Monday, August 8, 2016

High vs. Low

I've always taken outfit inspiration from the runway, editorials, other bloggers, etc. Not by buying up the exact same pieces from the image/designer, but breaking down a look into the elements that I'm most attracted to. Would I love to be able to afford designer dresses? Of course! Would it be great to be able to spend $200-$300 on a dress from an upper-scale brand, hells yeah! But, with a baby, a mortgage, and student loans (master degrees don't grow on trees) I need to look for sales, deals, bargains, and fast-fashion alternatives when added to my wardrobe and trying new trends.

Of course, I'm not one to jump on the trend-wagon, but I can't help but be intrigued by all the maxi and midi dresses out there. Even though maxi-dresses in particular have a sense of ease, I find that they can be difficult for a busty gal, like myself. Most maxis obscure the figure, and I've been working quite hard to get my figure back after having the baby, hence I want to show it off to it's best advantage. So, when I saw a wrapdress version of a maxi my outfitting antenna starting sparking! But, how reasonable would a maxi-wrap be in my everyday life? And, how much could I afford to spend on a hybrid wrap/maxi? 

All this is to say that this dress from Reformation is currently priced at $248, which is way over my maxi-floral wrap dress budget for Fall/Winter 2016.

However, THIS dress from Forever 21 at $29.90 most certainly DOES fall into my budget AND was purchased before the above Reformation dress recently showed up in a Who What Wear article 9 Items That Will Be Massive in the Blogger World This Fall  

Having purchased this FROCK before the higher-end version started showing up on the blog-o-sphere let me know that I was definitely onto something in terms of fashion forecasts AND I felt very savvy having picked up an EXTREMELY similar version for such a low amount. True, the Reformation dress is (I hope) a better quality garment, that may or may not have a better fit on my frame, but again how often am I going to bust out a pale-pink rosy floral maxi wrap-dress over the next year or so? No more than a dozen times, maybe? So in terms of cost-per-wear the fast-fashion Forever 21 option was the smart choice in the high versus low debate.  

In terms of a midi-dress I've been seeing so many long-sleeved printed options out there, some of which are really gorgeous and romantic like this number from Anthropologie:

And even though I'm a pretty regular costumer at Anthro, at $248 this very pretty frock is totally unrealistic for my budget, my lifestyle, my personal style, and most likely my frame. But, I'm intrigued by this type of dress so I ordered this version:  

This crew-neck midi-dress may not be as flattering as the v-necked shifts I usually wear, so we shall see if it "sticks" once it arrives. And even though I love a funky pattern, how often will I wear one... not very, so again it makes more sense to go with a mid-level retailer, as opposed a more expensive, yet higher quality version. 

Of course, I do have some designer dresses that I love, but these are classic pieces that speak to my long-term style aesthetic.  But for trendier items, or pieces you want to experiment with the "low" is hands down the smarter choice in this debate. 

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