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Cheap but definitely chic!


Frugal fashion in the UK and Europe is what it should be ? disposable and fun. Instead of agonising over the latest handbag or those to-die-for shoes and calculating how many lunches I?d need to skip to have them, I could pop into any of the stores mentioned above and buy copies, sometimes hardly breaking a ₤20 note. So you can understand my sadness as I bid adieu to these shopping Meccas.

However, in my foray back into the Australian retail jungle I was pleasantly surprised. Not only had old teenage faves like Sportsgirl and Portmans glammed and funked up, even Target and K-Mart were in on the act! No longer the domain of knickers and bras, I can now snap up bargains left, right and centre at these department stores ? they may not be Stella McCartney copies, but they?re at least good imitations of Sportsgirl and co, at a fraction of the price! Supr? has also entered the marketplace with Sass & Bide-inspired slinky tops and denim minis and I am over the moon to see the UK?s Accessorize gracing our shores. Also a firm favourite in a London Friday-night shopping spree, Accessorize filled my jewellery box with cheap but chic baubles, scarves and handbags for every occasion.

We?d all love to be able to afford the best clothes and designers but fashion is fickle. Spend half your year?s salary on that new Scanlan & Theodore top and it?ll be ?so last season? quicker than you can pay off your credit card. The message is clear ? cheat with chain stores! You can find great imitations of designer-wear which can be styled to look like the real deal (take some tips from the glossies ? magazines are now often using chain-store clothes in their editorials). And don?t worry, your secret?s safe with us…

Celia Purdey is an editor whose overseas jaunts has given her endless inspiration for her written work.