Monday, March 30, 2009

Baubles on a budget

Looking for a quick, chic and budget conscious way to pull any outfit together? One-word ladies: accessorize! A hot necklace, fabulous earrings, or a bold cocktail ring punches up your oldies but goodies - adding glam to even the simplest looks, with out breaking the bank.

Lacking the buco bucks as usual, I spent months of pointless pining over the Van Cleef and Arpels “Magic Alhambra” collection which I could never afford. Recently sported by none other than Gossip Girl’s, Lilly Bass, I went out on a mission to find something similar in design and quality that was more in my price range. After a bit of discerning digging, I finally scored 2 pieces both in the Downtown Loop and in the ‘Burbs. Victory!

Carrying pieces modeled after iconic designers and displaying an eye for what’s hot now, there are two Chicagoland haunts that are must stops for those looking to add some extra splash and sparkle to their wardrobe. Offering a range of exclusive pieces and prices ($15-$100) there’s a little bit of glam for everyone.

Located off lower Michigan Ave, Temptation’s II is littered with a myriad of small and intriguing goodies. From the array of fabulous sunglasses, rings, earrings and necklaces, I find it hard to leave the shop with out picking out at least 1-2 unique pieces, especially when they offer you shopping trays! Trust me, you need them. Here, among other things, I selected the mother of pearl “Van Cleef” necklace, which is also available in black and set me back about $80. Wrapped up in special paper and neatly tucked inside a little paper bag, I felt like I was opening present when I returned home from my mission.

Also boasting an impressive array of accessories, clothing, and unique gifts is nationwide and local boutique, Francesca’s Collections. One of the best things about this little shop is that their merchandise is always changing and each visit offers something completely new and inspiring. Plus, they’ve always got great sales! However, I’ve been burned by not buying something immediately, so fashionista beware, things go fast and their return policy is store credit only. Setting me back a mere $20, I elected to purchase a turquoise “Van Cleef” version necklace, also available in coral and black with earrings to match.

Upon purchasing, I found both the “Van Cleef” necklaces to be very reasonable in price for the craftsmanship, quality and resemblance to the original. And the best part? I’ve received several complementary comments. Mission accomplished.

Up next, I’ve got my eye on the latest designer collection for Target. Erickson Beamon’s bold baubles are still in stock , but will most likely be gone after June 26th. Mark your calendars ladies, these candied accessories are sure to go fast!
For more info:

Temptation II
316 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 920-0299

Francesca’s Collections
Deer Park
20530 N. Rand Rd, Ste # 344
Deer Park IL 60010
(847) 726-2363

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