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Summer Steals and Splurges

Can you tell the difference between the expensive "splurge" outfit and the very similar – but much lower-priced – "steal" outfit?

Joanna Coles, the editor of Marie Claire magazine, put together these three outfits to prove once again that it's possible to get "the look" for less.

Look #1 — Shift Dress: This is a comfortable and easy style; the shift shape dresses are great for most body types and are conservative while still being chic. Paired with an of-the-moment pair of Gladiator sandals, this look is appropriate for running errands or lunching with friends.

SPLURGE:
MILLY White Shift Dress $464
Pure DKNY Brown gladiator sandals $198
Total = $662

STEAL:
ALI RO White Shift Dress $138.00
BGBG Girls' Brown Gladiator sandals $92.00
Total = $230.00

The major difference here is the fit — the "Splurge" outfit's fit is more tailored and body conscious.

There is a total difference of $450 between the two outfits.

LOOK #2 — Wide Leg Jean: Wide leg pants are great for the summer and you can even wear them into fall. They are airy and comfortable in the heat and won't stick to your legs, unlike skinny or straight leg jeans. They're great to wear to a sporting event or concert.

STEAL: Jackie
J.CREW Striped Button Down Shirt: $74.00
LUX Wide Leg Jeans: $68.00
NINE WEST brown Platform Sandal: $59.00
Total = $201.00

SPLURGE: Liz
JOIE Striped Button Down Shirt: $165.00
J BRAND Wide Leg Jeans: $200.00
KORK-EASE brown Platform Sandals: $180.00
Total = $545.00

Again, the difference is all in the tailoring — the Splurge's jeans fall more naturally and are more flattering to the leg while the Steal's jean lie a little flatter.

Total difference: $344

LOOK #3: Cocktail Dress: Everyone needs a great little dress and these are fun and flirty. Paired with some strappy sandals, this is a great look for a summer cocktail party or a night on the town.

SPLURGE:
DKNY Silk Dress: $425.00
MICHAEL KORS Sandals: $289.00
Total = $714.00

STEAL:
GAP silk dress: $69.00
MIA Sandals: $69.00
Total = $138.00

Splurge v. Steal: this is more about quality — with the "Splurge," everything is better (the fabric, stitching, etc.), and general wear and tear won't effect these pieces. The Splurge will last you through the seasons, while the "Steal" may just last you through the trend.

Total difference is $576.