Fashion dupes – splurge or save?

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Splurge or save

Lots of people choose fashion as a way to express themselves. But trying to keep up with fashion can be expensive. Fashion dupes are a great way to stay on top of trends while also staying under your budget. 

What is a fashion dupe?

A fashion dupe is a less expensive version of a designer item without being an exact copy. A designer dupe has the same essence as the designer item, like similar hardware, but dupes do not include aspects of the expensive and original item, such as designer logos. 

Clothing dupes are a great way to stay on top of trendy looks while saving money. It’s important to know that dupes are not fakes nor are they direct copies of designer items. In fact, most people can tell right away that a dupe is not a fake but instead captures the same idea of a certain fashion look, just for less. 

Dupes vs the real deal

Want to wear a trendy designer look without breaking the bank? Dupes are a great way to make this happen. Dupes are going to have a similar blueprint to the look or style you are going for without breaking the bank like the real deal would.

Designer dupes can be used for clothing items, shoes, and even handbags. It might feel like you are wearing a fraud or pretending but dupes are a great way to honor a style you enjoy without getting a fake designer look and saving money. 

Stick to your budget

Being fashionable can get expensive really quickly, even if you are not buying name brands. It is important to stick to your budget, but you can do this while also buying items that you love. Set up a budget before you start shopping, stick to it, and have fun making outfits by finding deals. 

Trends fade

There is always going to be a new fashion trend. In fact, it seems like the trends change every week! But fashion dupes are a great way to stay trendy without breaking the bank. 

You could take the route of purchasing a designer item that is trendy now, but what will you do in a few months when the look is no longer cool? Dupes are a great way to be trendy without spending money on something that will go out of style soon, so you’ll feel less guilty. 


Dupes can be cheap, but you can also spend a bit more on a dupe if you’d like it to last longer. Spending extra money, whether that be on a designer item or a nice dupe, could be a good investment. 

If you find a timeless piece that you can see yourself wearing often, think about whether or not you want to invest in an item of better quality so that it lasts longer. Keep in mind that higher priced items aren’t necessarily better quality, though. 

Shop pre-owned

Another great way to splurge while also saving is by shopping pre-owned. Thrift stores or pawn shops are two of the many great places where you can find designer fashion for less. If you are convinced that a designer look is what you want, look into pre-owned options before spending the bigger bucks on a new version of the same designer items. 

How to find must-have looks for less

You can find some great looks for less with a little guidance. 



  • Madewell jeans: $128 


  • Resale Jeans: $10

Average Savings: 

  • $100

Denim savings tips

Denim can be hard to shop for in any situation. Finding the perfect designer dupe for jeans can be challenging but here are some tips to make the perfect pair. 

Check the sizing 

Even though trying on jeans isn’t always fun, it is the best way to make sure you find the best fit. Plus, jean size charts have changed and sizes vary depending on the designer. This can make it even harder to just stick to one size. For example, if you typically wear a size 28 in one brand, the same size can fit you completely differently when wearing another brand’s jeans. Always try jeans on to get the best fit. 

Have fun with DIY 

You can get really creative with your own DIY designs. Adding accents, changing a pair of jeans into cutoff shorts, or even playing around with different designs are three great ways to turn something old into a new piece. This is a great way to stay with the trends while saving money. 



  • Rothy’s black pointed-toe flats: $145 


  • Target pointed-toe ballet flats: $14.99

Average Savings:

  • $130

Shoe savings tips

You can find many dupes when it comes to shoes, but sometimes, it might be fun to splurge and buy the designer pair instead! 

Invest in a staple shoe 

Whether it’s a nice black pump, a brown formal shoe, or comfortable sneakers, investing in a staple shoe is a great way to save money because they will last for a long time. You’ll want to invest in a pair that will hold up over time and still look good years down the road. Make sure the pair is not so trendy that it won’t stand the test of time. This will ensure that you get more bang for your buck. 

Off-season sales 

Shopping for shoes in season can be expensive, but waiting until the season is over is a great way to get what you need for a good price. Buying items like fall boots in the winter or spring sandals in the summer for the following year is usually the best time to find deals.

Some trendy items might be included in the sale items, so keep in mind that savings might come on items that won’t be in style next season. If you’re lucky, you might find some staple shoes for a significant discount.  



  • Givenchy square frame eyeglasses: $156  


  • Zenni square frame eyeglasses: $49.95

Average Savings: 

  • $100

Glasses savings tips

Glasses, sometimes you need them and other times they just really bring out your outfit. Regardless of why you’re wearing them, there are many ways to save money on eyewear, allowing you to change your glasses as often as your outfits.  

BOGO deals 

If you need prescription eyewear but you enjoy switching up your look, look for a buy-one-get-one deal. This means you’ll purchase one pair and get another pair for free. 

Shop deals for less 

Some cool websites have trendy eyewear for less, including Zenni, Warby Parker, and EyeBuyDirect. There are many choices to choose from when it comes to both sunglasses and eyeglasses. You’ll have the freedom to stay up to date with fashion trends while also saving money. 



  • Small, classic double-flap Chanel bag: $8,200


  • Used, small, classic double-flap Chanel bag from Poshmark: $4,800

Average Savings: 

  • $4,000

Handbag savings tips

There are some great ways to get your hands on some lovely handbags, both designer and dupes. 

Secondhand Shop 

You can find some great designer bags at secondhand shops for a great deal, sometimes for a fraction of the price. There are even websites for second hand shopping so you can find deals from the comfort of your own home. These bags might be older trendy items but if you’re lucky, you can find a classic piece. Secondhand shopping can be fun because you never know what treasures you’ll find. 

Handbag Rental 

Want a trendy bag but only for a special event? Rent your next bag. Depending on the handbag, prices can vary from $50 a month to $500 per month. Sites like Bag, Borrow, and Steal or Rent the Runway let you get your hands on an authentic designer bag and save some money without any long-term commitments. 



  • Oversized Michael Kors rose gold watch: $159 


  • Fossil rose gold watch: $56 

Average Savings:

  • $100 

Watch savings tips

Watches make great accessories. Here are some great ways to save money on your next watch. 

Shop outlets 

Most outlet stores have designer watches for a better price. The great thing about watches is that they typically do not go out of style. Stock up on customary color watches to add to your collection when shopping at outlet stores. 

Looks for less 

Most everyone sells watches, you should not have a hard time finding fashion dupes or even looks for less. Stores like Target, Wal-Mart and online sellers like Amazon make it easy to find nice, inexpensive watches to keep yourself up to date with styles and not spend a ton of money. 



  • Zales ½ Carat Diamond Stud Earring: $599


  • Costco 0.36 Carat Diamond Stud Earring: $399

Average Savings: 

  • $200 

Jewelry savings tips

Jewelry is usually considered a  luxury, but there are some great ways to cut costs while still looking great. 

Consider buying faux Jewelry 

Though not all fakes are created equal, faux, or fake jewelry can be an option for some quick pieces. You can get your hands on some great jewelry items for way less while saving some cash. Some of your favorite celebrities even admit to wearing fake jewelry, so don’t feel bad about it! It’s normal.   

Shop around 

If you are purchasing jewelry that you will consider a timeless piece or an important item, shop around. Some staple pieces, like rings, earrings, or bracelets, usually go on sale somewhere at some point. Don’t feel compelled to buy the first piece you see. Prices are always changing, but you usually can find a great deal around the holidays! 



  • Lululemon Wunder Under Super High-Rise women’s leggings: $98 


  • Amazon high-waisted women’s leggings: $25.99

Average Savings: 

  • $70

Athleisure savings tips

Athleisure is a comfy mix of workouts favs that transition well from workout to running errands. With so many workout brands, there has to be some great ways to save. 

Catch deals in January 

You might notice that a lot of people tend to commit to working out in the New Year, well a lot of stores noticed this too. January deals can be really good and a great time to stock up on new leggings, shorts, and sports bras. If you’re really lucky, you might even catch some great outerwear deals. 

Buy staple items 

Athlesuire wear will likely be a long lasting style. If this is one of your favorite trends, consider splurging on some staple items. This might look like Black leggings or shorts, a nice top, sport bra, and a good outerwear piece. Consider purchasing neutral colors in your staple items, that way they can easily be paired with more trendy fashion dupes when the time comes to mix and match. 

Winter coat


  • Canada Goose Women’s Parka: $1,275


  • Columbia Women’s Parka: $200

Average Savings: 

  • $1,000

Winter coat savings tips

Depending on where you live, a winter coat is a necessary evil. Here are some ways to save while staying fashionable. 

Make the investment 

A more expensive coat can not only look nicer, but also feel warmer. Consider making the investment in a coat that costs a bit more that will last more cold winters and keep you fashionable. You might want to consider sizing up with your winter coat too. It’ll last a little longer while helping you with layering. 

Off-season purchases 

Coats are yet another necessity that you should purchase during off-seasons. Once the spring weather starts to peek through, you might be able to catch some great deals on winter wear, which typically happens in February. This is a great time to snag the winter coat you’ve had your eye, just at a lower price!  

Trench Coats 


  • Men’s Burberry Cotton Trench: $2,250


  • Men’s Banana Republic Wool-Blend Trench: $398 

Average Savings: 

  • $2,000

Trench coats savings tips

A nice trench coat can act as outerwear or a great piece to pull a look together, but they can be pricey. Here are some things to consider when looking for a good trench coat. 

Think about the fit 

Because trench coats are so versatile, you want to consider how you plan to layer when looking at the size. Typically, a trench is worn in cooler weather. You might need to size up to accommodate a thick sweater or even a long-sleeved shirt. That way you can wear your trench comfortably with your many outfit ideas and get more bang for your buck. 

Which fabric is best? 

Trench coats come in a variety of fabrics from cotton to wool. When deciding  to save vs splurge, the fabric you choose will likely play a part. A heavier wool will look nicer, keep you warmer, and likely cost a little more than a cotton trench. 

You can make the choice that’s best for your budget and lifestyle based on how often you plan on wearing the trench and what season you want to wear it most. Spring a lighter fabric will get you far on more days, so maybe consider a cotton Spring trench to save money. 

Kids’ clothes 


  • Joe’s Jeans: $39 


  • Cat and Jack Jeans: $16.99

Average Savings: 

  • $20 

Kids’ clothes savings tips

You want your kids to be stylish too, but at what cost? Kids clothes might not last as long as clothing for adults, so how do we stay up to date without hurting our pockets? Here are some suggestions!  

Just say no 

You might think your kid needs to stay on top of the latest fashion, but do they really? Fashion for kids changes as quickly as kids grow, which is pretty fast. You might find a great pair of stylish jeans that no longer fit your little one within a month. 

At that point, you’ve likely wasted money. Double-check to see if the item is a necessity or if you can say no to it for the sake of saving some money. 

Mom2Mom sales 

Mom2Mom sales are a great way to get your hands on some cool fashions at a discounted rate. At these sales take place, usually outdoors, moms rent tables and sell their kids gently used clothes. As stated before, kids grow fast. 

At a Mom2Mom sale, you might find fashionable clothes for kids’ clothes at a lower rate. The great thing about these sales is that they typically happen all over. You can make a day of collecting gently used goods at a discounted rate for your little one. 

Finance-friendly fashion 

You can dress well without deciding between spending or saving. Fashion dupes allow you to stay on trend without spending too much. Get creative and have fun with fashion while being financially responsible, the two are possible. 


Should you buy designer dupes?

Yes! Buying designer dupes is a great way to look fashionable for less.

What are dupes in fashion?

Fashion dupes are a less expensive way to recreate popular fashion looks.

What are designer dupes?

Designer dupes are a great way to recreate designer looks, not including the logos, without breaking the bank.

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