Once upon a time, I fell in love with a coffee table. Money was a little tight, but we saved up the $1,085 to buy it because once I saw it — no other coffee table would do. It was my first furniture splurge, and I was so nervous and excited. When I arrived, it was even better in person! I styled and restyled it. I photographed it from every angle. I was so happy!
I was even happier when a member of our audience shared a dupe — it was the exact dimensions, weight, material for under $300! I couldn’t wait to share this lucky find with everyone! Would I have bought the budget version if I had seen it first? In this case — no. I was emotional about that coffee table. It meant a lot for me to save up for it and to buy it and to bring it into my home and to love it. But sometimes, the difference between getting what we want and settling for what we can afford* is too steep. That’s when a dupe is a gift from heaven!
*”Afford” is subjective. We all value different things at different dollar amounts. While I can’t imagine spend $500 on a bag; others can’t imagine spending $500 on a rug. To each their own!
See more of our reading room and find sources here!
After discovering that first dupe, I started having a lot of fun finding them. We published really cool “look for less” blog posts and had a ball researching them. Last fall, we started posting “The Daily Dupe” every day on Instagram. We show two look-alike products in Instagram Stories, and our followers guess which is the dupe. Then we reveal the prices of both. Some look-alikes are so good, it’s genuinely difficult to guess the OG! I thrill in hearing from followers who clicked through and bought the dupe, so happy to have found a budget option of a favorite rug or chair or coffee table. I’m never surprised when I get a DM from someone in love with the “original” version, like I was with my coffee table. We get excited together!
I still can’t get over how good this dupe is, and so many of our followers thought so, too!
Finding Inspiration in a Dupe
The whole point of finding dupes is to keep people from hitting roadblocks because of budget. When you fall in love with [insert your favorite home find here], and it feels outside of your wallet’s reach, your options are to (1) save up or (2) find a dupe. Let’s also practice thinking, “Okay now that I know what I like, how can I achieve this with the budget I have?”
Actually recently I was really wanting to find a dupe of the Jenni Kayne Shearling-Lined Mule because I can’t get myself to spend $400 on a pair of shoes. I found a great dupe from Madewell, but there’s actually a great dupe of the dupe at Target and I think that’s the whole point of it. Knowing what you like, and finding an option that makes sense for you. It’s all about finding achievable style and achievable design.
Finding the Dupes
When it comes to finding the dupes, we wrote a whole blog post about it here. Pinterest is the ace in the hole when it comes to finding good dupes, and it’s not a secret. It’s an image search, and anybody can do it. We actually popped the new chandelier hanging in our bedroom into Pinterest because, again, this is about finding options for all the budgets, and this is what Pinterest found! Incredible.
This Eames chair dupe is a controversial example. We actually own the dupe and it’s an incredible dupe, but we received some backlash when we shared this. The original Eames Lounge chair and ottoman were designed by Charles and Ray Eames for the Herman Miller furniture company in 1956. They are important pieces of furniture, pop culture, and modern art. To own or to aspire to own the real Eames chair is exciting and special! But is a furniture knockoff more controversial than a fashion knockoff? Maybe? There’s a bigger discussion here about intellectual property–but, Daniel Kanter wrote a lovely, funny piece about the Real vs. Fake Eames Chair, and it’s a must-read.
Overall, we just hope that The Daily Dupe is fun and eye-opening to see the options out there. There are times when it’s not worth spending your money on a dupe because the quality isn’t great. With any purchase, there’s a gamble and the dupe isn’t always going to be comparable quality.
It’s also worth mentioning that sometimes you might want to DIY the dupe yourself. Cass at @cassmakeshome is DIY-ing an outdoor sofa that was more money than she wanted to spend, and I am in full-support! It’s one-of-a-kind and handmade: priceless.