I can rarely afford the many beautiful designer clothing and accessories that make my heart beat a little faster, so I've become a master at finding the looks I love for less.
I have a fashion inspiration board at home where I pull images that inspire me, then I try to find a similar version that works for my budget. When I'm out and about, I love seeing people who can afford to buy some of the clothing and accessories I can only dream about. One of my mottos is "Don't hate, congratulate!" You should always buy the best quality you can afford.
But I'm also a firm believer that no matter what item you love, there's always a look for less. Never, ever spend money you don't have. Nothing is worth that.
If you have an outfit or item you're inspired by, but can't afford, send me a photo and I or one of my sources will try to find you the look for less (email me at email@example.com).
Here's an example of one of my recent The Look For Less success stories:
Months ago I saw this feature in a magazine where genius jewelry designer Victoire de Castellane of Dior Fine Jewelry mentioned her favorite adornments that make her feel inspired. Victoire chose this rainbow hued ring of multicolored gems surrounding a pear shaped diamond. I tried to track down the price, but couldn't confirm it, although I was told it could range anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 or above. That was never, ever going to happen for me. But I knew I could find The Look For Less. It might not have a diamond in it, but I still felt confident that one would cross my path.
Any time I was out shopping, the image of the ring was on my mind and I would browse around hoping to find something similar. It finally happened this week when I was walking through Belk's Fine Jewelry department at SouthPark mall.
I spotted this round multicolored gemstone ring. It's not pear-shaped but that was alright because anything circular has a special meaning for me. Plus, I'm not a huge diamond fan. I actually liked it better because it didn't have a big diamond in the center. Some people would completely disagree with me about the diamond, but the point of The Look For Less is finding something that expresses your personal style without putting you in debt.
The Belk ring was originally $350, which I wasn't willing to spend. But it turned out it was on sale and with tax cost me $150. Thanks to a couple of Belk gift cards I received for my recent birthday, it became mine.
I think it will look great with anything and can be worn with casual attire or more dressy clothes, although I'm most excited to wear it to my next cocktail party because it looks like a party ring.
Follow Olivia on Twitter @oliviafortson