Splurge or Save: Holiday Edition | Designer-Inspired Gift Ideas

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell

If you’re new to Empty Nest Blessed (and I know a lot of you are!), first of all, welcome! Second of all, fair warning! We love Splurge & Save posts around here! It’s so much fun to check out designer-inspired looks, and we love the savings we can score by opting for the style over the actual designer logo.

Every year, when we’re putting together the Holiday Gift Guide (Now up to 700 items in 9 categories!), we come across all kinds of designer-inspired goodies. And, of course, we feel compelled to share them with our friends! ????

What’s “Designer-Inspired?”

By the way, designer-inspired items are not counterfeit items (That would be illegal!), but rather, they’re similar items that do not have the designer logo. They’re often (but not always) made from lesser-quality materials, but that may not matter to you!

As always, click on any pink text link or image in this post for more information or to shop.

These $995 Gucci fur mules, for example, are leather with lamb fur lining. The $95 Steve Madden designer-inspired mules also have a leather upper, but they have a faux fur lining. In the case of these mules, we actually came upon another designer lookalike that was just $69.95! But in that pair, neither leather nor real fur was used!

Yep! These vegan fur mules feature trendy chain detailing, and I actually liked them the best of all three! So, I bought them for myself! ????

There’s so much goodness in this edition of splurge & save, that it’s hard for me to call out my favorites! That said, here are a few that I think are especially worthy of your attention.

Designer-Inspired + On the “Hot” List

Designer-Inspired Boots

When it comes to boots, I’ve got you covered! You can always find the of-the-moment boots and booties at Nordstrom! Amirite or amirite? In fact, this year, Nordstrom has endeared itself to me even more! They’ve added filters on the left sidebar that let you sort shoes by things like “cushioned insoles,” “arch support,” and “orthotic-friendly.” Click HERE to see what I mean! #waytogonordstrom ????

This year, the best selling boot at Nordstrom is Marc Fisher’s Izzie Shearling Lace-Up. (In fact, it’s been the number one seller in the entire Nordstorm chain for a few weeks running!) ???? Unfortunately, it’s $249.95, which is a little much for some people! Don’t worry! I’ve got a great designer lookalike for you. This shearling-lined boot is made in Italy, also suede, and it’s just $99.

If you’re looking for more of a classic boot, the best-seller at Nordstrom this year is this beautiful Vince Camuto taupe boot. In fact, they’re sold out in almost every size everywhere! Never mind, I’ve got a designer-inspired pair of taupe boots with a better price point anyway. They’re by Sam Edelman, who can always be counted on to make shoes with a comfy, cushy insole. This is my go-to brand, for sure. #feetoverfiftyfriendly ????

Designer-Inspired Gift Items

It’s hard to go wrong with a SLIP Silk eye mask! I have one, and I love it. It helps my nighttime eye serum stay put, and I use it every night. (Yes, it took a few nights to get used to!) It comes in so many pretty colors, but it’s definitely pricey!

Have no fear! I’ve got you covered! In one of the absolute best designer-inspired lookalikes I’ve ever seen, I found this nearly identical mulberry silk sleep mask for just $11.99! (It also comes in lots of colors.)

Need a gift for a college student, frequent traveler, or the man in your life? This $95 LARQ self-cleaning water bottle uses UV technology to purify your water every two hours (or whenever you press the button on top). Recently, a company called UV Brite came out with a seemingly identical version for just $29.88!

I’ve put together a shoppable boutique at the end of this post with all of the splurges and saves. Hover over each image for pricing information and click it for more information or to shop.

What do I usually buy? Honestly, Sometimes I buy the splurge and sometimes I buy the save! Over the years, I’ve found that it doesn’t pay to be an early adopter of the latest and greatest! In so many cases, if I’d just waited a year or so, someone would’ve come up with a designer-inspired lookalike at a better price! ????‍♀️

I hope you enjoyed this post. Got any awesome Splurge or Saves to share with us? If so, please leave a comment at the end of this post! Also, if you love this kind of post, know that I’ve got an additional Splurge or Save post you can check out HERE.


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  1. Hey Suzy
    Thanks for all the great ideas! I ordered the sleep mask for my daughter–she’ll love it! Do you know if the SOSUSHOE Womens Slippers have a stiff sole? I am always looking for a good slipper that feels like you are walking on pillows but am not wanting a stiff non-bendable sole. Thanks!

    1. Wendy,
      I am not sure! So sorry! It is on Prime so you can always return if needed.
      xoxo Suzy

  2. Hi Suzy,
    Thank you for the informative post! I love the collage of items at the end where the price comes up if you hover over the picture. This is very helpful for me because I like to stay “up with the times” but don’t want to spend a fortune.
    Have a great day,

    1. Robben,
      So glad you found it helpful! I don’t use that pricing option for my image widgets very often because it’s not up-to-the-minute (or even the day!) and doesn’t reflect weekend sales and that sort of thing. Always click through if you see something you like to check for discounts!

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