It’s the hot thing in fashion right now: clothing labels comprised of little more than initials. Blame it on Donna Karan and her eponymous DKNY second line, or Police branding everything they can get their hands on, even Police sunglasses. Or maybe CK1 set off the trend back in the day. Either way, more brands than ever are launching a line based solely on a combination of letters. The DCGF is finding that the looks are great, but they won’t come cheap. Get ready, dear readers, for a very expensive serving of alphabet soup…

Take Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. line. You know, Love. Angel. Music. Baby. Riiight. I’ve never been a fan of her clothes. They’re like some unholy combination of Juicy Couture and Alexander McQueen, all tartaned out and sweat-panted up. Ugh. The shoes, however, are a nother matter. How she performs entire concerts in 5-inch heels – like the Norland bootie, above – I’ll never know. But if I could pull it off, I would. Maybe the covered platform helps? Dunno. But I’m in love with the gray suede and funky detail. Plus, zippers on the back! Too bad they cost nearly $500… Speaking of plaid, the boys at Dolce & Gabbana always seem to get it right. And their D&G line offers, ahem, lower priced versions of their designer pieces. I use the term “lower priced” with a wink and a nod, as this plaid flannel pencil skirt still costs $575. Isn’t this supposed to be their second line? Oh wait, that’s right: the designer equivalent would cost well over $2000. So this is a relative bargain, right? Well, I wouldn’t go that far, but it is pretty spectacular…

Let’s see if we can find a better deal. DKNY has been around for over two decades now, and is the model for designers’ second lines. Some people don’t even know that it stands for Donna Karan New York! Clearly the brand has built a fashionable following. I remember my first DKNY purchase: a black velvet hoodie I picked up at a consignment store for probably about $20. So chic! I like to think that this line is cute and affordable, and I’m totally digging the Bracelet Sleeve Sweater Coat, above. But does it really cost $525? Is that not a misprint? Oh, DKNY! How could you do this to me? I used to think that you might be within my reach, but now I know you’re not…

Is there some sort of magical $500 budget that I didn’t get the memo about? Hmm… Thank goodness there’s OC by Oleg Cassini. Remember him? He was the exclusive dresser for Jacqueline Kennedy during her time in the White House and was famous for dressing his second wife, Gene Tierney, in many of her films. His name has largely been out of the fashion spotlight, but now there’s a small line known as – you guessed it! – OC by Oleg Cassini. And some of the pieces are very cute. I’m especially bessotted by the Belted Taffeta Dress in navy. A trench dress is always a great look. Paired with some tights and t-straps, this would be a great fall look for office or play. And did I mention it’s *just* $158? Not a steal, but much better than the others…

I tried desperately to find an alphabetical bargain, dear readers, but simply could not. Instead, I’ll leave you with one of the most beautiful shirts I’ve seen all season, in a price that’s sure to make your jaw drop. Why not go out on a high note? The Jussieu blouse is by RM Roland Mouret. In Mouret’s case, he had to use his initials, because he doesn’t own the rights to his own name as a designer. Oops! His bad. The origami-like folds on the front of the blouse are just spectacular: bold, yet feminine. And the nude panel at the hemline can be left untucked, or tucked in for a more finished look. What price luxury? Try $1260. I’ll take two! Ha.