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Splurge vs. steal: Can you spot the deal?

From sunglasses to belts and purses, high and low-price versions to freshen your wardrobe

Ellen Warren

Shopping Adviser

April 13, 2012

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There's nothing like flowers in bloom, birds chirping and trees budding to put us in the mood to … shop!

Who among us couldn't use a little fashion pick-me-up to celebrate the season?

For the fortunate few flush with cash, clearly the options are huge.

But don't despair, frugal ones. There are plenty of items that can pop your look without a big-bucks outlay.

To prove the point, I went shopping for accessories that can freshen your wardrobe for spring, from a cute little cross body bag to a cardigan sweater in a green as fresh as a new blade of grass.

The most expensive item on this page cost $238, not a giant expenditure but more than many of us can afford. So I found a look-alike at under $20.

Fueled by my first high-low success, I found other examples of new accessories for your wardrobe — bargain finds and the more expensive (but still not outrageous) counterparts.

Yes, it's the difference between cashmere and cotton, vinyl and leather. The higher-priced items are better quality and will last longer. But the low-cost options are getting better and better.

Test yourself -- go through our photo gallery and see if you can spot the difference between the $$ splurge and a ¢¢ low-price counterpart. And then, go shopping.

shopellen@tribune.com