8 Best Designer Dupes to Upgrade Your Wardrobe
These inexpensive finds look just like the designer version, from Christian Dior to Gucci.
Every once in a while, getting a pricey clothing item you covet may be worth the sky-high splurge. But far more often, those of us without celebrity-level wardrobe budgets will need to make some concessions and get the look for less. That's where designer dupes come in. As it turns out, this is a booming industry—and one especially popular among Gen Z. However, there are still a few key rules to follow before you wander into the Wild West of couture-inspired products.
First and most importantly, you don't want to fall for actual knock-offs, which illegally imitate products by featuring brand logos and patented design features. From there, the rest is a matter of styling, says Joe Manktelow-Pimm, a fashion expert and owner of the men's style site 7Gents. He suggests mixing high and low aesthetics by pairing your designer dupes with top-quality basics and statement pieces.
The style expert also notes that you should always wear your designer dupes with confidence. "The way you carry yourself can make even an affordable piece look expensive."
Wondering which brand-inspired wardrobe items are best in show? Read on for eight designer dupes that will instantly upgrade your wardrobe.
Alexander Wang Heiress Pouch: Amazon Rhinestone Bling Bag
The Alexander Wang Heiress Pouch in crystal mesh is the perfect small purse for adding a bit of glitz and glamor to your night out. But if you don't have $695 to spend for the name-brand item, fashion influencer Trendy Kay says that this Amazon dupe for under $30 is "classy and sophisticated," just like the original.
In a YouTube video, Kay says the bag is "cute" and has substantial weight that seems to elevate the quality.
Amazon reviewers agree. "When I tell you the quality of this purse for the price!!! Supurrrr," wrote one commenter. "I got it for the alexander wang dupe. I'm surprised how good it is," wrote another.
Christian Dior Tote Bag: Steven Madden Knox Tote
Emily Konatella, a fashion consultant and the creative director for Yoper, describes the Christian Dior Tote Bag as "an iconic bag with detailed embroidery, which you can also personalize with your name or initials." She adds, "It certainly stands out with its perfect craftsmanship making every head turn as you walk by."
However, she also points out that not everyone can afford the bag's high price tag, which can run you anywhere between $2,500 and $3,800, depending on the size.
Instead, she suggests the Steve Madden Knox Tote, which costs just $99. She says it has "the same look and vibe" as the original.
"The Knox Tote has a zipper closure to keep your things secure, and the handles are durable and long—great as a shoulder bag. It comes in various colors, and you can also buy matching sandals to go with the tote," she tells Best Life.
Birkenstock Boston Clogs: Walmart Time & Tru Clogs
Like all other things '90s, Birkenstocks are back, baby. In fact, according to The Guardian, Birkenstocks were one of the most purchased fashion products in 2022, and their Boston Clogs were the brand's best-selling shoes.
While the original will cost you $158, you can save with a similar style from White Mountain Footbeds. Their Bari Clogs, available in soft suede and genuine leather, will cost you just $79 by comparison.
"If you don't have the money to spend on Birkenstocks, I think these are a great alternative," says TikTok fashion reviewer @yeahjustkatee, who says she wore them "everywhere" for a year. "They really have held up nicely."
Walmart's Time & Tru brand is also a social media favorite for Birkenstock dupes. TikToker @arianacossie says the $20 clogs are "literally exactly the same as the actual shoe." However, she did note that she had to size up in this brand.
Gucci Lug Sole Loafers: Dune Leather Loafers
Gucci's Lug Sole Horsebit Loafers are a modern take on a classic design dating back to the 50s and revived in the 70s. Reimagined once again with a chunkier sole, a blue rosebud print lining, and a gold embroidered Gucci bee on each heel, they feel both vintage and decidedly de rigueur.
While a good dupe will skip those details emblematic of the Gucci brand, it should still offer a versatile and fashion-forward look without the astronomical price tag of $1,150.
Monica Marriott-Mills, the fashion blogger behind the TikTok channel The Monica Way recommends Dune London's Gallagher Leather Loafers, which cost just $122. "I love, love, love this gold horsebit detail," she said excitedly in a recent unboxing video, adding that they felt comfortable to slip on.
Bottega Veneta Lug Boots: Thursday Boot Co. Reign Boots
Another take on the chunky shoe trend, tall lug sole boots have been heralded a winter wardrobe staple by Vogue. And while these particular calfskin boots from Bottega Veneta have been spotted on countless celebrities, chances are you'd prefer not to spend a gobsmacking $1,450 to get the model look.
At a fraction of the cost, you can instead opt for Thursday Boot Co.'s Reign boots, made in black full-grain leather with a long-lasting Rubflex outsole. They offer a top-quality take on the bold platform look for just $168.
That said, for many people, boots approaching $200 per pair call for a dupe of the dupe. For a truly budget-friendly option, try ASOS Truffle Collection's Chelsea Boot for just $53. Fashion reviewer @Elefv says in a YouTube video that with these ASOS boots, "You know you're getting something that's going to last you for a while."
Balmain Double-Breasted Blazer: Rag & Bone Crepe Blazer
French fashion house Balmain is considered one of the top luxury brands in the world today. In particular, their double-breasted wool-twill blazer has become a popular staple, with a slim silhouette, expert tailoring, and detailed gold buttons featuring the brand's lion's head logo. At most luxury retailers, this iconic blazer will cost you $2,695.
However, Konatella says there are ways to get the look for less. For instance, Rag & Bone's Preston Crepe Blazer features notable similarities in structure, tailoring, and overall appearance, but is currently marked down to $318 from $650.
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Valentino Garavani Heels: Amazon Studded Heels
These studded stilettos from Valentino have been a fashion mainstay among A-listers for over a decade. But if you want to get that celebrity look without breaking the bank at $1,100 per pair, there are plenty of dupes that deserve your double take.
Chanel Dad Sandals: Tony Bianco Hiranni Sandals
"These beautiful chunky sandals with velcro fastenings from Chanel have been a trendy staple for fashion bloggers, models, and celebrities since the pandemic hit. Their orthopedic look is what makes them so popular," says Konatella.
For a look that retains the original shoe's quilted design but will save you roughly $1,000, try Tony Bianco's $140 Hiranni Sandals. "You can pair these sandals with anything from a summer dress to wide-leg jeans," says Konatella.