2.18.2010

Thrifty Thursday: 3.1 Phillip Lim Zipper Dress for Less

One should never allow themselves to be encouraged to ignore the power of the zipper. For many it is merely a frivolity put in place to secure our denim to our derrieres; or to play the role of corset as it sucks us into our little black dress before a chichi cocktail party. But the zipper is capable of so much more.

Zippers are the crème de la crème of decorative touches. They contribute a rebellious touch to a romantic frock; create edginess amongst elegance; establish disorder in places most often dripping with decadence. It is this very juxtaposition between refined and rugged which is responsible for my obsession du jour – 3.1 Phillip Lim’s Zipper Dress.

Darlings so very rarely do you come across a frock adorned in a goldtone zipper detail that goes beyond a simple embellishment, instead proffering an out of this world 3D effect that is downright irresistible. 3.1 Phillip Lim’s Zipper Dress does just this, and oh so much more.

Holly Golightly’s notorious little black dress of 1961 has entered the new millennium via sheer trim adorning the hemline and fluttery cap sleeves which allow your pristine, porcelain skin to play peek-a-boo with the world; while a flow of ruffles, decorated with the shimmering gold teeth of multiple zippers dips and swirls over the entire construction, coiling itself around the skirt and neckline in a fashion synonymous with that of Medusa’s reptilian follicles writhing wickedly about her head.

It is the type of futuristic frock that makes one feel like the rock star they’ve always dreamt of being. A bit of frippery one can imagine taking center stage in and belting out hit song after hit song. But alas; just as the chances of becoming a rock star are slim to none, so are the opportunities for owning such a sensational style of dress – or so the pricetag will have you believe.

At $895.00, the Zipper Dress is obviously just as much out of the “non-celebrities” league as dating Zac Efron; regardless, it is still possible to achieve zippered satisfaction. Forever 21’s Wave Zip Tunic may lack the sheer trim of the 3.1 Phillip Lim piece; but for a mere $32.00, it allows the girl about town a taste of high fashion at a price that is just right for her teetering-on-the-edge-of-exceeding-the-credit-limit AmEx!

Speak up, don’t be shy…will you be economical with Forever 21, or extravagant with 3.1 Phillip Lim?


Fashionably yours!


Thanks to Bergdorf Goodman and Forever 21 for the pictures.


Don't forget to enter the Get Your Flirt On Giveaway for your chance to win a copy of Debra Goldstein and Olivia Baniuszewicz’s Flirtexting: How to Text Your Way to His Heart.
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88 comments

Diane said...

the knock off is a pretty good replica...but i gotta go with wanting phillip lim's version way more! it's AMAZING!!!!!!!! i love zippers!

Scientific Housewife said...

I don't know if I could pull that off. It's also not very figure flattering, at least in my opinion.

Style (R)evolution said...

Love that Lim dress...Awesome!

J. said...

The Forever 21 is a great price but if I had the means, I'd go over the edge and purchase the Phillip Lim.

Luana said...

Phillip Lim's is amazing! Unfortunately I don't know when I would wear that in my currently very uncomplicated and uneventful life, so the Forever21 option might be better for me :3

Alice said...

I love the zipper motif as finishing touch, it looks great on shoes and corsets and I like the edginess they give to romantic LBDs.

Jacqueline said...

I have a feeling this would be one of those looks my boyfriend would hate on me, but I love the zipper! Forever 21 it is! They are pretty similar. xo

www.FashionSnag.com

Maddy said...

The Phillip Lim one is gorgeous, but I'd go with the F21 version :) It looks like it's more versatile that the expensive one.

caroline @ patagonia gifts said...

wow such a difference in prices! phillip lim's is stunning i must admit... xo

Victoria-H said...

Aw Thank you !! :)
I'll def. be economical with Forever 21 ! :) such a cool dress, really !

Joanne said...

I'll go with Forever 21, layered with some sort of lacy tank and paired with just the right skinny jeans, and I'll be good to go.

Jaime said...

Adore Lim's version because of the sheer sleeves! So sweet. I would clearly be on board for the F21 one though!

Princess Liberty said...

I prefer the dress 3.1 Philip Lim because it's more beautiful

Adela said...

i love that dress! =)

http://pinkchampagnefashion.blogspot.com/

Fashions By Lozano said...

it's lovely actually. I would like it to be a little bit more fitted, but beautiful anyway.

keep me post it.

xoxo

Sabine said...

Oh, I love zippers as a design feature. Actually I love them so much that I would want both dresses! Greedy, I know...

Leah said...

I love the details of the Philip Lim dress and the cut too. But I can settle for the alternate. :-)

Happy Thursday Erika! xoxo

Couture Carrie said...

I love zipper details!
Amazing f21 find!

xoxox,
CC

The Trendy Fashionista said...

I love this zipper dress. It's so creative.

-The Trendy Fashionista
http://thetrendyfashionista.blogspot.com

Iva said...

wow! Erika!! such a great replica find!! you always nail them so perfectly!! ;)

The Blonde Duck said...

I couldn't do it. It's just not my style at all, but it'd be cute on the right figure.

Marta Represa said...

Ah both dresses are really cute! You always find the best clothes!
xx

LML said...

im loving all the exposed zippers detailing on clothes right now :)

also, i'm hosting a giveaway - come check it out :)

naveen said...

hi cafe wats ur name\\\

thanks for beautiful comment honey

i llove it

hey wh is this model , do u know u looks more pretty than this model why dont u wear this dress

sms said...

i like thise design cafe grest design

scr said...

u looks great on this drss perfect of all time

Elizabeth said...

I cannot believe the difference in prices. Ridiculous. Thank heavens for knockoffs.

Monica said...

i want that dress RIGHT NOW!



sincerely, the the fashionista from the silentswagger.blogspot.com

English Rose ♥ said...

That is a pretty great knockoff - absolutely fabulous!

Thankyou so much for your wonderful comments darling =]

Stay safe and chic ma chérie,
English Rose x
http://iamanenglishrose.blogspot.com

nookie said...

damn that f21 doesn't ship to romania

Elaine said...

I think I rather prefer the 3.1 Philip Lim dress but I definitely wouldn't fork over that much to get it!

Don't forget to enter to win a tankini of your choice!

clothedmuch.blogspot.com

Pop Champagne said...

I usually go for the cheaper alternative when it comes to clothing cuz i have a tendency to spill or get it dirty... haha. so i'd pick forever 21. but I always splurge on accessories and purses haha

S.Elisabeth said...

Ooh I like the Forever 21 pick, though I do like how the Phillip Lim one has more shape.

bryna said...

they did a good job but i wonder about the quality.

Talk Pretty To Me said...

WHAT AN AMAZING KNOCK OFF!!

I love F21 so much!

xoxo
J

www.talkprettytome.blogspot.com

tinypaperheart said...

that is one awesome design!

SogniSorrisi said...

A good alternative! F21 is great.

Kristin said...

OMG, love the new look lady. Super fab!! I went to that show and it was AMAZING. Will be blogging about it for sure!

chaoskontrolowany said...

Beautiful dress! <3 Kisses;))

xoxo M.

Michelle said...

so cute!

Hope said...

Love this dress, and zippers! Thanks so much for doing this post!

kpeach said...

very similar-but I have to go Lim on this one:) xo

ellie said...

I do like the forever 21 price. I had seen a zipper bag before but not the tunic. Very interesting..well, I've been playing around with old sweaters that I've thrifted and have come up with hats with ears, arm warmers and such. But I have to admit I'd rather be writing.

Charlie ♥ said...

thats a damn good match so kudos for that! dont think i would suit me though, as someone else said it doesnt look very figure flattering unless your a model!

VAMPIRES-AND-CARDIGANS.BLOGSPOT.COM

betz said...

wow, you really know where to find them erika! it's a pretty replica.

xx,
betz
http://herarmoire.blogspot.com

Sara Lynn said...

lol "league of dating Zac Efron" nice. :)

I love the dress! The F21 version is really cute as well, if I didn't make it a rule to only shop at thrift stores and clearance racks.. I don't know, I might have to break that rule lol. I love how unique it is, I would love to wear it out :)

Mimi said...

I've always loved this dress. So difference and chic. Great find with the cheaper version. It looks awesome!

xoxo said...

Wow that is soooo cool I want one of those!

Sherin said...

Zippers on dresses are amazing. I love the futuristic look to them. I'll pick Forever21's version, simply as its much cheaper.

Blicious said...

i love zippers!!! :)

thank you so much for your sweet comment! im so happy you enjoyed my blog. and how great is the "Brandy" song? im not biased or anything. ;)

hehe

xoxo
Brandi

Leia said...

Oh wow! Absolutely gorgeous dress and you've chosen such a perfect lookalike.

Thank you for your kind comments today, you really are the sweetest :).

Tasha said...

$32 is a way better deal!

Icon Americana said...

thanks for the comment, Erika! I like the space you've created here as well :)

Rick

Runway Rundown said...

Love your thrifty find...thanks for sharing!

http://www.runwayrundown.com/

Sarah said...

Oh my! The Phillip Lim dress is drop dead gorgeous! But with my student budget I'd opt for Forever 21. If only I lived in the US...

http://thefrontcover.blogspot.com

Jessica said...

Definitely economical! I wish there was a F21 here in France, I miss it dearly! And I have quite an obsession with zippers in nontraditional places as well!

You really need to see my shop, but start here:
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=39296113

All Women Stalker said...

The Phillip Lim dress looks better but my budget only fits the F21 dress. Haha. This zipper trend reminds me so much of my boyfriend's paintings. He used to paint nudes with zipper strategically-placed over the body. :)

Terence Sambo said...

I'm gonna be extravagant wit Philip Lim...its way more fab than d Forever 21 version...:o]

mAdi*cakes said...

Pssht. I LOVE both! :] I also adore zipper trimmed stuff. MAybe Im the only one who would take a chance of adding a few more zipper trimmed to the f21 version to amp it up a bit more. I'd also MAYBE diy myself some sheer short sleeves and add a strip of chiffon at the bottom. And maybe even add a belt. MAYBE. Great post!

Clare said...

Oh I just love this Phillip Lim's piece! But since I don't have an extra $800 lying around I will have to settle for the Forever 21 version.

$800?! that is highway robbery, by the way. That dress better be made of fine, woven platinum.

Lol, okay I'll stop complaining about the exorbitant prices designers charge.

Josie said...

I am absolutely in love with zipper trims. I think they're fabulous, and such a great way to add just a little edge and excitement to anything. Love the Phillip Lim and would get it in a heartbeat if I could, but the F21 is a good option :)
xxoo Josie
http://winksmilestyle.blogspot.com

Zanah said...

Wow this dress is amazing !! I did not realize that zippers can be used that way !!! BTW I read your old post about OTK boots and I finally decided to buy one as I was not sure before. Your post definitely helped too... thx luv :) Mon Mode Blog

Emily said...

I love this!! I want that F21 dress :) The zippers are awesome.

Cindy Whitehead said...

I love that you do these comparison posts - so great. that Phillip Lim dress is amazing!

urban flea said...

i love that dress! great find. thank you so much for the great comment over at urban flea, it really made my day! hope you're having a fabulous week!

xo urban flea :)
http://www.urbanfleadesign.net

Sophie@Diary of a Young Designer said...

I know zippers are insane! And that Phillip number is just gor-geous!

xo
Sophie

liz said...

Because I can't afford the Phillip Lim, I'd have to say neither. I am a proponent of not going into debt over fashion, but I'm not feeling the f21 version, but for someone who is, def. a better choice (unless you can afford the Lim..bc then..well that choice is obvious)

sexylegsandbody said...

Mighty interesting, thanks for sharing Erika!

Thanks also for now following me and thanks for your kind words on my last post, very sweet of you.

Hope your week has been great and may your weekend be even better.

Colin.

The F Word Online said...

hey girl, sorry i've been mia - exams and vacays have been consuming my life for a little while. also, thanks for taking the time to enter my giveaway :) this is clever ! hahaha i love this, it's true - sometimes its almost identical or VERY similar that you don't need to dish out all that money. especially for a trendy piece. either way, i know it'll still look amazing ! the whole concept of zippers is amazing

xx lue

Dancing Branflake said...

I love this idea. Of course I love the more expensive one. Of course. haha!

wonderfelle said...

i wish i could say thrifty... but nothing compares to the phillip lim masterpiece. i have such a crush on that dress and a perfect LBD is priceless...

FASHIONconfectionairy said...

I am actually buying this right now, right now. Only $32 that is a heavenly price, thank you thank you thank you!
XOXOX
Libby
http://fashionconfectionairy.weebly.com

Bonnibella said...

I absolutely love the zipper trend, especially on purses. The forever 21 replica looks spot on, very cute with tights and colorful heels!

Lexi Colby said...

oh my gosh! i love the way he uses the zipper! extremely creative.

love love love this post :) xxxxx

Ela said...

I think there are times to indulge and times to go the more affordable route. I'd definitely go with the F21 version and use the change on a fabulous pair of shoes!

roxanne said...

another great find as usual. unfortunately, i'm pretty sure both pieces would pretty effectively ravage my figure haha.. can't win em all.

Kimmy Davis said...

Leave it to Forevs to accomplish something so stylish and cheapo. LOVES.

xx

Robyn said...

Hello Ms. Fashionista,

Just wanted to let you know I featured your post "Lounge Lizard" in my Friday link roundup. You can check it out here: Funsies Friday

Thanks!

Mara said...

sigh I love your Thrifty Thursdays! I want both of these but would settle for the F21 one!

Schnappy said...

Hm, very extrem! :)

City Girl Chicago said...

Love zipper details ~ they are just the perfect balance of edgy, cool, rocker chic ~

janettaylor said...

WOW! Philip Lim is a genius designer. :)

Have a lovely weekend!

Nina said...

The zipper dress by Forever 21 is just as lovely!

the guilty hyena said...

The replica's are well worth it for those prices! :)

Closet Cravings said...

Doll, I've been away from your site for far too long (been super duper busy). You got a makeover!

Beautiful dress pick. I've also been admiring this dress. Fashionable minds think alike. =)

Sarah @ Pandora's Box said...

Ohh I wish I just had $900 sitting around I could spend on clothes! I love both of these though. Forever 21 has been kicking ass and taking names lately!

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