If you’ve ready my About Me here on the blog, you’ll know that next to Lanvin, Gucci is one of my favorite luxury brands. Ever since Tom Ford reigned as creative director, I’ve been in love with its bold, maximalist aesthetic. Since new is beyond my budget (unless it’s a NWT eBay score), I scour my favorite consignment stores regularly for new-to-me treasures. I also like to find pieces that evoke that same Gucci vibe at any price point, from stores such as Nordstrom to Zara to H&M.

Angie of Fashion Fuse did a post that featured an adorable Gucci dupe cardigan. She styled up the blue one with overalls and fun mules, thus looking like the cutest pregnant woman on earth. With my affection for “bright beige,” I was, of course, drawn to the that version and immediately knew I would up the Gucci factor with my two-piece leopard print set from J Crew – because what is more Gucci than mixing prints, especially an animal print! I also pulled out my all-time FAVORITE shoes which happen to be authentic Gucci raffia peep-toe sling backs with bamboo buckle. Purchased on a tropical vacation once up on a time…. I’ve had these shoes for years and the price per wear has MORE than made up for the pretty penny I initially spent on these splurges. (Tune in later for our lesson in Retail Math). I also grabbed one of my favorite vintage Gucci handbags scored second-hand from The Real Real to play off the Gucci-esque pattern up top.

Speaking of… I’ve never been one for the sweater set that trended several years ago – too sweet for me – and I love a good slouchy boyfriend cardigan, though I don’t have the body for it. This fitted v-neck cardigan was the perfect meet in the middle. Not too cute, and not too slouchy, it makes a perfect statement piece with mixed prints, or with our favorite go-to – a crisp white button down and blue jeans, or here, as you can see, with white jeans, and a beige v-neck underneath. This time with the mate to my raffia sling backs – the bamboo handled hobo bag, scored on same vacation at full price, and loved passionately for years.   And when I find something I love I buy it in bulk. My love for these pumps led me to learn that Gucci made the same shoe in a flat! Years later, they found their way to me by way of Moss Designer Consignment to dress the whole look down.

That cardigan though… And what a bargain! $15 and change. Ellen bought the blue one (stay tuned for her styling in a later post) and it’s available in two more colors…hmmm…. Oh, and before I forget, this is my first Ali Express purchase. I don’t think I would have bought it if it weren’t for the Fashion Fuse endorsement, even at such a low price tag. I was convinced this purchase was shaky at best and that I would never see the sweater in real life, so just having it delivered in a timely manner made it a win in my book. And although the quality is beyond my expectations, I can’t say that I’ll make ordering from Ali Express a regular thing.

I’m a firm believer in buying authentic over knock-off. I support the artistic and design aesthetic of designers and value their integrity. But as Fashion Fuse points out, this sweater doesn’t overtly have a copy of the Gucci logo anywhere on it. Just a nice “inspired by” design that when paired with the real deal, or no logos at all, stands on its own.