I am a total fashion junkie, but like most women out there

I am a total fashion junkie, but like most women out there, I just can’t afford to drop thousands of dollars on designer duds… especially with the way the economy has been going lately.  I believe that a woman can look chic whether her budget is $100 or $10,000 – that’s why I came up with splurge vs. steal.  The idea is to take a designer look from head to toe and replicate it with less expensive, but still fabulous pieces.  This week’s theme: a rehearsal dinner look that is sure to turn heads!

To me, the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner are kind of like miniature versions of the actual wedding and reception.  Why not express that idea through fashion?  I love the idea of wearing a mini version of your wedding dress the night before the big day.  It gives your special guests a sneak peek of your bridal look and sets the tone for the whole event.

1. I have always been a fan of the Grecian look, and asymmetrical silhouettes like this are so in this season.  The white fabric and romantic pleating are a subtle nod to bridal attire.  This chic shift also has hidden pockets where you can stash your lipstick, mints, or a pocket mirror for on-the-go touchups.  Dress by Shoshanna, $340 at Shop Bop.

2. This breathtaking cuff is made from luxurious materials like pleated silk, Swarovski crystals, faux pearls, and metallic lambskin.  It will definitely add some drama and sophistication to your look!  Cuff by Ted Rossi, $285 at Saks Fifth Avenue.

3. These gorgeous metallic silver leather stilettos finish the outfit with style.  The double ankle strap and rhinestone buckle details are sexy and sweet at the same time.  Stilettos by Stuart Weitzman, $157.50 at Jildor.

4. There is nothing more classic and elegant than a pair of simple pearl earrings.  These studs have a pink tint for the blushing bride.  Pearl studs, $60 at Blue Nile.

5. This pretty lace and rhinestone flower clip ads a touch of sparkle and a splash of color to the ensemble.  Use it to clip back a few strands of hair on one side for a romantic look, or pin it to the shoulder of the dress for a unique, custom style à la Sarah Jessica Parker in the Sex and the City movie.  Flower clip, $55 by Tarina Tarantino.

6. This stunning evening bag is made from silver rhinestone mesh.  It adds that extra bit of glitz to finish off the look perfectly.  Clutch by Badgley Mischka, $795 at Saks Fifth Avenue.







1. You don’t have to pay big bucks to get the latest fashion trends.  This gorgeous one-shoulder cocktail dress has the same feel as the designer look, but for much less.  The beautiful draping around the bust and waist is flattering on any figure, and the matte jersey fabric is sure to keep you cool and comfortable all night.  Dress by Maggy London, $128 at Nordstrom.

2. & 3. Even if designer jewelry isn’t in your budget, you can still get the look you’re going for with a little creativity.  I found this amazing, one-of-a-kind brooch made from vintage beads and baubles on Etsy, a website where talented artists and designers sell their handmade wares.  Pin it to a length of raw silk ribbon and tie it around your wrist like a corsage.  Voilà – custom designer jewelry!  Brooch, $42 by The Vintage Brooch Company.  Dupioni silk ribbon, $3.50 for one yard at Elizabeth’s Embellishments.

4. Sexy stilettos for evening that are totally wallet friendly – I must be dreaming!  These silver sandals rival the designer version with their chic ankle strap and sparkly rhinestone accents.  Stilettos, $28.50 at A’gaci.

5. These pink faux pearl studs have the same elegant look as the real thing, but at a price that’s hard to refuse.  Pearlescent earrings, $2.80 at Forever 21.

6. This peachy-pink flower pin with vintage rhinestone button embellishment is just as gorgeous as the designer version, but with a significantly smaller price tag.  An added bonus: it is totally hand-sewn and one-of-a-kind.  Rose brooch, $18 by Friendly Banter.

7. This silver mesh frame clutch is the perfect finishing touch.  Just big enough to stash the essentials like your cell phone, keys and wallet – and thanks to the affordable price tag, there might actually still be some cash left in your wallet!  Clutch, $29.50 at Caché.

Total = $252.30