If the recession has taught us anything (and the list of lessons is endless) it's that spending half your monthly salary on a Karen Millen body con party dress two sizes too small was a bad idea.
One of the life's simple pleasures is finding something you want at a fraction of the price. If you don't mind deviating slightly in terms of colour and texture and you're ready and willing to add your own touches here and there, you can save hundreds... allowing you to wear nice things and eat during the same month.
Case in point, the (bound to be pricey but fabulous) Oasis/ Royal College of Art collaboration I highlighted a few months ago... buy some incredible feathers here, stitch them into the hem of the Forever 21 ruffle tier-dress (a recession-tastic $24.80) and bada bing, bada boom, you've got yourself a custom version. Splash out a few extra quid for super fancy feathers (peacock eyes, pheasant or imitation eagle quills) and yours is better than anything Oasis and a college of fashion students could ever come up with.
Feathers - by The Sexy Pedestrian on Polyvore.com">