Fall Trends: Spend or Save?

- Let's Spend Some Money
Lace Up Burgundy Heels

There comes a time in every Mamanistas life where you should absolutely buy the shoes (or purse, or jewelry, or whatever your “thing” is). But most of the time, I have to be practical and look for the cheaper alternative.

Here are a few of my current favorite high-end pieces and their cost-effective counterparts. Choose whichever one makes you and your wallet happy – this is a judgment-free zone!

The Trend: Lace Up Flats

The Retailers: Nordstrom vs Amazon

Black Lace Up Flats

Tori Ghillie Flat ($99) vs Brinley Co. Lace Up Ballet Flats (23.99)

I don’t mess around when it comes to my shoes. They need to be comfortable when I’m running to meetings, chasing kids or just generally going crazy. Some of my favorite fashion bloggers have been sporting these ballerina-inspired lace up flats with jeans and dresses, so I decided to give them a try. Since I tend to err on the side of economical, I purchased this black pair from Amazon. I imagined wearing these and looking ever so feminine and elegant as my boss demanded the latest TPS report or my three-year-old had a tantrum because baby brother looked at her funny. Unfortunately, they hurt like hell after wearing them around the house for ten whole minutes. I tried to push through it under the guide of “breaking them in”, but these were like a torture device from a Saw movie.

The Verdict: Treat ‘yo feet well. Splurge on the higher-end version that offers more support, padding and general comfort.

The Trend: Military-Inspired Vest

The Retailers: Stitch Fix Vs Amazon

Military Vest Olive with Hood

Market & Spruce Jahana Vest from Stitch Fix ($68) vs L3NO Women’s Sleevless Military Anorak Vest ($22)

Military-inspired vests like the one from my recent Stitch Fix are hot right now. They are also super-functional, with a hood for windy days and tons of pockets for my keys, cell phone and any other oddities my daughters may choose to “gift” me with. This vest was the only thing I kept from my recent Fix, and is in constant rotation in my wardrobe.

The Verdict: The Amazon one is similar quality and style to the more expensive Stitch Fix alternative, so I’d go for that one.

The Trend: Perforated Heels

The Retailers: Nordstrom vs Amazon

Lace Up Burgundy Heels

Vince Camuto Tarita Lace Up Sandal $128.95 vs Delicious Yorker Faux Suede Lace Up Stacked Heel $26.99

I’m not typically a shoe person (although my husband and closet may say differently) but these make me all sorts of happy inside. From the burgundy color to the cut outs to the lower block heel, the minute I saw them I ordered a pair for myself.

The Verdict: Buy the Amazon version NOW. Buy all four colors. Seriously, these shoes are AMAZING and look great with dresses, pants and jeans. I get compliments every time I wear them.

The Trend: Blanket Scarf

The Retailer: Any Store in America vs Amazon

Blanket Scarf

Willamette for the Weekend Scarf from Modcloth ($25) vs Women Plaid Blanket Scarf Warm Winter Tartan Wrap Shawl from Amazon ($10.99)

Blanket scarves are EVERYWHERE this season, and for good reason: most offices set their thermostats at arctic temperatures, and this versatile piece can be worn a variety of different ways.

The Verdict: Choose wisely. The lower-price alternative will fit the bill, but it’s also an acyrlic material that gets really hot, and I experienced a few snags with my ring wearing it for the first time. The ring won. If you’re picky what kind of fabric is close to your face and/or want something that will last a few seasons, you may want to go with a $20 and up version. If you’re okay with it lasting a season or two, the Amazon version will do you just fine.

The Trend: Druzy Statement Necklace

The Retailers: Kendra Scott vs Amazon

Statement Druzy Necklace

Kendra Scott Connelly Necklace ($130) vs Jane Stone Druzy Statement Necklace ($12.99)

A good statement necklace can take a simple outfit up a notch or two, and this one fits the bill perfectly. It can dress up jeans and a sweater or add some pizazz to a dress and cardigan. The neutral stone coloring means it pairs with everything.

The Verdict: This may be a tie. I love Kendra Scott jewelry – it’s high-quality, feminine but not too girly and a great price point. If you can score one of these pieces during your birthday month when Kendra Scott will give you half off, I’d go for their version. The other 11 months out of the year, the Jane necklace from Amazon is a great investment, and for $11.99, you can get it in multiple colors or pair with matching earrings.

Let me know if you agree with these selections, or if you’d like for us to try and help you find a lower-price version of something!

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