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

Sandro

Price tag: 385

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

Sandro checkered suit

H&M 

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

Acne

Price tag: 700 dollars (300 on sale)

Material: real leather

Acne snakeskin ankle boots

Zara

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

Loavies

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

Loewe 

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

Celine* 

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? 

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.

Optional:

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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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.

Pros: 

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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?

my personal why’s

my personal why’s

Hi there & welcome,

My name is Alina and I’m starting this blog as a place where I can share my ideas, knowledge, advice, and inspiration about… fashion. Or style & how-to-dress, to be precise. I imagine you might say:

Whaat? Another wanna-be fashion blogger?..” 

Yes and no. Yes – because I am clearly starting a fashion blog and it’s pretty difficult to argue with being called a wanna-be fashion blogger. No – because my main goal is to create a platform where I can have an open dialogue about what to wear, how to wear, where to wear with a wider audience other than just my family & friends. Although my friends are awesome and they are one of the forces that made me think of starting a blog, I feel like I can be useful for more people and hopefully save some of their morning time on what-to-wear contemplation.  

As much as I can remember myself, I have always been interested in dressing up myself or dressing others: I was sewing outfits for my dolls, making my own clothes at school, advising my best friends what to wear to that end of year party or to that very special date. I have always been (and still am) one of the most favourite persons to take shopping with, because “Oh you know, you are good at your fashion stuff”.

I am not really sure where this interest started. It might have been something that I got from my mum’s love to do her best in looking good herself and making me look like a cute little girl, even when it wasn’t always easy to buy something decent and it involved making clothes by hand with a help of Burda magazines. It might have been from my sister who worked in Cosmopolitan and a few other magazines at the time and who took me to work every now and then. It might be even that this interest was fostered by the modelling school I went to, because my parents thought that it would help me to gain more confidence (bear in mind: 1. I was no model: an 8 year old chubby little girl with pinky cheeks, 2. I still have my diploma somewhere in the archives, probably its only possible purpose will be to show my future children that “mommy was a model” lol). In the end, all these factors and perhaps being a very visual person worked all together to make me who I am now.

In the next blog posts, I am going to share more about myself and my attitude towards the whole big fashion shebang. 

blossom shoot, spring outfit, Zara jeans, & other stories baby blue blouse, Michael Kors red bag, Zara blue mules, beige trench coat mint&berryblossom shoot, spring outfit, Michael Kors red bag, beige trench coat mint&berryblossom shoot, spring outfit, Zara jeans, & other stories baby blue blouse, Michael Kors red bag, Zara blue mulesspring outfit, Zara blue mules, blossomblossom shoot, spring outfit, Zara jeans, & other stories baby blue blouse, Michael Kors red bag, Zara blue mules

What I’m wearing in this post:

Trench coat mint&berry 

Bag Michael Kors

Blouse & other stories

Jeans Zara Authentic Denim

Mules Zara

Watch Rosefield

Rings Pandora