are so many events you can go to these days – on Facebook, on Meetup app, on Instagram… Just pick the one with the theme that is close to you – maybe it’s casual drinks or maybe it’s a painting class – and go – you’re very likely to have a good time and discover something new.

  • Take a yoga class in a park

This is just very relaxing – especially in summer, so why not try it?

  • Go to a beach/ riverside/ canal 

Depending where you are and what is available in your area, spend some time by the water – it is peaceful, helps you unwind and can be combined with picnic (see above).

  • Take a bike ride through the city

This allows to explore some more remote areas in your city and burn some calories – to refuel on a picnic of course. 

  • Have some time with your girl gang (picnic, ice coffee date, cocktail night – whatever you can think of)

It is important to get some girls time – to share laughs and thoughts, to recharge – and the great thing is that you can combine it with any other previous tips!

picnic, Amsterdam, doughnuts, tulips, flowers, sweet life, inspo, summer, city, style, girl, brunette, smile, fashion, ootd, city walk

picnic, Amsterdam, doughnuts, tulips, flowers, sweet life, inspo, summer, city, style, girl, brunette, smile, fashion, ootd, canal

What I’m wearing in this post:

Dress Must have

Red mules Topshop

Sunnies Givenchy

Hat New Look

Watch & bracelets Rosefield


(c) Photo credit goes to the photographer Alona Khlivitska


And what are your favourite to-do’s for summer in the city? And your favourite outfits?



my thoughts on [fashion] learning and impressions from Summer.Style workshop by Margarita Muradova

my thoughts on [fashion] learning and impressions from Summer.Style workshop by Margarita Muradova

If you follow me on instagram, you might have seen that just about a week ago I went to Kiev, Ukraine. My main trigger for that trip became a fashion workshop “Summer.Style” by wonderful Margarita Muradova, or @greenteanosugar. Sounds a bit crazy, right? I mean, who would really travel to another country to attend a workshop? Well, here is the thing… nothing can stop you if this is your passion and you are eager to learn.

greenteanosugar, fashion workshop, summer style, margarita muradova, fashion event, creative quarter, Kiev, lecture, margarita muradova, stylist, ootd, outfit of the day

As much as I can remember myself I was a good student. You know how some people have talents – studying is definitely one of mine. That is probably why after finishing my Master’s degree  in Communications just as I turned 23, I realised that I was not just a good student, I was more of a study addict – I just kept craving more and more. 

I also already wrote before that my fashion addiction started a long time ago – so long that I cannot remember how it really started. Growing up I was dreaming of being a fashion designer while making clothes from anything, from more conventional materials to newspapers & plastic bags (by the way, the newspaper outfit was… erm… interesting to say the least – I will certainly try to find that photo). 

Long story short (and many many years and useless & useful things learnt) my two passions, or addictions – you name it, came together. I took a personal styling course, graduated, started practicing and… continued learning! Books, magazines, additional courses, museums, events, etc. etc. … And the “Summer.Style” workshop has become a cherry on my fashion pie. Well, actually, not just a cherry – a top up of whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles – basically a recipe for a heart attack in a good way.

The emotions that I went through that day cannot be compared to anything. As I walked in the Creative Quarter, my heart was pumping from excitement and, perhaps, from a speedy walk through the city center of Kiev, though I’d prefer to say excitement rather than admit that I’m out of shape. I looked around – and there it was, everything you could imagine for a perfect day with the girls: coffee & healthy treats, breathtaking view of Kiev, energising music, a make up stand from Givenchy, some cool hand picked clothes by Sandro, Maje, and Zadig & Voltaire, lots of laughs and smiles… It felt really magical!

greenteanosugar, fashion workshop, summer style, margarita muradova, fashion event, creative quarter, Kiev, lecture, margarita muradova, stylist

I got to my seat and looked around again – when I saw Margarita and went to talk to her, I got so nervous as if I was at the most nerve-wracking job interview, or the most important exam in my life. I never knew how I would react if I met anyone YouTube/ Insta famous in person, but trust me, guys, I would never think that I would be that lost for words.

However, apart from all the cool things, great atmosphere, and meeting your fashion teacher, the best part of the workshop was the workshop itself. I didn’t know what to expect exactly, because you can interpret the main topic “Summer. Style” in many ways. However, having already taken a Personal Stylist course and knowing how extensive and highly professional Margarita Muradova was with all the study materials & lectures, I could sense that it would be special. And oh yes, it was. 

greenteanosugar, fashion workshop, summer style, margarita muradova, fashion event, creative quarter, Kiev, lecture, margarita muradova, stylist

We didn’t just talk about the fashion trends for summer 2018, we looked at how we can bring across a certain message with the way we dress, how this message can be life changing for some or, if not life breaking, but obstructing in one or another sphere of life. We discussed how trends can be brought into your wardrobe and how you can pick the trends that would still reflect your mood and communicate that right life-changing message. We laughed, we talked, we practiced how to apply this knowledge… We really had a blast! 
If someone asked me if I’d repeat it or if I’d participate in another workshop – hell yes! Not just because I’m fashion crazy or because I have extra money to spend, but because I believe that if you found your passion, you should just go for it! There is nothing more satisfying than learning about something that you are truly interested in and something that you love. 

greenteanosugar, fashion workshop, summer style, margarita muradova, fashion event, creative quarter, Kiev, lecture, margarita muradova, stylist

(c) Photo credit goes to Roman Yeremenko

how to dress for a fancy soiree and not to go bankrupt – men’s edition

how to dress for a fancy soiree and not to go bankrupt – men’s edition

This blog post was inspired by a comment of Olivia to my previous post which reminded me of a story that happened a couple of months back – et voila! – a new post idea was born. 

Have you ever been invited to a work party or wedding or any other kind of gathering that required dressing up? If yes – you know the struggle. But imagine if you found out about the dress code element last minute?..

…I knew that my boyfriend was going to have a work party and all the employees got to take their +1’s. No reason to stress – just a work party, right?* 

*I guess here I need to explain that we live in the Netherlands and generally it is okay to not overly dress up for a work function – it may not be applicable to everyone, but this is what my experience has been so far.

This time it wasn’t all that simple. He came from work one evening and announced: “Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you – remember that work function I mentioned to you? It’s a fancy dress event – all guys at work are going to wear suits. Any idea what I could wear?” And this news was coming from a suitless guy next to me within a week before that party… 

This right here – quite a puzzle to solve, huh? Here are some solutions I could think of:

Option 1 Buy a suit

This is probably the most obvious one. If you don’t own a suit and you have an occasion coming up that would require one, this is probably a moment when you might consider buying a suit – just because there will be more events when you would need it.


  • Suit is quite a classic element of men’s wardrobe, there will be days when you will definitely need it
  • Well-fitted suit can give you a sleek & expensive look and boost your confidence


  • Suits can be incredibly expensive
  • We are all different and it will take time to find a perfect fitting suit – it may even require some tailoring services
  • Depending on your lifestyle, you may use it so rarely that it would be difficult to justify time & money investment

Option 2 Rent a suit

What if you really need/ want to wear a suit for an event, but you don’t own one and you are not sure how often you would need it in future? Then you may consider renting a suit.


  • This is your life saviour when you need to have a suit for one time
  • It is much cheaper than buying a suit (even the least expensive one)
  • It would be higher quality than the cheapest suit that you would buy in mass-market


  • It wouldn’t be tailored to you and might potentially look like a suit off someone else’s back
  • It wouldn’t be an investment into something that you could use in future which is a reason to think of whether it would be money well spent

Option 3 Get creative

This is my favourite option! Essentially you try to create an outfit from your existing wardrobe and buy 1-2 additional pieces to dress it up and use afterwards. Don’t get me wrong – this will probably not replace an actual suit, but if the dress code allows to get away with it, it’s definitely worth trying.


  • It saves you money & time
  • You invest into pieces of clothing or accessories that you would be able to wear afterwards
  • It challenges your imagination


  • You would need some styling experience and you would need to think out of the box
  • It won’t work if you have no items that would be more dressy/ semi-formal

In our case, we didn’t want to spend a lot of money and renting a suit felt like unworthy expense. As you can guess by now, I decided to get creative instead.

I broke down my approach to achieve this into steps on how to dress for a fancy soiree and not to go bankrupt: 

  1. Select your potential outfit base from existing wardrobe. For starters – majority of guys have at least one or several dress shirts, chino’s or other kind of pants other than jeans, and semi-formal shoes. The key here is to select items that would suit a formal happening.
  1. Analyse your selected items, try to put together an outfit & identify missing elements. Try to ask yourself: Do these clothes go together? Is it possible to combine some of them into an outfit? What would I need to add to complete the look?
  1. Make a shopping list of the missing elements & do a quick check online. The Internet makes shopping so much easier, especially if you need to find something specific: do a quick online research to find the items that would complete your outfit. Ideally, I would try to find the  missing elements that would be possible to dress up and down in future. 
  1. Pack your outfit and go to the store that you pre-selected from your online research OR simply order the missing pieces online. This one really depends on how much time you have. If you have some serious time constraints I would opt for going to a physical store and trying on a complete outfit together. This would save you from the risk of ordering something that would look nice & suitable for your idea online, but looking not so great or simply not working in your outfit in reality. 

In the end of my story, we picked a black shirt, beige chino’s, brown suede shoes from my boyfriend’s wardrobe, and finished off the look with a newly bought camel blazer & a bow tie. And you know what? This look totally worked!

evening outfit, going out, night out, couple dress upevening outfit, going out, night out, couple dress up

(c) Photo credit goes to the photographer at the Rosefield party

So, tell me now – would you rather break the bank or get creative?