Fashion trends, though endlessly fun to consume and express yourself with, tend to be dubiously exclusive. What appears on runways quickly makes its way onto your favorite celebrities and influencers. Then these items flood your Instagram feeds and ads, and you can’t help but click, only to find out they’re either expensive, unethically made, and/or size-exclusive. Fed up with the exclusionary and out-of-touch industry, many Gen Zers have taken to secondhand shopping or hand-making trendy items as a workaround. But that’s not always an option. Designer alternatives in clothing, accessories, and shoes are your next best bet. You just might not know about them yet.

A short list of luxury designers and fast fashion brands may continue to have a hold on the industry, but it’s easier than you’d think to diversify your shopping habits once you’re aware of more inclusive, ethical brands. Seeking out these businesses keeps a small amount of brands from monopolizing the industry, while giving brands that consciously vet their products, prices, and production habits greater opportunities for success.

Shopping consciously doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the popular trends that speak to you. It just means doing a liiiiiiittle bit more research. Below, you’ll find clothing, accessories, and shoes from affordable and inclusive brands making ethical designer alternatives, so you can help enact change within the industry and rock your fave trends in the process. Get ready to add everything to cart.

We only include products that have been independently selected by Elite Daily’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

APPAREL

If you love the cozy cardigan trend…

Ever since the Olsen twins singlehandedly (well, double-handedly) resurrected the cardigan trend, it seems like everyone and their grandmother (literally) wants in on a cropped cardi moment. Although some cardigans from popular mainstream brands might cost you around $100, Soft Girl Studio boasts a number of cozy, cute numbers like the one above — and for a lot less.

If you love high-performance activewear…

Look, no matter which way you slice it, high-quality activewear won’t come cheap. But if you’re paying a pretty penny for it, your workout clothes should be supremely comfortable, long-lasting, and versatile. Enter: Girlfriend, which produces fire activewear in a large variety of colors and silhouettes with sizing options up to size 6X.

If you love the graphic streetwear trend…

Can I just say how lucky we are to live in a time where sweatpants are socially accepted as both pajamas and trendy outerwear? The above pair from I.AM.GIA is the total package: Featuring very popular butterfly graphics, it has a similar vibe to some of the most sought-after streetwear, only it won’t cost you hundreds of dollars. Seriously, these take you from a night out to your couch in no time.

If you love trendy workout wear…

Why is it that more often than not, if you look at the trendy athleisure your fave celebs and influencers are wearing, it costs $1,000,000,000? Excuse my obvious hyperbole, but it sure does feel that way. One more reasonable trendy activewear brand I recently learned of, thanks to TikTok stars Addison Rae and Charli D’Amelio, is SET ACTIVE. The brand houses chic leggings in a variety of muted tones and comfy ribbed fabrics.

If you love the blazer look…

In recent seasons, power suits have overtaken runways at YSL, Brandon Maxwell, and Tibi, to name a few. But a power suit shouldn’t necessarily cost you your entire savings. J.BOLIN, thankfully, understands this and has created a line featuring a variety of bold, punchy, cost-conscious suit sets in a wealth of sizes.

If you love edgy leather…

There’s just something about wearing leather that makes you feel like the biggest bad*ss around, which is why designers and celebs can’t seem to get enough of the material: jackets, tops, bottoms, bags, shoes, and even jewelry. Real leather certainly isn’t cheap (or ethical, for that matter), so this gorgeous faux leather jacket from Melanie Marie is a stunning alternative. Bridging a classic leather jacket with a chic silhouette, you’ll want to pair this piece with everything.

If you love the look (and feel) of street-style loungewear…

Though edgier street style brands certainly aren’t new, the moment in the spotlight so many of them are having right now is refreshing. If you live for alternative-style streetwear (or you just live on alt TikTok), you’ll love X-Girl. The above long-sleeve logo tee is a simple way to keep cool and cozy, though the site features myriad T-shirts and oversized sweats you’ll want to live in.

If you love the crossover jeans trend…

Considering the fashion industry has reworked jeans in just about every way it can, it makes sense then that moving the button to the side was the logical next step. Jokes aside, these crossover-style jeans have been spotted in Calvin Klein’s and Agolde’s lineups recently, and though they’re undeniably cute, they’re mad expensive. This asymmetrical skirt from Hunter McGrady’s line for QVC is a more accessible option for its affordable price and plus-size range.

If you love the look of silk slip dresses…

Don’t you ever just wish you could wear your fave designer without having to give up your life savings? With Target’s Designer Dress Collection, you can snag this stunning Cushnie slip dress in multiple colors and plus sizes. No, this isn’t a fever dream, but it feels like one, doesn’t it?

If you love bright colors and florals…

What’s not to love about this jacquard dress? A prime mix of casual and fancy, this flowy tea-length, button-down dress plays on the princesscore fashion trend in the best way. All the better, it retails for a reasonable price, and its versatile, vibrant print can easily carry over from summer to fall.

ACCESSORIES

If you love the logo belt buckle trend…

By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the hype over plain leather belts adorned with a shiny gold luxury logo. While everyone is completely entitled to their own preferences, you’re not alone if you think several hundred dollars for a belt seems… excessive. This Free People leather belt still mimics the trend, is good quality, and costs a hell of a lot less. Plus, if you’re going to shop for leather, to minimize the ethical concerns, invest in something you’ll wear for years, even after the logo trend fades.

If you love shoulder bags…

Perhaps we’re on different Instagram algorithms, but the same luxury saddlebag has showed up on my feed innumerable times in recent months. As gorgeous as it is, the $3,000 price tag gives me hives. Thankfully, JW Pei’s gorgeous vegan leather bags offer an equally sophisticated look, dreamy colors, and a much more palatable price.

If you love a good padded headband…

I could drone on for days about the resurgence and benefits of the padded headband trend. (The bigger the headband, the more greasy the roots you’re able to cover. Thank me later!) They recently took over runways, particularly at Prada, and naturally, everyone had to have one. This padded beauty from the Kitsch x Justine Marjan collection is under $20, made of pristine faux patent leather, and is about to be your new fave accessory.

If you love the retro sunglasses trend…

The bold, oversized sunglasses look of classic icons like Elton John has also made a swift comeback. With some styles retailing for as much as a few hundred dollars, these retro Elton sunnies from 3rd Eye View are a welcome alternative. Even better, the brand has a ton of other vintage and futuristic styles you’ll love.

If you love the look of larger shopping bags…

Known as the "Bushwick Birkin," Telfar’s iconic shopping bag, available in a plethora of colors and three different sizes, is the unofficial It Bag of 2020. With all the quality of the luxury leather bags you know and love, but retailing at half the price, it’s no wonder this bag has sold out countless times.

If you love the stacking rings trend…

It seems like everyone on Instagram has been wearing those uber expensive, shiny gold bands on every finger. This much more affordable stacking ring from Mejuri allows you to hop on this trend perfectly, mixing and matching with all your fave accessories.

If you love all the big barrettes…

To this day, it feels like every influencer has a Gucci logo barrette ready to be paired with any and all outfits. While it’s cute, it’s hardly personal. This customizable barrette from BaubleBar comes in a wide array of prints and allows you to show off whatever personal message your heart desires.

If you love kitsch-y jewelry…

2020 is the year of the fruit, and you know what? You can’t be mad at that. What you can be mad at is how it feels like all this fun, kitsch-y jewelry is either $1,000,000 or $1 and about to fall apart. I’MMANY London, however, has tons of fruity selections, like these Cherry Drop earrings, that are reasonably priced and made to last.

If you love satin, printed scarves…

Just looking at the price of luxury printed scarves gives me heart palpitations. For a small piece of fabric?! In what world? If you’re more interested in a cute print made sustainably than a luxury brand name, H&M Conscious’ satin printed scarf is your best bet and will look just as good no matter how you wear it.

If you love the vintage jewelry trend…

Vintage-inspired, costume-esque jewelry is all the rage with major fashion houses like Chanel and Dior. This Reclaimed Vintage necklace perfectly mixes the ever-popular chain and pearl trends with a high-fashion, vintage aesthetic — and it’s under $20.

SHOES

If you love the shoes that look like socks…

If you, like Cardi B, like those Balenciagas (the ones that look like socks), but you can’t afford to drop nearly $800 on ’em, consider the above style from Avre. Made sustainably to last you a long time, these shoes boast a similar look and feel to the infamous sock sneakers, but require a lot less cash.

If you love the jeweled sneakers look…

Look, a sneaker decked out in jewels likely isn’t going to be cheap, but the price certainly doesn’t need to be astronomical. If you’re really committed to the extra vibe, these rhinestone-covered sneakers from PINKO will cost you under $200 and still give you all the shine in the world.

If you love the buckle boots trend…

I’m obsessed with quality, sleek leather boots as much as the next person, but truth be told, you can get the same quality as Louis Vuittons and YSL with Dr. Martens. Any Dr. Martens shoe I’ve ever purchased has held up for years, and the above style is no different.

If you love bold, printed boots…

Believe it or not, the classic bandana print trend is so popular, Kim Kardashian herself is frequently decked out in it. These pointed-toe boots from Nicolette Nichelle complete Kardashian’s outfit so perfectly, I’m surprised she doesn’t already own them. But you can.

If you love the controversial square-toe sandals trend…

Like it or not, 2020 is also the year of the square-toed shoe’s resurrection. Controversial for its unconventional silhouette, the square-toed sandal has made many a mark on 2020 runways. However, the much more accessible style above from Public Desire is an affordable way to ease into this trend before you dive in head first.

If you love a comfy sport sandal…

One day, you were wearing sport sandals at summer camp in the ’90s, and suddenly, they’re the cool-kid shoes on the runways at Marc Jacobs, Prada, and Chloé. Thankfully, though, this style has been around long enough that a luxury price tag isn’t your only option. Teva has offered reliable, durable sport sandals for years, and this classic black pair above will serve you well for seasons to come.

If you love a no-fuss slide…

Since the coronavirus pandemic, I have lived in exclusively in slides. Why? They’re easy and inexpensive — everything a slide should be. Native Shoes’ Spencer LX slide is super lightweight, washable, only $25, and even recyclable. Catch these becoming the pair of shoes you live in, too.

If you love the feel of fluffy slippers…

I’m sure you, too, have seen every cool YouTuber (*cough Emma Chamberlain cough*) wearing those impossibly cool fluffy slippers. Personally, I can’t justify $100 for a pair of slippers, but I can drop $40 for a durable, just-as-soft pair. The above fluffy slides from Koolaburra by UGG are inexpensive, offer the same hard-sole support as other popular slippers, and come with all the warm fuzziness.

If you love the chained look…

Shoes with chain embellishments are one of 2020’s most popular shoe trends. Luckily, you don’t have to drop a pretty penny for this trend — quite the opposite, actually. These sleek black heels from Jennifer Lopez’s shoe line are only $15 — yes, for real.

If you love the chunky, graphic sneaker trend…

Chunky graphic sneakers, believe it or not, are the versatile trend you want in your wardrobe. The off-the-wall colorways on the above pair from Puma open up tons of possibilities for different outfits. These shoes can just as easily be the piece de resistance to an otherwise neutral outfit.


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