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From CollegeFashion: 5 Tips on Shopping for Substitutes

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[The following post is courtesy of our most fashionable friends over at CollegeFashion.net.]

Fashion is commonly considered glamorous and carefree. The phrase “a day of shopping” instantly triggers images of lazy Sundays, shopping bags in one hand and an iced latte in the other. Well, I’ll admit to the occasional lazy Sunday, but just as often as I’m strolling around like Holly Golightly at Tiffany’s, I’m also frowning with the stress of tactical financial decisions à la Barack Obama regarding healthcare.

The financial side of fashion is tricky – and every girl, with her individual budget, figures out her own strategy to deal with it. A common move is to choose a cheaper alternative over the expensive, upscale original. There are a myriad of reasons for doing this. Maybe in a particular situation, it’s very, very important to save money, but simultaneously very, very important to own those boots. Or the boots are nice but not nice enough to buy as an investment, since they’re trendy and will be gone with the season. Or maybe you love a pair of expensive leather boots but want to save animals, and money, by buying the faux version.

Whatever your motivation, going for a cheaper alternative instead of a high-end item can be very effective when done right. Here are five tips on shopping for substitutes:

1. Pay attention to subtleties in faux leather.

High quality fake leather echoes the subtleties of real leather. Usually, real leather doesn’t crease in a regular, patterned way across a bag or jacket, just as your skin doesn’t crease in the same way across your body. (As an extraneous note, nothing natural – leather, fur, marble, tortoise shell — can be perfectly imitated by a tile pattern! That’s why the real thing is so expensive.) The best fake leather imitates these natural nuances as much as possible for a more natural look.

Get the other 4 tips to keep you lookin’ luxe on a budget right here!

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