Prada purse for $80There's no escaping the fact that some people have million-dollar tastes, but the way the U.S. economy has been going over the last couple of years, many of those folks have had to adopt a slightly more modest budget when it comes to buying gifts for the holidays. While overall holiday sales are expected to climb as much as 4% from last year, cautious business spending and an unemployment rate that won't budge from its near-10% level have even those accustomed to buying from brands like Tiffany, Burberry and Gucci rethinking their holiday gift strategy.

"Consumers don't lose their love of designers and luxury just because they can't afford it," says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst with NPD Group.

The good news is that many highbrow brands have been paying attention. Companies like Coach (COH) and Tiffany (TIF) have spent the past couple years expanding their offering of products even the hoi polloi can afford.

"When the recession hit, it's no secret that a number of retailers and brands that had high-end purchasers were concerned that discretionary spending was going to contract," says John Long, retail strategist at New York-based Kurt Salmon Associates. "Many of these companies decided to extend their price points in order to have more entry-level products for their customers."

With that in mind, here's a list of high-end brands that are making sure their loyal customers can take their products home without remortgaging the house:

Tiffany
If the world-renowned jewelry retailer wasn't selling its garden flower diamond necklace for $48,000, that would really be something to be worry about. Still, Tiffany silver dog tags can be had for $80 as long as it doesn't land the gift giver in the dog house. And if it does, he can still get a Tiffany beer glass for $20 to help drown his sorrow.

Coach
Home of the $1,400 handbag, Coach also sells a Poppy heart-shaped stick pin for $38, while a waverly coated canvas mini skinny wallet for $38 may do double duty of getting him a gift from Coach while dropping a heavy-duty hint.

Burberry
Buying her that leather-paneled Burberry trench coat for $7,995 might put everyone outdoors for the winter. Better to get a twill silk tie for $140. Or if that rainy day you've saved up for has already gone by, a Mega Check umbrella for $125 may do the trick.

Gucci
Sure, it would be great to tell your friends about the Gucci crocodile skin tote bag you just bought for $13,000. Better, though, to keep the car and buy either some Envy Oriental 'Woody' fragrance for $55 or maybe a 13-inch by 13-inch horsebit print pocket square for $125.

Prada
The devil may wear them, and if she can afford $750 woven leather pumps, or he a $3,320 leather jacket, all power to them. For the rest of us with a fix, a striped silk coin purse (pictured above) at $80 may have to do.

Louis Vuitton
Does that Sofia Coppola Louis Vuitton leather satchel for $3,270 get lost in translation? Laugh it off, and get a comics print bandana for $170.

Ralph Lauren
A $2,500 pair of Ralph Lauren beaded velvet boots at Ralph Lauren (RL) may be made for walkin' but not for buyin' this year. Show off your nose for a better bargain with a $45 Holiday Classic candle scented with evergreen, currants and juniper berries. Or even Polo socks for the low low price of $14.

Cartier
With Cartier selling its gold and diamond-encrusted brooch shaped like a panther for $63,000, you might as well buy a Jaguar instead. But a twill silk ladybug scarf, while at $130, still gets you in the door. And a $120 money clip may be good for a guy who may actually still be in position to use it.

Dolce & Gabbana
Those $1,870 Dolce & Gabbana fur boots might scare the dog, not to mention your accountant. Instead, go with a fabric bag, which actually has a picture of another fabric bag on it, for $172, and you can sort of get two for the price of one. For him, D&G skivvies go for $23. The rest of the wardrobe can wait until times get better.


Also See: Most Expensive Gift at 12 American Retailers



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ccoley0815

Better yet find the Goodwill in the richest section of town, rack up on designer ties, shirts, etc. Then take them to the drycleaners... Clean expensive clothes at a fraction of the cost...you're giving a nice gift and helping out a charitable organization to boot. Besides, no matter what you pay for an item, once you wear it, it's used...

December 13 2010 at 5:06 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
anitaman424

Most of these ideas are great but you're really just buying it for the name in many cases. For instance, I ordered a handbag for $995.00 on nordstoms, it looked and felt like a $500 bag so I sent it back. I think you reach a point where you are just paying for the brand. Doesn't make much sense to me.

December 12 2010 at 7:21 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Brad Bartlett

oh but from the comments so far, just use your credit card! I'm joking! Only a few were somewhat practical, affordable, I like the beer glass..., but really even if this sounds weird a gift card to target would suit me better!

December 12 2010 at 10:04 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Colton Shoemaker

Come on people.. who forced you to read this? If you don't like your financial situation you should have gotten a better, more secure job!

December 11 2010 at 11:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Colton Shoemaker's comment
triplercoplen

oh give me a break. I bet you come from a Rich family and haven't worked a day in your life!!!!

December 12 2010 at 1:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
deefazz

What a great stocking stuffer! For all he buys me, a Tiffany box for him!

December 11 2010 at 11:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
kittyhawkgrl

All these designers are sick!!!

December 11 2010 at 9:31 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
kittyhawkgrl

This really should be removed so I don't ever have to read it again!!!

December 11 2010 at 9:30 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
rachel and dave

UM.NO. Are you kidding me . why would anyone spend 130 dollars on a scarf, is it made out of gold? i dont think so, just cause it has a name on it does not mean it is better in value than a 20 dollar scarf. That coin purse is pretty ugly to be 80 dollars! People who spend this kind of money on that crap have a major problem! Spend your money else where like giving a needed family some food or christmas toys for the children who wont get any or to an animal shelter. This is not a modest budget to me. Who ever wrote this did not think that 75% of the population cant aford these things and really shouldnt buy that crap anyway, especially for gifts!

December 11 2010 at 9:15 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rachel and dave's comment
anitaman424

If you knew what a $130 scarf felt like, you could see that there is a clear difference in the two. One is prob. silk and one is prob. polyester.

December 12 2010 at 7:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
topdwn96

Wow! You've got to be hard up for designer merchandise to pay $80 for a coin purse! No thinks. I can think of much better (and more sensible)things to do with my money!

December 11 2010 at 8:37 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Angel Artemis

$80 is a lot to spend on a necklace if you're suffering from the recession.

December 11 2010 at 8:34 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply