These days, it's all about how fast you can get something delivered or how easily something works or how inexpensively you can find something fabulous. I blame the glorification of busyness but that's a topic for an entirely separate blog post. And while I do my best to say no to things that will crowd my calendar, my closet or my life, I too confess to being too busy sometimes and find myself wanting to run away to an island. Or win the lottery so I never have to work for a paycheck...either one. Getting organized and simplifying life has been a top priority for me this year, as we are "paper pregnant." For those of you who've never heard that term, it means we're adopting and have finished all our paperwork. Yes, we still have education, interviews, a profile book and a home study to get through, and even after that could be waiting many months, but I'm doing everything I can right now to get my house in order so I'm as prepared as one can be pre-baby (all you moms out there may go ahead and laugh at that statement, I know, "you're never ready..." but I'm talking organizing and finding things for less). So I've signed up for a couple things lately that I hope will make life simple. One is Stitch Fix. I know, you might be shocked at that statement. Why would a stylist need a stylist? (If you've never heard of StitchFix, it's a company that sends you 5 articles of clothing within a specified price range for $20/shipment. You can schedule as often or infrequently as you like and if you purchase items sent to you, the $20 fee is applied to those items.) Well, several reasons. Quite frankly, I'm curious! Everyone loves to receive gifts and I've heard such good things about them, not to mention I've seen some of my friend's picks and they are CAAUUUUTE. Another reason is while I love to style clients and friends in bright, fun colors I tend to stay in my neutral zone and sometimes need a push toward more color. Lastly, I'll admit - I'm scoping them out. I'd LOVE to work for a company like them and was curious to see how they operated, what kinds of labels they'd send and how the stylists interacted with me. I've only received one box so far but I can tell you I'm impressed. Both by what they sent and the level of customer service I've received. My box even included a note from my stylist congratulating me on our adoption! If you are interested in doing this, feel free to use my referral code.
Another is Blue Apron....we've just received our first order and haven't made anything yet but my SIL has been raving about it and we cooked one of her meals while babysitting our nephew. It was AMAZING - all fresh ingredients and very flavorful. And for $60/week for three fab meals, I say, "sign me up!" I'll share my free week code as soon as I get it! A friend of mine is doing EMeals...for $60 a year they send weekly recipes plus a shopping list based on categories you choose like Paleo, Low Carb, Low Calorie, Budget-Friendly, etc. Today I learned about an app called SuperDuper that gives inexpensive matches to designer nailpolishes like Chanel, Tom Ford and Yves Saint Laurent.
A cleaning company is also something I've been thinking about; I've been fanatical lately about cleaning (pretty sure they call that nesting!). I know I won't have the time or energy to really deep clean like I can now once baby arrives, so this would be great to outsource, maybe just once a month. If you know of any good local cleaning companies, please let me know!
So, back to luxe for less, sorry I digress...here are a few picks for you that are FABULOUS dupes of the real deal. Because sometimes saving money trumps having that label, am I right?!?!
- The Chloe Marcie - every top blogger and instablogger around has this fabulous handbag. And it's no wonder, the stitching detail is gorgeous, the shape is perfect and the tassels make me want to pack a bag and drive to Coachella. But, like I raved about in this post, Sole Society's Dayton studded whipstitched satchel is a very similar style for $64.95.
2. Kate Spade Meow sweatshirt - no longer available in the store, I did manage to find it here. I really don't know why I didn't buy a cute dupe I saw for $17 at H&M but recently found this cute one here on GroopDealz for $16.99. And between Etsy & make your own tee-shirt companies like Café Press, there's really no limit to what you can find or create on your own.
3. Fringe necklaces - I've been seeing these beauties pop up all over my Instagram feed, but there is one local designer who does them very well. AND gives back to a great cause because of her story. So if I buy one, I'll be getting one from her. She handcrafts every piece, uses real leather and gorgeous accents on each unique piece. She is featured in several boutiques around the Charlotte area, you can check her site for locations. Below is a pic of "The Madison"...one of my faves. However, this IS a post about luxe for less, so I did find two similar styles at Forever 21 here and here, and while I'm VERY CERTAIN it won't be anywhere near the caliber of craft of the previous design, it does cost less and works if you just want to try out this trend to see if you like it.
4. Aquazzurra lace-up shoes - These shoes have been all the rage since last fall (or was it the previous fall? I can't even remember...) when they were introduced. At any rate, they continue to be popular for spring. I've even seen a hot pink version! However at a steep $695, the Aquazzurra's are a tad too pricy for this girl, so I bought Shopbop's $65 version. Although I've seen them for as low as $25 here and here - it just depends if you want suede, leather or neither.
5. The Chloe Faye - a gorgeous crossbody with the stylish circular ring, every "it" girl at NYFW had one. At well over $2,500 I think I'll try the Forever 21 version, at an affordable $24.50.
I'd love to hear from you! What's your favorite subscription, service or organizational trick that has saved you time or money. Share away in the comments section! Also, let me know if there's a topic you are curious about for an upcoming Friday Five.