Hermes Tray DIY

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’ve undertaken an office-makeover project at work.  I’ve posted a couple of updates so far, but today got lots of questions about one of the items in my post: an Hermès tray!

Hermes Tray Vintage, http://chicinacademia.comVintage Hermes Tray, (Photo: 1stdibs)

The one pictured above is a vintage tray that sells for $875.  If you’ve read my blog once or twice, you know that I’m not one to pay retail, but that instead, I’m one to seek luxe for less.  Well, that’s exactly what I did…again!

I’d known for some time that I wanted one, so I searched Pinterest for possible places to purchase one that wasn’t going to cost me an arm and a leg.  Pinterest is a great place to seek inspiration.  If you’re not a big ‘pinner’ feel free to peruse my boards from time to time!  Anyway, after searching Pinterest a few times, I did find some replicas or ‘inspired’ trays that were reasonably priced; but as I am decorating this office on a budget, I really wanted to pay less than $50 for mine. Here are a couple of ones I found, both which are priced $125 or less:

Hermes Tray Replica // http://chicinacademia.comHermès Tray Replica,, $99.00 (Photo: Artfire)

Hermes Tray Replica Etsy, http://chicinacademia.comHermès Tray Replica,, $125 (Photo: Etsy Seller)

I still felt like $100 was too much for a replica.  So, I searched for just a simple tray instead.  That’s when I found this one I decided for in the end on eBay!

Orange Lacquer Tray eBay Timeless Settings, http://chicinacademia.comOrange Lacquer Tray, eBay, $20 (Photo: Timeless Settings)

I like that it has the mirrored bottom, and also loved the price!  You can find this one on eBay from seller Timeless-Settings for a mere $20!  Score!  There is also a round one you can buy for $52 dollars, but again, that starts to get a bit out of my price range, so I stuck with the $20 tray.  You can find the round one, here.

Honestly, initially, I didn’t have plans to make my own Hermès DIY tray; but, then, I happened to come across this decal while shopping for decals for my office wall and decided I’d give it a try!

Hermes Logo Trading Phrases, http://chicinacademia.comHermès Wall Decal, Trading Phrases, $14.99 (Photo: Trading Phrases)

They have several sizes, but happen to have a decal that measures 5.5″ x 1″.  The size is perfect for the side of the tray I found on eBay!!  I ordered both and one week later, I had my own Hermès replica tray for about $35!  Here’s a sneak peak of the tray:

Tray without logo, http://chicinacademia.comTray without logo (Photo: Chic In Academia)

Tray without logo, http://chicinacademia.comTray without logo, another view (Photo: Chic in Academia)

Tray with Logo on Bar Cart, http://chicinacademia.comTray with logo.  DIY Success!! (Photo: Chic in Academia)

What do you think?!  I’m personally pretty excited about the way it turned out!  I’m not quite done decorating and this bar cart is not quite styled the way I want it yet, so stay tuned for an update on the make over and all the final details.  In the meantime, I wanted to share this with you before the trays sell out!  Keep up with my updates on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.  I’d  also love to hear what you think about the DIY or what you think of the bar styling so far, so leave a comment below!  I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and I can’t wait to hear from you!

Until next time!  Stay chic!

Steal vs. Splurge – Elizabeth and James Heels!

Bargainistas, I’ve got another Steal vs. Splurge for you!

D’orsay heels have been popular for years, though currently re-emerging as a popular heel to wear, paired with everything from skinny jeans to leather jogging pants (yes, such a thing exists!).

A few months back, I came across this pair of Elizabeth and James D’Orsay heels on Shopbop.

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 1.09.31 PM


Sadly, at $325 a pair, these heels would remain on my ‘covet’ list.  Since then, the heels have been discounted a bit, but the 40% discounted price ($195) is still too much for my budget to bare.




So, I was beyond excited when I came across this ‘luxe for less’ version!

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 1.10.49 PM


Currently sold at Forever 21, this version is selling for only $36.80!  Much more reasonable than the ‘discounted’ $200 price tag on ShopBop!  What’s more, I was ordering online and – as usual – Googled ‘Forever 21 promo code’ and came across this 10% off, plus Free Shipping code: RA9TT7.  The caveat:  Using this code makes your items FINAL SALE, so make sure you are familiar with Forever 21’s shoe sizing before ordering.



Here’s a side by side comparison:

Heels v2

Pretty similar, right??  You’re welcome, again (version 3.0). 😉

P.S. – Follow me on Instagram to see how I styled the Forever 21 version of these heels with office-appropriate outfits this past month!

Steal vs. Splurge – Hermès Belt!

Reach for your wallets!!  This is a good one. 😉

Many of you may recognize this highly coveted belt by Hermès:

Chic in Academia,

Often ranging between $700-$1000 – and also usually available for purchase only in person at Hermès stores – this belt and its buckle is a ‘must have’ in most fashionista’s closets.  It has been seen on many a celebrity…

Chic in Academia,

but now can be seen on you as well!!  How you ask??  Keep reading.

You all know that I love me some fashion, and…I also love me some luxury!  That said, I ain’t no fool!!  There is no way I am dishing out nearly $1000 for a belt.  Perhaps a good, authentic used one on eBay might be an option; though the thought of paying nearly $400 for a used belt makes me cringe.  Unless…[cue drum roll please], there happened to be an amazingly similar one for a fraction of the price!

So, being the great researcher I am (wink, wink!), I searched high and low, far and wide, for something that would meet the strict requirements of my fashionably savvy, yet budget-conscious readers.  I present you with, the C. Wonder Reversible Leather Letter Belt:

Chic in Academia,

At $28 for the letter buckle and $48 for the reversible leather belt (plus a 10% in-store discount with a student ID), you too can have an Hermès-like belt in your real closet, and not just in your Pinterest closet!!  Compare the two belt buckles below:

Chic in Academia,

Pretty similar, right??  You’re welcome, again. 😉

Now, some of you may say, “Well, I feel like I’ll be buying replica”.  That’s fine!  Don’t stress.  C. Wonder carries belt buckles in every single letter of the alphabet!  In my case, it just so happens that ‘H’ stands for ‘Hidalgo’ or ‘Hungry’.  Usually the latter.

So, my chic friends, there you have it.  In my opinion, fashion should be fun and not involve a trip to bankruptcy court.  That said, I’ll also say: Let your pocketbook guide you with regard to which option suits you best!

Until next time!

-Stay ‘Chic’!

P.S. – Follow me on Instagram to see how I styled the C. Wonder version for a work-appropriate look this week!