I’m a Prada Girl With a Zara Budget—These 45 Finds Are the Key to Having Both

Fashion

From all the outfits you see on Instagram, it’d be easy to assume that all fashion editors own are designer items, from the latest It bag to pieces from the industry’s buzziest emerging brands. But things are not always what they seem. Yes, because of gifting and borrowing from brands—for example, the F/W 22 Prada bag below was loaned to me from the luxury secondhand retailer Fashionphile for NYFW—designer items do come along. But for the most part, a lot of editors, especially myself, stick to a budget that leans a lot more toward Zara than it does Prada. 

The key is to look for pieces that appear (and feel!) expensive but really aren’t, which is harder than you might think to achieve. Luckily, I shop with this criterion in mind on a 24/7 basis for my job, so I already have a few dozen items in mind. To shop them all, from the $35 H&M slingbacks that I swear should cost at least $500 to $88 designer-looking Afrm leather pants, keep on scrolling. Oh, and get out your credit card because if my cart is any indication, you’ll be bringing some items home with you.

Wearing: Prada x Raf Simons Catwalk Sunglasses ($418); Haus Label V-Neck Bodysuit ($218); Aya Muse skirt; BY FAR shoes; Prada Brushed Leather Handbag ($3900)

I’ve tried every tank top on the planet, and I swear this is the best one. Buttery soft and beyond chic, it’s as close to perfect as a tank top can get (and Prada makes one, so that’s saying a lot). 

Miuccia Prada has been loving a pointed-toe slingback lately, so when I saw these $35 ones from H&M, I legit gasped. 

This wool mini from Mango is giving ’90s designer vibes and I am absolutely not mad about it. 

Tube tops were so chic in the ’90s and early ’00s, so now that they’re back, you can bet that I’m buying every affordable one I can get my hands on. 

This shade of green has been a runway hit for a few seasons now. Luckily, it’s also available at places like Topshop and at prices under $60. 

This entire outfit looks expensive, but especially the chic, wavy tank. 

If you want designer-looking trousers, COS should be your first shopping destination. 

First I’m buying this cream color and then moving onto the poppy shade. 

Trench coats will always look luxurious. 

I’ve been seeing waistcoats like this one everywhere, but they always feel slightly out of my price range. This under-$50 option solved that problem real quick.

This shape is so simple and elevated. 

Every designer-loving celeb wears puddle pants. 

Elegant New Yorkers always go for an off-shoulder moment. It’s so old world and glamorous. 

Don’t worry—I, too, am shocked that these boots are only $99. 

A true beauty. 

A good blazer is paramount to any well-curated and expensive-looking wardrobe. 

My coworker Lauren and I can’t stop Slacking about this Mod-esque shift dress from Reformation. Paired with kitten heels and a hefty leather jacket, it’s a close second to a real Prada look. 

I’ve been looking everywhere for silver kitten heels, and at last I found a pair I can afford to splurge on. 

And yes, I’ll be pairing them with these $16 sheer socks. 

I am downright obsessed with this color. It’s so rich and pretty. 

Bomber jackets were one of fall’s top runway trends. You know what to do.

Muscle tanks are taking over. 

It’s a need, not a want. 

I cannot believe that this dress is in my budget. 

I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve sent this top to. 

I know that $350 is a bit outside of what I consider my “Zara budget,” but for a tailored wool coat (especially one as chic as this one), I had to make an exception. 

Practically every cool designer brand—from Saint Laurent and Prada to Miu Miu and Celine—are making classic penny loafers right now. J.Crew’s, however, don’t cost under-$200 like this pair. 

Simple doesn’t have to mean boring.

It’s giving ’90s Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy.

Prada is known for its tasteful use of bold colors like this. 

Heart jewelry is majorly trending on Instagram, but few options cost this little. 

Um, $88 for leather pants? Now that’s a steal.

I’d pay way more than $40 for this sweater, TBH.

After sticking with white and black basics for what feels like forever, I’m taking cues from designers and opting for bolder shades for fall. 

If I didn’t know better, I’d think this skirt was a Paco Rabanne original. 

Something about this sky-blue shade screams “rich” to me.

Prada’s weathered leather jackets could cost you thousands. This one by Topshop, however, will only set you back a little over $100. 

Pair this top with anything and it’ll look chic.

Big cozy sweaters are beyond in. And H&M has all the best and most affordable options. 

I’m totally buggin’ out over this.

BRB, overnighting this absolutely gorgeous bag to my apartment as we speak.

This color has been all over the runways during NYFW this season. 

If you like ’90s fashion and expensive-looking things, Zara’s brand-new Narciso Rodriguez collab is for you. 

To pair with the Miu Miu F/W 22 ballet flats.

Not only are these perfect for pairing with slouchy socks, they also look just like The Row pair that Zoë Kravitz and Jennifer Lawrence keep wearing. 

Next: Zara’s Just-Dropped Collab Is Giving ’90s Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy

Promo Image: Christian Vierig/Getty Images;ImaxTree

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