Replicating Designer Looks on A Budget

Confession: I’m a budget shopper. And here’s something I LOVE doing:

  1. Dissect expensive and/or designer outfits that look good on apple shapes;
  2. Figure out budget-friendly alternatives that have the same effect.

Sound fun? Let’s do this!

We’ll kick off this project with inspiration from Birdsnest (which I’ve discussed at length on this blog).

Birdsnest has an amazing search mechanism, allowing you to sort their entire inventory by body shape. They also have over 1,100 preassembled outfits flattering for apple shapes. Oh, and did I also mention they offer Missi through Plus Sizes on almost all of their clothes?

Ok, ok, enough gushing, and back to the task at hand. The birds are chirping, and it’s getting warmer at long last … so let’s start with a nice Spring look, something we could wear on a lunch or coffee date.

The actual retail price (*said in my gameshow host voice*) of this outfit:

Sandals: $49.95
Top: $64.95
Satchel Bag: $275.00
Pants: $69.95
Earrings: $19.95
Total: $479.80

$479.80 is a lot of $ for one outfit!  Let’s get in under $150 for the budget look-a-like.

Starting with the pants, apple-appropriate easy-fit Capris by Lee, available in Missi and Plus:

Next, the gorgeous peasant blouse. This is the hardest piece to replicate, since it’s the most unique. I present FOUR different budget options similar in style, color, and cut (paisley design and peasant blouse – very apple-friendly):

Next, accessories (pretty proud of the close matches on these, and throwing in a pair of apple-flattering wedges to boot!):

AND jewelry. let’s include a matching necklace to highlight for our pretty apple faces!

If you choose the most expensive options among the alternatives, it’s a grand total of $165.15. The least expensive option is $130.15. Each of these outfits includes pants, shirt, handbag, shoes, and jewelry. NOT bad.

What do you think?

Reader Challenge

Send me the looks that you love in the comments (or shoot an email and I’ll write a post about how to replicate those looks on a budget.  Let’s keep this party going, and thanks for reading!

12 comments / Add your comment below

  1. This is EXACTLY the website I needed to find! I’m horribly unstylish and an APPLE shape! How did you know? I would LOVE to see some outfits that are “business casual” or at the very least, give me some close-toed shoes options with the outfits like the one above! I’m terrible about picking out stylish shoes but I have to wear close-toed ones for work. I will be bookmarking this page for the future! Simply brilliant!

    1. Thanks again, Amy! So glad you are finding this helpful!!

      I’ll post a few good options for business causal (with closed-toed shoes) next, reinvented for the Mighty Apple.

  2. It’s amazing what you can find on Amazon if you have the time. What you did is to cut down the search time for a lot of us and just zoom in on the ones that we want. It’s like a one-stop shopping service.

    Helping people to shop for alternatives is a good thing to do.

    Just to be frank, when I first saw your website, I didn’t immediately get the impression that it is about different shapes. Maybe it’s just me.

    1. Thank you for the feedback! I should probably make it more clear that this is a site about body shapes rather than literal apples 😉

      I’m glad you liked the budget outfit research, come back for more in days to come!

  3. Hi, Penelope!
    What a great site, and reviews on different looks. You truly do the homework for so many women in the style area. I don’t have an apple shape body, mine is curvy and somewhat standard so I never really had a problem to dress but then as years pass by and body decided to stretch in all different directions I now can relate to the difficulty of shopping in a search for the right piece. And on a budget! You make great suggestions from head to toe AND orient people on prices. That’s amazing. I will definitely come back for more ideas!

    1. Hi Katya – thanks for the comment! and positive feedback! I’m glad you appreciate the concept, I do hope it will help women searching for the right things to wear and combine.

  4. So, I LOVE your site and I so wish I could remember all of your great shopping tips while
    I’m out and about shopping. lol The real problem is that I give up really quick when I’m no having a good day.

    I’m going to bookmark your site and take you with me next time!

    1. Hi Ally, glad you love the site! Definitely good to have a list of dos/don’ts while you’re out shopping, it can minimize the hassle and help steer you toward good choices.
      thanks for the great feedback!

  5. Hi Penelope, thanks for the useful tips on dressing up the Apple shape. I love that you don’t have to break the bank to look good either. Keep them coming…

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