Decadent Denim for Less

You don't have to spend upwards of $500 to get the season's most extravagant denim. Read on to see how.

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Whether you have an affinity for vintage mom jeans, classic skinnies, or a slouchy boyfriend style, you will like what you are about to read. Denim is having a huge moment. The durable fabric, once reserved for cowboys and carpenters, is now a key part of collections from the world's top fashion houses, including Gucci, Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, and Chanel.

The Chanel show during Paris Fashion Week fall/winter 2016/17. Photograph courtesy of Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/Getty Images
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The difference though, is that the designer denim is usually tricked out with studs, sequins, or embroidered flowers, and comes with a steep price tag that—unfortunately—most of us cannot afford (yet! Hey, there's always hope). Let's be real: we'd all love to wear Gucci's latest addition to the flare game, a washed pair with a garden in full bloom at the waistline. But at close to $2,000, that's not going to happen. However, we firmly believe you can achieve the same vibe without spending your life savings.

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Here, a primer on how to incorporate decadent denim into your wardrobe while keeping in your bank account in check.

Jewel Crush

Sonia Rykiel's feminine take on the denim jacket is super special with its jet-black stone embellishments. It would look great with black jeans or even worn open with a dress. But for one-fifteenth of the price you can DIY your own and even make one for your best friend, too.

Stone-Embellished Denim Jacket by Sonia Rykiel, $1,584,

Get the Look:

Pocket Denim Shirt by Boutique, $85,
Jewel High Dome Black Studs, $11,
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Queen of Hearts

We fell in love with Christopher Kane's cuffed boyfriend jeans adorned with two heart patches the first time we saw them in his 2016 resort collection. (Truth be told, we still dream about how good they would look with every single top and jacket in our closets.) Despite being on sale, they are still a few too many Benjamins over a price that we could afford. Scoop up a similar style jean from MM6 (still not cheap, but you want something that's going to fit well and last forever), and heart patches from Amazon, and we'll bring the iron.

Embroidered Jeans by Christopher Kane, $647,
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Get the Look:

Mid-Rise Cropped Jeans by MM6 by Maison Margiela, $263,
Solid Heart Patch, $6,

Shorts Story

Forgive us for being blunt but we can't fathom paying upwards of $1,000 (or even $200) for denim cut-offs. Of course, we can appreciate the hard work and creativity that went into the production of these studded Saint Laurent shorts. In our book, these would be perfect for a day at a music festival, or even a house party. So grab a plain pair from Topshop and dust off your Bedazzler. You will have fun while you're saving all that money.

Studded High-Rise Denim Shorts by Saint Laurent, $1,190,

Get the Look:

Moto Vintage Ashley Boyfriend Shorts, $52,
Dome Studs, $4,
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Garden State

Gucci designer Alessandro Michele has proven his affinity for embellishment and embroidery. In our opinion, he is a true artist. As fans of almost everything Michele does, it's no surprise that we are lusting over these flares that are almost too pretty to wear. We wish our fashion fairy godmother would come and turn the $1,700 price tag into a $170 one. But since that probably won't happen, we suggest investing in Acne Studios' Lita Jean and a pack of flower patches.

Appliqued Mid-Rise Flared Jeans by Gucci, $1,700,

Get the Look:

Lita Flared Jeans by Acne Studios, $290,
Embroidered Iron-on Patches, $15,

Major Midi

Are you bored with your denim skirts? We totally feel you. Instead of giving up on them entirely, take a page out of the Red Valentino handbook and put on your arts-and-crafts cap. In no time at all, you can take your midi skirt from basic to breathtaking. All you need is about $52 and a DIY mentality and you can make a $795 skirt your own.

Stud-Embellished Denim Midi Skirt by Red Valentino, $795,

Get the Look:

Denim Midi Skirt, $50,
Gold Round Studs, $2,

Stud Finder

Everything that Miuccia Prada touches seems to turn to sartorial gold and this decked-out jacket is no exception. Thanks to Net-a-Porter's end of season sale, it's $3,660 price tag has been slashed down to $2,562, but we would still need financial aid to help make the purchase. In this case, we will consider the Miu Miu our inspiration and go for the more affordable option—it isn't quite the same, but it will do the trick.

Oversized Embellished Denim Jacket by Miu Miu, $2,562,

Get the Look:

Studded Denim Jacket, $100,

Rip Tide

Distressed jeans are a dime a dozen these days but rarely do we see such a heavily shredded pair on the runway—at Alexander McQueen no less. The cuffed boyfriend style was shown with an insanely decadent, embroidered coat, and studded clogs. It was easily one of our favorite outfits of the season. Get the look for less with a pair of Blank jeans that are almost one-twentieth (!) of the price. 

Distressed Cropped Jeans by Alexander McQueen, $2,065,

Get the Look: 

Distressed Boyfriend Jeans by Blank Denim, $128,
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