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In a dream world without responsibilities and budget constraints, I’d lurrrrve to be dripping in designer gear – think Lady Gaga’s muppet dress, but replace all those Kermits with designer shoes instead! 🤗 And I know, I know… I give in and make splurge purchases from time to time, but the reality is that for all the luxury items that are on my wish list, only a very small percentage make their way to my wardrobe. But the good news? There are so many amazing inspired-by versions. That means that if I can’t justify the cost of my first choice (either new or secondhand), I’ll usually love my second choice just as much.
Shoes are a clear weakness of mine. And as much as I’d love a vast collection of designer shoes, it’s just not practical to do so. I try to invest in the classics when I do buy designer but the majority of the time, I’ll hunt out a good quality dupe.
In this post, I’m sharing with you the best dupes for some of the most popular designer shoes. From Chanel to Bottega, Gianvito Rossi to The Row. So let’s get into it.
The Row Bare Sandals
L: @fakerstrom in Tony Bianco mules; R: Atmos & Here sandals worn with The Curated coat*, Nobody Denim jeans, Gucci belt (review here), Celine bag (review here, affordable dupe here), Everlane knit, Ray Ban sunglasses
There is so much to love about these barely-there strappy slingbacks by The Row. The designer version retails from around $950AUD but there are quite a few inspired versions if you don’t want to break the bank. I managed to nab a fantastic dupe by Atmos & Here on The Iconic. For my AU-based friends, they’re on final sale for $21.95 (!!) and come in black and white. An absolute steal and with a leather upper. (I’m normally an AU 6.5/EU 37 but as they’re not offered in half sizes, I went down a half size and bought the size 6. They fit perfectly.) For everyone else, it’s hard to pass up this version by Tony Bianco that also come in white, nude and silver. And at around 1/6th of the price of The Row’s version, it’s hard to pass up.
Chanel Two Toned Slingbacks
Style queens @aimeesong & @fashion_jackson
It doesn’t get more classic than a pair of Chanel slingbacks. I invested in my pair several years ago but the price point today is a little hard to swallow. Thankfully, when it comes to availability of good quality inspired-by versions, the Chanel two-toned slingbacks do not disappoint. If you’re in the market for a dupe, I’d opt for a good quality leather version that you’ll be able to wear for years – it is, after all, a style that has transcended seasons. My top picks include this dupe from Atmos & Here and these beauties from Jane Debster.
Bottega Veneta Heeled Mules
Bottega has been the brand of the moment since Daniel Lee signed on as their Creative Director. Their pouch bags and mules have been immensely popular. And while the mules aren’t as difficult to get hold of now, there are lots of “inspired-by” versions available that are much friendlier on the hip pocket. Some stand-outs include these leather ones from M&S (which I own in nude and lurrrve) and this pair from Tony Bianco.
Stuart Weitzman 5050 Boots
L: Olivia Palermo in the Stuart Weitzmann 5050 boots; R: Jane Debster boots* styled with Sportscraft coat (sz AU 6), Everlane knit*, Everlane jeans*, Celine bag (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses
The 5050 boots by Stuart Weitzman are easily recognisable and were put on everyone’s radar a few years ago, at around the same time as the peak in popularity of the OTK Highland Boots. While I loved how the Stuart Weitzmann OTK styles looked on everyone else, I personally don’t think the style suits me, but I’m all for the right knee-high boot. The 5050 boots have a split construction – the front comes in a choice of nappa leather or suede while the back is a durable stretch fabric, meaning they perfectly fit your legs. I recently picked up this amazing dupe from Jane Debster that I’ve been very pleased with. And like the real version, they come in a choice of both nappa leather and suede (…and are currently on sale!).
Chanel Dad Sandals
L: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in the Chanel Dad Sandals; R: Linh Niller in the Tony Bianco dupe
I’ve found an exceptional dupe for the insanely popular Chanel Dad Sandals. It can be really hard to get your hands on the designer pair, because they sell out so quickly, but the Tony Bianco Hiranni sandals are an incredible dupe, and come in a suite of different colours. I snapped up a pair of the Tony Bianco dupes late last year, during the Black Friday sales. They’re exceptionally made, pillowy quilted straps and a cushioned footbed. And while they are fantastic quality, I did ultimately send them back because I didn’t think my style aesthetic was “cool” enough to pull them off (see my post here about items I returned in 2020 and why). That said, I still love how they look on others and considering I’ve seen first hand the quality of the dupe, I’d recommend them if you’ve been eyeing the style. And for a vegan leather option, I’ve found this pair on ASOS worth checking out.
Sarah Flint Perfect Zip Bootie
L: Sarah Flint Perfect Zip Bootie (as worn by Mary Orton); R: Country Road Jackie Boots
There are a heap of black leather ankle boots out there, but these stand out from rest by not only being a practical style for every day, but a stylish option too, particularly with the added stylistic detail of gold zippers. Aside from their function, the zippers are the focal point of the boots, and they stand out in the gold tone. The Sarah Flint boots feature her signature designed zips and as with all the shoes in her ‘Perfect’ line, are embedded with comfort innovations such as anatomical arch support, cushioning and a wider toe box.
I stumbled upon the Country Road dupe by chance when having a browse during my lunch break a few weeks ago. While they don’t have the Sarah Flint comfort innovations, the design is a dead ringer for the 30mm version of the Sarah Flint boots – complete with the zip detail. They come in both black and tan leather and retail for about a third of the price.
Gianvito Rossi Chester Boots
L: Gianvito Rossi Chester Boots; R: Country Road dupe
One style that I’m not sure I’m cool enough to pull off is the combat boot. They’re very of the moment and instantly add a bit of edge to an outfit. I’ve seen them worn with denim, khakis and floral dresses, and with their platforms and flatter soles, they look to be a comfortable boot option. I really love the look of the Gianvito Rossi Chester Boots – they strike the perfect balance between classic and edgy. The designer pair retail for upwards of $1,400 AUD but I’ve found this inspired-by version from Country Road that’s worth a double take.
Bottega Veneta Lug Boots
L: Marie Von Behrens in the Bottega Lug Boots; R: Tony Bianco boots (and another similar style here)
And another combat boot style to add to your radar is this mid-calf boot with a stacked lug sole. They’re a Chelsea style boot with elasticated side panels and leather tabs but their point of difference is the fact that they play around with proportions with the slim ankle cut and chunky soles. The real deal will set you back around $1,590 AUD but I’ve found a couple of excellent inspired-by versions from Tony Bianco (here and here – and on sale!) and this pair by Aere the Label that are a fraction of the price and are made of leather.
As always, thanks for stopping by!
P.S. Four ways I’ve styled by Toteme Annecy Coat and budgeting for work clothes at different stages of your career.
Wish those Chanel dupes were available in the Netherlands! I don’t like any of the options available to us here. 🙁 Loved the round up though!