March 29, 2010

Top Ten Affordable Luxury Stores 2010

I'm sure we would all love to afford every Louis Vuitton bag and every Louboutin shoe on the market, but when it comes down to it, most of us really can't.

And not just because we're not that rich, but because we understand the value of money and the fact that investing (throwing) so much of it in just one bag or just one pair of shoes it just doesn't seem right.

This said, we do love the quality and attention to detail of these big ticket items, and it is a challenge finding that same luxury at a much lower price.

But don't fret. After much research and enough spending, I am confident I have found the right stores at the right prices, so without further ado, I give you

NY Spender's

"Top Ten Affordable Luxury Stores"

1. Ann Taylor
Do you want to look beautiful but don't want to spend a fortune? Are you looking for feminine and pretty clothes? Do you want to be able to walk in a store and find everything from skirts to dresses to shoes? This year the winner of "Top Ten Affordable Luxury Stores" is Ann Taylor! More than ever, Ann Taylor has stepped up its game, and for the past two seasons has presented incredibly tasteful collections in the best colors and styles.

2. Benetton
I grew up with Benetton. I love Benetton. Almost every coat I own is by Benetton, and I've never spent more than $160 on it. And every single one of them keeps me nice and toasty. For great style and quality at affordable prices, you can't go wrong with Benetton!

3. Coach
You need an affordable, gorgeous and well made handbag that will last you for years? Coach is your answer. Period.

4. Swarovski
We all love Tiffany and Cartier, but when it boils down to it, one of their rings or necklaces can cost you more than a house! Swarovski is a lot more down to earth, and understands people priorities. They'll give us the sparkly without taking away the mortgage.

5. GAP
Why spend a fortune on jeans? In the past 10 years or so, jeans company have pushed the price of denim to crazy heights! $300 for a pair of jeans? I once was stupid enough to buy a pair of Seven jeans, just to see what all the fuss was about. I spent $150 on them and they ended up ripped to the point I couldn't wear them anymore (lesson number one in jeans: don't buy already ripped jeans, they will undoubtedly rip even more and even faster).
GAP jeans cost around $50 or even less if they are on sale. The quality is great and they always have enough styles for you to find the pair that fits best.

6. Abercrombie & Fitch
For soft luxurious sweats, nobody beats Abercrombie. Maybe you don't wear sweats, but if you do, you know that winter calls for warm and cozy Abercrombie sweaters and pants.

7. Juicy Couture
Juicy is not all about velour track suits. Actually, for the intent of this post, it is not at all about the track suits. We like that Juicy is cute and pink and made well. I've owned a Juicy t-shirt for at least 7 years now, and it still is in perfect conditions! Quality like this, to me, is priceless. And their perfumes smell great.

8. Clinique
Skin care can be ridiculously expensive, just look at the price tags of brands like LaMer, La Prairie, Kinestase and Sisley. I wouldn't mind paying $200 for a cream that erased all my wrinkles, but the obvious issue here is that NONE of these creams do more than moisturize you. Really.
So why spend $200 when with less than $30 you can find a nurturizing cream at Clinique. There is plenty to choose from. And the pretty green packaging always feels familiar and comforting instead of cold and intimidating (like some of the more expensive brands).

9. Tory Burch
Tory can be quite expensive too, but if you are dedicated and keep an eye on the sales, you will be able to walk away with great pieces. Plus, her signature flats are quite affordable.

10. Diane von Furstenberg
Diane von Furstenberg in at number ten because it is the most expensive of these affordable stores, But not expensive enough to be prohibitive. At $300 anybody can afford one of her beautiful signature wrap dresses if they really wanted to. And if you wait, they always go on sale.


Maria Paray said...

Nice choices! My personal faves - Coach, Clinique, Gap and Ann Taylor. Will have to investigate those Tory Burch flats ;-)

Daisy said...

Thank you Spender for doing great research for luxury items at affordable prices! I have been to Ann Taylor and think it is fab. I always like a good Coach handbag. Juicy Couture is something I'd buy as Christmas gifts for my younger cousins. They would love it. I've never been inside of a A and F store so I will check it out. As for moisturizing, I stick with Oil of Olay over the counter at grocery stores. I think I'll get ready to go to Ann Taylor, there's one near me.

Lab puppy Jack is driving me nuts. He ripped my clothes in public on two occasions, jumping up on me and ripping off a sleeve, tearing a pantleg because he wanted me to keep walking rather than stand still. The expressions on the bystanders vary from terror to hilarity, laughing their a** off - I scheduled a number of sessions with a pro dog trainer. It costs an arm and a leg, but it is necessary. Jack is a sharp little guy, just needs discipline and training. I can't doing battle, defending my clothing when he is 90 pounds. He is so sweet - when he is sleeping.


Susu Paris Chic said...

I like this editorial. I'm on the same lines with you. Fashion can and should be fun, but within the limits of reasonableness. I equally believe in Benetton! Good quality, easy to pair with or mix with other, more "in vogue at the moment" items.

Anonymous said...

Gah, I would never wear Juicy. The quality is terrible. Same with Tory Burch shoes...nice but her logo is all over them and that's just free advertising for her.

The other brands are great places to shop. But have you seen the prices on some Coach bags recently?

Great ideas.