one look two budgets: wedding guest $$$

Has this ever happened to you? I was flipping through a magazine and got all excited about a “get this look for less” story. I was excited, that is, until I looked more closely and saw that the magazine’s idea of spending less was an outfit made up of pieces under $100. The problem is, when you add all of those pieces up, you’re spending at least $500. And if you want just one little piece, most cost almost $100 anyway.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have $500 to spend on an outfit right now–even if it’s made up of the most versatile pieces in the world.

So I bring you my first post of what I hope will be a helpful series. I will show you two similar looks: one made up of investment pieces that right now I will just settle for swooning over and the other made up of pieces I can actually afford.

Since wedding season is upon us, I thought it would only be fitting to show you a cute little outfit that you can wear to your first wedding of the season.

Look 1: $$$

one look two budgets: wedding guest fashion $$$

1 Dalia MacPhee, $278 | 2 Elsa Peretti Diamonds by the Yard from Tiffany & Co $1,950
3 Menbur, $148 | 4 Brian Atwood, $675
Total: $3,051

Look 2: $

one look two budgets: wedding guest fashion $

1 Forever 21, $34.80 | 2 So Chic Jewels, $22.99 | 3 Carlo Felini, $47.19
4 Jessica Simpson, $79.99
Total: $184.88

I started both looks off with a dress in this summer’s hottest color: coral. Both feature a really pretty and interesting petal effect on the skirt. I added some studs for some sparkle (the top pair is real, the bottom pair is not), a silver metal mesh bag and a pair of killer peep toe platform pumps in blue. Love, love, love a contrasting shoe!

Now the clutch and pumps are a little on the expensive side for a bargain hunter, but since the dress and earrings cost under a hundred dollars combined, there was a little more wiggle room–especially if you know you’ll wear them again.

What do you think?

Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.