Nicole Hoffman of Too Chic for Meat, returning guest blogger, tells us where we can find sweet vegan fashion items in common department stores that are budget (and animal) friendly!

Screen shot 2014-04-05 at 6.03.05 PMCompassionate Shopping on The Cheap

Let’s admit it- we drool over items out of our price range all the time, whether they’re in magazines, on TV or on the arm of your neighbor. A mansion, an exotic vacation or private jet are all fantasies we can laugh at because they are generally out of our realm. Clothing and accessories however, always have a home in our overly stuffed closets, if only because unlike a private jet we can use them practically.

Not practical, though, are price tags of designer animal friendly fashions. I’m a believer in saving up for a quality item that earns it’s place in your wardrobe, but not everyone has that luxury and sometimes you just need a clutch to go with your bridesmaids dress like, yesterday. Hiding in department stores and common chains are more vegan options than you think. These are my go-to shops when I need a pick-me-up sans animal skins that my wallet won’t die for. (You get it?)

DSW: My personal gold mine for vegan-friendly handbags- yes, bags! They carry one of my favorites, Deux Lux, along with several non-leather private label brands. These include standouts like Mix No. 6 and Lulu Townsend. It’s also not uncommon to find Ivanka Trump bags here, which are super underrated. While the Trump princess has a line of leather shoes, all of her handbags are faux. Their chain straps and structured silhouettes ooze class, perfect for a stroll down Madison Avenue- or rather a trip to the grocery store where you look put together for once.

UrbanExpressions  is an amazing brand of PETA approved accessories, also found at DSW and other discount chains like Century 21 and TJ Maxx. What they lack in leather they make up for in style, as all of their bags are trend focused. Don’t let the price tag fool you though- these last. My favorite Urban Expressions bag I own I’ve put through the ringer but it still looks brand new. Oh, the joy of plastic!

Target: You say Target, I say Tarjay. I scour the aisles for shoes, often made of rubber, foam or both. Their summer sandals are to die for as are their Fuggs (fake Uggs) come wintertime. Their Mossimo line gets it right every time with their simplicity. I’m obsessed with these sandals that are effortlessly chic- and they’re only $20.

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http://www.target.com/p/women-s-mossimo-supply-co-lakitia-sandals-assorted-colors/-/A-14954054#prodSlot=medium_1_4&term=family shoes and handbags

Plus, their ongoing collaboration with fashion designers, like the recent Peter Pilotto collection, offers a lot in the way of cotton and polyester.

Kmart: Score basics at bargain prices, and I’ll admit Selena Gomez’s Dream Out Loud line even has a few cute and affordable denim pieces. Kmart always has great cotton shirts at reasonable prices.

spin_prod_943174512There ya have it! Your next trip to the mall isn’t without hope for animals because cute things exist that don’t cost an arm and a leg. Guilt free, I say!

This list might have been a bit selfish as I write from personal experience, but I’d love to know- where do you find vegan bargains?

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A native New Yorker, Nicole is a lifetime fashionista and graduate of New York University with a Bachelor’s in Media, Culture and Communication. She feels most at home in a closet full of cruelty-free clothes and accessories, more so if sparkles are involved. She loves traveling and hopes to impress the people of Paris with her limited but well pronunciated French vocabulary one day. Pink is her color, chocolate is her food and shopping is her sport (if it were an option in gym class, she would have gotten an A+). She blogs about cruelty-free fashion, beauty and city life at Too Chic for Meat.