I have recently been inundated with requests for help finding clothes, shoes and accessories for my beautiful friends.
Fashion maths seems to have been a bit of a hit too – with people finding items they would like but at a price their bank manager does not like, and charging me with the task of finding cheaper alternatives!
By way of illustration one of my friends found this beautiful retro dress (£40) at your beloved and mine, ASOS. On sight of it, we both love the whole outfit so much, that I suggested she should try to replicate the whole look and get the other bits as well.
Alas, ASOS let us down by not stocking the accessories shown in the outfit (=severe loss of brownie points) and subsequently elevating the need to find the extra bits elsewhere.
My friend did this, but unfortunately stumbled into (in my opinion) massively-overpriced French Connection. And she found this Maud crop jacket for £85. Whilst it is beautiful, it is also a shed load of money for something that, fashion-wise, will be in and out quicker than a right arm in a hokey-cokey.
So, as fashion mathemagician, I have been charged with the task of finding something similar but at a much more reasonable price. Here’s what I found.
1. LK Bennett – Imagine my surprise when even high-end-high-street luvvies LK Bennett came in cheaper than FC. This little beauty came in at £59.99, which well and truly sticks two fingers up at French Connection, and tells it to go FCUK itself.
- LK Bennett: £85 – £59.99 = saving of £25.01
Although it is lovely and cheaper, I still think that we can do better!
Debenhams came up trumps with not one but two possibilities, neither of which were to be found in the bridal department (to my astonishment).
Firstly I found this LK Bennett-alike as part of their Debut range for £40, swiftly followed by this grey beauty in the Star by Julian MacDonald range – in the sale at £32. Nice.
- Debut: £85 – £40 = saving of £45
- Julian MacDonald: £85 – £32 = saving of £53
3. Oasis and Horses and Riders (!)
I decided that I’d move slightly from the bolero and turned my search to tippets and scarves: much more versatile than a jacket, as you could wear as a scarf, or with coats and jackets as a sort of detachable collar. This totally ups the potential pays-per-wear calculation.
Oasis bequeaths us with this little brown scarf at £20 (also available in a leopard print) and I also found this posh-totty website called ‘Horses and Riders’ (what, what) which gave us this bargainous Dubarry tippet (available in three colours) also for £20.
- Oasis: £85 – £20 = saving of £65
- Dubarry: £85 – £20 = saving of £65
So there we have it. A maximum saving of £65 – which will give her some cash to splash on the tan satchel and boots so she can complete the outfit.