DESIGNER | OR DUPE

August 18, 2017

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had an unlimited income that we could purchase every designer piece that made it’s way to the “It List?” Unfortunately, that’s just not realistic. But fortunately, we live in a time where designer dupes are almost as good as the real deal.

Fast fashion is a modern term that means designs move from runway to retail store quickly to capture current fashion trends. Because of the fast fashion movement, designer dupes are appearing quicker than ever in major stores like Zara, H&M, Topshop, Forever 21, and Mango. Many high end fashion collections presented during Fashion Week are available within weeks and made way affordable than the “inspired by” options.

I’m not here to debate whether fast fashion good or bad. Like anything, there are pros and cons, but for those that don’t have unlimited funds to spend on designer pieces every season, fast fashion not only allows for current clothing styles to be purchased at an affordable price, they also allow for trends to be manufactured quickly thereby allowing for a longer shelf-life of these trends.

Don’t get me wrong, I still believe in purchasing investment designer pieces from time to time especially when it comes to specific items such as bags for example. There is a large difference in quality between designer and fast fashion dupes, as well as craftsmanship and materials, but when it comes to trying to keep up with trends on a day to day basis, fast fashion makes it available for all.

Take a look at this outfit. Can you spot the real deal versus the dupe? I am sure you recognize the infamous Self Portrait top. While I absolutely love this striped, off the shoulder blouse, I can’t get myself to shell out $400 for a shirt that may or may not last for more than one season. Additionally, there are so many similar styles of this shirt for as low as $16, so in this case, I think the dupe trumps the designer price. See below for the Self Portrait top versus more affordable alternatives.

What about my platform creepers? Stellas or faux? Yup, they’re dupes too. To be honest, I would have gone with the real Stellas, but they’re actually ridiculously high and the dupes are much more realistic for walking purposes. Instead of $1,100 for the Stellas, I paid $60 for these in Korea. But don’t fret, the US carries many of them as well ranging in price from $70 to $165 (see below).

From my colored sunnies, to the gold watch, and even my jeans which I purchased in Korea at a whopping $50, everything you see is a product of fast fashion. The only designer piece I’m wearing is the Cartier Love bracelet because some things you can’t buy the knock off.

The general rule of thumb I use when deciding on whether to purchase designer or a dupe is how long I want to keep or wear the piece. If it’s something I plan on keeping for a while and it will remain a classic, I go designer. This would include bags, shoes, and investment jewelry pieces. However, if it’s something that is trendy, it’s fast fashion for me. I’m curious to know what makes you purchase designer versus dupe, please leave your comment below!

Top | CE Closet similar styles here and here
Jeans | from Korea similar styles here and here
Sunglasses | Sunbox Shop
Watch | Cluse
Rings | Mejuri and here
Necklace | Miranda Frye Jewelry similar styles here and here
Shoes | from Korea similar styles here and here

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48 comments

Camille August 18, 2017 at 8:37 am

I love this look and I agree, it is not always possible to pay a fortune for designer pieces. This look is so stylish and cool , I love how you put this outfit together!

Camille xo

http://www.camiwears.co.uk

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Mariann Yip August 18, 2017 at 8:45 am

I definitely agree with you! I think there are certain items that you should invest in such as bags and shoes and maybe even some basic items. But I think with some tops and blouses it’s better to go for lower prices.

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Raysa Garcia August 18, 2017 at 11:33 am

I totally agree with you. I love the whole look.
You look super mega chic. Those shoes are so cute. I don’t invest money in clothes only in watches
Happy weekend beauty! Xx

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Amy August 18, 2017 at 12:19 pm

I’m a total sucker for real vs. steal… and I love seeing others’ take on it!! Couldn’t agree more that fast fashion has its place… especially with bold colors, prints, and trendy items in general. I like to save my $$ for the timeless stuff and I know you do too! Have a great weekend Christine.

xx, Amy
http://www.theluxilook.com

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TINA H August 18, 2017 at 12:46 pm

Love the idea of this post and I totally agreed with your words on this! I feel like certain pieces definitely worth investing while some other pieces, you can totally find a better deal at a fraction of a price but still looks just as good!

xo Tina
IG: @tinasweetheart
http://www.tinasweetheart.com

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Deddeh Howard August 18, 2017 at 12:54 pm

Wow this top is so amazing on you, I have to have it. You’re such a beauty.

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Keri August 18, 2017 at 2:42 pm

That top is so gorgeous!! I am all about looking for more affordable pieces 🙂

Enclothed Cognition

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Jennifer August 18, 2017 at 10:09 pm

I definitely agree that there isn’t a massive difference. I really like your outfit and I love how affordable it is too. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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Bernice August 18, 2017 at 11:00 pm

This designer dupe looks dead set the same as the $400 Self Portrait version! You banged a real bargain, and got a cute blouse for next to nothing! What a score babe xx

Bernice | IG: @bunnybernice
New Post: https://www.bunnybernice.com/single-post/2017/08/19/INCO-Launch-Influencer-Exclusive-Designer-Gift-Bags

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Elizabeth August 19, 2017 at 10:38 am

Fast fashion definitely has its pros and cons, but what I enjoy the most about designer dupes is the affordability 🙂 While I know its important to support the real designers’ works of art, a lot of us don’t have the funds for that (hahah no matter how much we wish we did)! Loving this gorgeous top love! Stunning as always!

XO, Elizabeth
http://clothestoyouuu.com/

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Gracie August 19, 2017 at 12:06 pm

Beautiful blouse. I seem to gravitate to the more expensive top, jeans, bags, sun glasses, etc. but I think you can buy a nice piece and then throw in the rest of your outfit with inexpensive items. Love your whole outfit.

Xxgracie

snappedbygracie.com

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Jenelle August 20, 2017 at 7:47 am

The whole thing has come up from time to time as a bit of an issue for me too. Before I left my steady job to go freelance, I had more reliable income to invest in designer pieces. Now days I have to be really picky with what I will put my money towards. I prefer less obvious trend items that I will get sick of quickly, and try to opt for the best quality items I can find at as reasonable price as I can get. Not so many designer threads! Though, I like to have a mix of designer and non.
I have been working for a fashion brand who design some of their own things, but I came on board to see that they had copied a lot of styles in their previous season, including this top. I definitely felt conflicted over it, more so probably because the quality was not good, it was obvious that you would get a lot better quality from Self Portrait. And, rather than under $20 it was being sold for about $80! Which it wasn’t worth. So, I really don’t know, I love the style, but I felt like it was cheating people out of more than they should spend and cheapening the Self Portrait version. Such a conflict!
Sometimes I haven’t realised something is a copy or something inspired by another designer till later! What do we do?
xx Jenelle
http://www.inspiringwit.com

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Rubi August 20, 2017 at 6:08 pm

Love that top and this outfit Christine! Its hard not to consume fast fashion because really we can’t all afford designer pieces all the time.
xx Rubi
Pose & Repeat

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Esther August 21, 2017 at 12:21 am

I like to keep my money together too and if there is a chance to safe some money I will go for it. But I don’t like replicas. Dupes is a little different but still people / designer created a piece and some is just coping it. Imagine you create a post or picture and someone post it and pretend it is his and is not mentioning you.
Please don’t get me wrong, but these are my thought on this topic. Have a fantastic week.

Love, Esther
https://lifestyle-tale.com/pleated-pink-skirt-on-a-summer-afternoon/

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Floortje August 21, 2017 at 12:46 am

you look great dear! loving the top

Xx,

|| FLOORTJELOVES ||

http://www.floortjeloves.com
http://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/floortjeloves-12198253

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Sheree August 21, 2017 at 3:11 am

Omgosh I totally buy dupes when it comes to fast food fashion. Trends that comes and goes and “hot” of the moment usually don’t have lasting power and I’d rather spend the money on an investment piece like a bag. So these ruffle tops are right up my ally for steal and not a splurge. I love your dupe Stella! I just posted one on my blog as well that is a dupe but I like yours much better, they are not as high and more manageable to walk around town. Such a great look dear you wouldn’t be able to tell that they are dupe cuz you make it look like its worth a million bucks.

~ xo Sheree
PoshClsasyMom.com

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wanderlustts August 21, 2017 at 6:54 am

This is so ironic I was just telling my boyfriend the other day when we passed Aldo and I pointed out a sneaker they had on display that mimicked the Gucci rose embroider sneakers. Of course they were only a fraction of the cost. I think it’s interesting because designer brands charge so much to something that can be so easily replicated and it begs me to question whether we are purchasing something for the name or the design? Granted you are right that there is a quality difference, but when it comes to very seasonal pieces, is it worth it to splurge so much? I always spend my money on bags or shoes that I know are classic pieces because you get the most bang for your buck, but i can definitely understand why dupes exist at the same time when it comes to pieces youre in love with in the moment and just want to rock it.
At the end of the day I think it doesn’t matter – so long as people don’t try to fool others or pass their dupes as the real deal 🙂

Wanderlustts
http://www.wanderlustts.com

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Sharon Wu August 21, 2017 at 9:00 am

I got a quick glimpse of this on your IG stories and loved the idea of designer vs. dupe! There are so many similar trendy items out there for a fraction of the designer item’s price — sometimes we just gotta give our wallets a break and go with the more wallet-friendly versions. Usually if I am going to spend designer price on any item, I want to make sure that it’s timeless and won’t go out of style in a couple months. The ones that do, I typically go for fast-fashion options because they look just as good but don’t have the hefty price point! I love that ruffle top on you! xo, sharon

http://www.stylelullaby.com/beauty/latest-beauty-must-have-clarins-double-serum/

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Jessi Malay August 21, 2017 at 1:14 pm

you look stunning babe! Its honestly crazy how fast fashion has revolved in the past couple of years!

XO, Jessi

https://www.mywhitet.com/natural-hair-dyes

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Rachel Holliday August 21, 2017 at 5:16 pm

I personally love a good dupe! This top is so gorgeous on you and I adore the shape of the ruffles. I think that real designer pieces are worth investing on when it’s a timeless piece, rather than a trend piece. That way, you can wear it for the next 20 years and the cost per wear is actually pretty low.

Rachel xx
http://www.thedailyluxe.net

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Jessica August 21, 2017 at 8:42 pm

There are some pieces worthy of investment, but there are some that you can do fine even with budget pieces. Hence, it is all about knowing which ones are worth splurging for!

Jessica | notjessfashion.com

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Shaine August 22, 2017 at 1:10 am

Really love the gingham vibe! Fast fashion really has its pros and cons, prolly ironic.

xx shaine
https://itsshaineivory.wordpress.com/2017/08/21/shenanigan-lately/

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Manda August 22, 2017 at 10:15 am

It always blows my mind how quickly dupes to designer appear after FW. I agree there are pros and cons to fast fashion but the reality is, most people can’t afford to style themselves off of designer alone! I’m the same when picking and choosing what I purchase in designer. I have a tough time with purchasing any luxury item too trendy. I love your top and think this is a great and perfect dupe! I did splurge on the Stellas and honestly feel like I wore them so much last year that I got my moneys worth out of them but even I will admit, I haven’t really worn them much this year at all. I wouldn’t have noticed off the bat that yours are dupes! I think it’s so great to include these options in your post even when posting designer looks! Your entire outfit is gorgeous as per usual!

Manda | http://EvocativelyChosen.com

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The Gypsy Files August 22, 2017 at 12:11 pm

Obviously this top is super gorgeous on you, but I cannot stop staring at these amazing platform shoes! In love with the nude color and that star detail. So cute.

I’d love for you to check out my blog if you get a chance, love!
http://thegypsyfiles.com/

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Aimara August 22, 2017 at 2:25 pm

OMG you are so right!!! I totally agree with this. Not everyone has a budget to buy everything off the runway, so it’s smart to only invest in the pieces where there’s a huge quality difference and that we are going to use for several seasons, like bags or shoes, or maybe cocktail dresses.
I personally don’t have a budget right now to buy anything designer because blogging full time is hard and it’s not a steady source of income, so I heavily rely on this other brands to look trendy without breaking the bank 🙂
As for this post, I love the shirt and shoes! They look like a million bucks on you!
XO
Aimara
http://www.waysofstyle.com

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Cindy Elena @iamcindyelena August 22, 2017 at 2:29 pm

There are some great basic pieces worth investing in like a coat, bag or a reaaaally good pair of jeans, but dupes are amazing as well!! I woul have never noticed that yours are dupes. Besides I usually always go for the “dupes” you know the Zara ones, because I don’t really have Chanel or Gucci in my budget.

xo | Cindy Elena
http://www.boringclothes.com

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Candace August 22, 2017 at 4:00 pm

Length of time that I want to wear something definitely determines if I’m splurging or not. Like yourself, I am more likely to splurge on bags. I’m all for fast fashion over here!

http://www.thebeautybeau.com

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Tandya Stewart August 22, 2017 at 4:21 pm

Omg! I saw this top on your Instagram and thought is was Self Portrait! I even screen shotted it to see where I can buy it on LIKEtoKNOW.it! I would much rather pay $90 than $400. I agree with you, the rule of thumb when buying fast fashion items is how long I want to keep or wear an item. Trendy tops like these usually don’t last for eternity, where as a classic designer bag does. Thank you for sharing these steals! I would also love to see more!

Thank you!
Xo
Tandya
http://www.simplytandya.com

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Dani August 22, 2017 at 5:43 pm

I love your sense of style! You can pull off anything and loos amazing!

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mainou August 22, 2017 at 8:56 pm

great insight! Thanks for sharing =)
-mainou
http://www.looksbymc.com

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sophie August 22, 2017 at 10:33 pm

Well, I buy dupes so often hen I can’t seem to find it within my means to buy the designer stuff.I really love the top.Everything about it.The stripes, the ruffles , the colors.Everything.You look simply amazing.
http://sophieatieno.com

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Violette August 22, 2017 at 11:49 pm

I totally feel you about designer pieces, I prefere investing in bags than tops! I think fast fashion is not a bad thing! I love this top!

http://violettedaily.com

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Katrina Fernandez August 22, 2017 at 11:51 pm

I guess dupes are better than branded. 🙂 Because for me its not practical at all and you’re just paying for the name of the brand not the clothes; just a waste of money. hehe (it’s just my opinion) But you know what, you look lovely with that ruffle stripes blouse! You pull it off beautifully, as always!

xoxo, Katrina Isha

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Diana August 23, 2017 at 3:19 am

I wish it too, that I can just go to the store and buy what ever my soul desires. But it doesn’t work like that in real life, specially when you have other priorities in your life beside of silly clothes, that bad for our environment and slowly killing our earth anyway;) I wish, designer clothes were more affordable, classier and better quality that we don’t need fast fashion. But I also love the fact, that many stores can offer similar items that you don’t feel like you are behind of everyone else. I love how you styled it.

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Lana August 23, 2017 at 10:28 am

I dont have any problems with fast fashion. I love Zara. H&M, Mango. That is great that fashion is available for everybody nowadays.
I am ready to invest in basic things, bags and accessories, but I don’t want to spend a half of my salary for a top that I can wear for one season only.
This blouse is so gorgeous, I really love the design.

http://lanaluu.com

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Open Kloset August 23, 2017 at 1:38 pm

Hey Love,
How are you?
100% agree with you, I love designer pieces but sometimes you just can’t afford and nowadays you can find pretty similar dupes with Fair Prices.
Adore your Top and that Jeans:)
Love Kisses
Open Kloset By Karina

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Vanessa August 23, 2017 at 3:40 pm

This is amazing! Right away when I saw this I fell in total love with your top. I’m a huge fan of the big and bulky shoulder design. And I couldn’t agree more honestly there are certain pieces and styles thata re truly worth investing money on. Bu then there are others that you can simply find the same design for a cheaper price. Overall, you look absolutely gorgeous and I loved it!

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Jo August 23, 2017 at 6:24 pm

I totally agree with you on when to invest in the real deal and when to go fast fashion. If it’s a trend that I really want to try but that I know will only be relevant for a season. I’ll go fast fashion. Really I think it’s all in the styling. You’ve styled your dupes so well that your whole outfit looks more expensive than it actually is. You look absolutely gorge!

xo, Jo
http://www.cutandchic.com

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Jacqueline August 23, 2017 at 6:35 pm

I am seriously obsessed with that top. Fast fashion has come a long way in the recent years. When it comes to trendy items I prefer to buy them on the cheap versus statement pieces like you said. This whole outfit looks so expensive! I love when that works out

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Michelle August 23, 2017 at 6:52 pm

I tend to mix it up too. I prefer the real thing with accessories, and with clothing I mostly get cheap disposable H&M or Zara dupes – with some investment pieces that I’ve scored at sample sales. I find for the most part that you get what you pay for. The good stuff holds up and my knockoffs tend to only last the season. For your top, the dupes are really almost identical. For the shoes it’s often plastic fakes VS leather and the materials really make a difference. Either way – love the look!
XO
http://www.lehoarder.com/

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Darya August 23, 2017 at 8:21 pm

Hey Christine!

All your looks are brilliant! Love this striped, off the shoulder blouse. I’m surprised that you paid $400 for this shirt. I have bought the one similar to this for $20. Though I’ve invested in real Stellas as they really look excellent.

xoxo

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Jill Wright August 24, 2017 at 1:40 am

Wowsers!!! I would never have picked the difference. I think it’s all about selecting the right products to splurge on and then the ones that will not last longer than one season- to skimp on 🙂 Good find with the shoes – they look fab!
As always, you look stunning – and that hair!! Don’t even get me started. 🙂
Thanks for sharing!
J. x

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Heidi August 24, 2017 at 2:48 pm

I’m going with your rule too. I just can’t spend 400€ on a shirt that I don’t know if I like it next year or not. But handbags, sunglasses and something like this, I can spend more money because I buy classics and I trust that I don’t throw them in with wrong colored clothes. Ha!

Heidi ✨ | Heidi’s Planner | Instagram

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Thomas Falkenstedt August 25, 2017 at 3:57 pm

This is actually something I’ve been thinking about lately. There’s no denying the fact that I have clothes, a lot of clothes and I get them from all over and even buy them occasionally. I’m not actually taking a stand regarding designer or dupe, but I have been thinking more about sustainability and how much money and environment we actually waste on something we’ll basically only wear a few times, instead of investing in pieces that we would wear over and over. Fashion is a tricky business and I don’t have an answer to my own question really as I, just like you, love trying new things.
Thomas xx

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Sheryl August 27, 2017 at 2:46 am

Great post! I agree, we don’t have to spend too much on clothes that we only wear a couple of times but like you, I also invest on designer accessories and leather goods for their quality. It is always nice to mix and match between fast fashion and designer garments.

I love your top, by the way!

xx
Sheryl
http://www.seguraandco.com/fall-fashion/

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Jenn August 27, 2017 at 7:14 pm

I totally agree with you that fashion is a quick-changing market. It is better to invest in something that is timeless and classic rather than what is trending. In my opinion, I think classic handbags, wallets, shoes, and outerwear (i.e. trench coats) are items to invest while everything else can wait or finding a dupe for them would be a better option. On the side note, I can’t believe your top is $19! Such a trendy piece at such an affordable price! I think I might get one myself!

Thanks again!
Jenn
http://www.lepetittato.com/

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Samantha Mariko August 29, 2017 at 7:09 am

Like you, I see no problem in choosing the dupe over the designer piece, especially if it’s just a top or a pair of pants that might be worn for a season or two at most. And seriously, this blouse looks sooo designer the way you wear it! couldn’t even tell it’s a dupe 🙂

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marcy September 6, 2017 at 2:46 am

Such a great statement top babe!!! Love this entire post but its so true that now in the market you can find very affordable pieces that are very similar to designer brands that are more expensive.
LOVE how you style it with the jeans and those shoes. Been such a great fan of your style!

xoxo
Marcy

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