Recreating Designer Looks for Less

20111011-203839.jpg By Mercedes Sanchez

When it comes to shopping, we believe in staying true to our personal style—and budget. If you’ve thought about spending half your weekly check on a brand new designer jacket, we’re here to tell you there’s an alternative.

Here are three tips to consider when recreating a runway look without the designer price.

Tip 1: Know what you're looking for

Before hitting the stores, take a good look at your closet. What's missing? Do you want to add more prints like Dolce & Gabanna? Or are you looking for broad shoulders and color blocking like Balenciaga? Or is it zig-zags like Missoni? A knee-length frock by Carolina Herrera, or a classic wrap dress by Diane Von Furstenberg?

Tip 2: Visit your local bargain store

Now that you know what you need, I recommend you do the following. For starters, don't be afraid of the word 'bargain' and shop at these low cost department stores that are carry designer items but at discounted rates. Become familiar with these names: Loehmann's, Marshalls and T.J. Maxx.

Stores like Kohl's, J.C. Penny and Old Navy - even H&M, Forever 21-- are ideal for recreating looks straight from the runway as they offer trendy items like those listed above at much lower costs. Even Sofia Vergara's Kmart Collection has a few prints worth taking a look at!

Look out for designer and department store collaborations. Just last month Target partnered with luxury designer Missoni providing high-end looks without the high costs. Some items will be available on their Web site until December.

Tip 3: Make it your own

Make a simple outfit look expensive by adding accessories, a silk scarf or just a pair of over sized sunglasses. Keep in mind that although you like to be in style, not all trends are for everyone. Find what you like, what looks good on you and most importantly, stay true to your budget.

Bonus Tip: Don't wear more than one trend at a time.

Phillip Lim Look for Less

I love this retro look from Phillip Lim's Fall 2011 collection, but the truth is I had a hard time finding the colors he used. So, I went with black instead and created a similar look at H&M for under $100! Perfect example about making a current trend or look your own.

Source: This article originally appeared on where I contribute as a fashion and beauty blogger.

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