Fall fashion bargains: Deals that are steals
Oct 05,2007 00:00 by Sharon_Mosley

When school starts and tuition checks are written, book bills are paid and backpacks are stuffed, there's often little cash left to spend on perking up our fall wardrobes. But there are plenty of stores and Web sites where you can find bargains galore. All it takes is one or two "trendy" items and you've got a whole new outlook on the new season.

BARGAINS GALORE - Target leads the pack with fashion-forward merchandise that won't deplete your debit card. CNS Photo courtesy of Target. 
You don't have to be a millionaire to buy these affordable fashion finds. You do have to be someone who loves to shop and shop often, because everyone else loves a bargain too.

Now that so many designers are lending their names and talents to lower-priced collections at many stores, you can get plenty of style bang for your buck. Target leads the pack with fashion-forward merchandise that won't deplete your debit card.

The latest designer collection to check out is London's Alice Temperley arriving at stores in mid-September. Ranging in price from $14.99 to $140, these pieces with Euro-flair promise lots of excitement among the bargain basement crowd.

Isaac Mizrahi continues to provide frugal style seekers big thrills with his line at Target. One of my favorites this season is the sleeveless red shift dress for $35.

Designer Laura Poretzky is another high-style maven who keeps providing high style for Payless shoe stores. Her line, Abaete, features several fall trends that have real appeal for fashionistas on a budget. Check out the black patent platform pump with the 3-inch inverted cone heel for $25 or the great clutch purse in black satin, "carpaint" patent and faux leather for $20.

The black patent trend is showing up at every price point and is a good way to shine up those accessory wardrobes. JC Penney's handbag department is always a good stop on the bargain shopping circuit. This season, Bisou Bisou offers an oversized patent crinkle shopper bag with chain straps in three shiny colors for $38.

The shoe trends are all over the new Web site from The Gap at www.piperlime.com. One of the biggest fashion trends in ready-to-wear and in accessories this fall is the color gray. Piperlime has dozens of shoes from updated Mary Jane platforms to ballerina flats in bright gray patent or steely gray suede.

Wal-Mart is another mecca for bargain shoppers who want instant style at a low price. This season's tunic trend shows up at the giant retailer in knit tops by Metro 7 in a wide range of colors for only $19.94. A great way to update those slim leggings or skinny jeans.

With layering being a big part of fashion now, especially in the cooler months ahead, a stop by stores like Sears can be a big boost for stocking up on tank tops, camisoles and turtlenecks - all at reasonable prices and in a host of colors.

There are all kinds of beauty bargains out there as well. Many cosmetic companies are touting their new fall collections and giving away tons of "gifts with a purchase." Make sure you check these out when you're browsing for other deals and steals.

Wherever your favorite place to find bargains is, be sure to enjoy the search. It may lead you to pick up a 1950s clutch at a vintage store or a retro-inspired necklace at a flea market or a great new pair of earrings at your best friend's jewelry show. We all know the pleasure of finding a great treasure at an even better price.

Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.

© Copley News Service