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How to Dress Like Rachel Bilson… for Less!


Rachel Bilson
Photo Credit

Ever since the popular TV series The O.C won the hearts of millions of teenage girls in 2003, their starlet Rachel Bilson (a.k.a Summer Roberts) has slowly been making her name known in the fashion world with her effortlessly-chic style and bohemian vibe.

Today, the 29-year-old, California-born actress has made it to fashion’s major leagues, gracing the covers of top fashion magazines such as InStyle, GQ, Lucky, NYLON, Teen Vogue, Seventeen, Cleo, Cosmopolitan, and Page Six. On top of all that, she’s got some serious fans here at CF: We’re always receiving emails asking for tips on nailing her style, and she’s a regular fixture in our Celebrity Street Style column!

Nylon March 2008  Rachel Bilson

While the O.C may have put her on the map, Rachel remains a fashion mainstay eight years after its debut. Rachel is the queen of California girl casual-cool, so for those of your who worship her style, here are five Rachel Bilson-inspired outfits recreated on a college student budget!

How to Get Rachel Bilson’s Style for Less

Rachel Bilson
Photo Credit

It should come as no surprise that the wardrobe of fashionista has quite the price tag. That said, it’s easier than you think to emulate Rachel’s look without emptying out your wallet. Want proof? The following outfits are completely comprised of items that cost $100 dollars or less!

Outfit 1: Printed Mini Dress

Outfit inspired by Rachel Bilson - Printed mini dress and blazer
Blazer, Dress, Booties, Bag, Bangle


Glammed up to attend a fashion show, Rachel looked stunningly chic in a printed dress and black leather booties. She dressed up the playful mini with a sleek cropped blazer with structured shoulders and 3/4 length sleeves. She added even more sophistication to the outfit by opting for briefcase-style tote that worked perfectly with her edgy look.

Outfit 2: Welcome to the Jungle

Outfit inspired by Rachel Bilson - Studded bag and printed top
Jeans , Top, Boots, Bag, Sunglasses

Usually I am not a fan of animal print tops, but Rachel’s look above is an exception. She looked so put-together and classy in her loose-fitting blouse and knee-high boots as she headed to a meeting in West Hollywood. However, my favorite part of her look is her beautifully edgy and chic Burberry studded carry-all. Can’t afford Burberry? I found a bag that looks similar to Rachel’s, for a fraction of the cost!

Outfit 3: Seattle Grunge

Outfit inspired by Rachel Bilson - Gray coat, jeans, and brown boots
T-Shirt, Wrap Sweater, Jeans, Bag, Ankle Boots

While shopping at Chanel in Beverly Hills, Rachel was gorgeous in grunge as she rocked a oversized heather-gray sweater, an old t-shirt and vintage shearling boots. Get her look for yourself by pairing medium wash skinny jeans with studded boots, a loose gray cardigan, and your favorite band tee.

Outfit 4: Perfectly Polka-Dot

Outfit inspired by Rachel Bilson - Blue polka dot dress and high heeled brown boots
Dress, Glasses, Bag, Booties, Bangle

To me, one of the main factors that makes Rachel a fashion icon is her ability to make any look their own. In true Rachel Bilson style, she rocked a pair of ankle booties with this silk, cap-sleeve, button-down sundress. As we all know, polka dots aren’t an easy look to pull off, but by keeping the rest of her ensemble simple, Rachel looks flawless in them.

Outfit 5: Red, White & Beautiful

Outfit inspired by Rachel Bilson - Boyfriend jeans, red clogs, and a red bag
Blazer, Jeans, Bag, Top, Clog

Not everyone can pull off red, white and blue so effortlessly, but Rachel looked casual cook while strolling through Los Angeles in a pair of destroyed boyfriend jeans, a tailored navy blazer, and a cherry-red bag. I love that she topped the look off with a pair of muted red clogs to make the entire look pop.

Your thoughts?

What do you think of Rachel Bilson’s style? Which look is your favorite? Which are you most excited to try? Are you happy we finally did an entire article Rachel’s style? Who would you like to see featured? Leave a comment and tell us what you think!

Posted on on March 17, 2011 / Filed Under: Inspiration / Tags: , , ,

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19 Responses to “How to Dress Like Rachel Bilson… for Less!”

  1. 1
    March 17th, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    i love rachel bilson’s style! she’s so chic!
    but if I may add here, outfit 2 is not “knee-high boots” for sure.
    and i don’t like rachel’s outfit 3, I think it’s too baggy/shapeless on her petite frame.

  2. 2
    March 17th, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    LOVE Rachel Bilson’s style. Being 5’1 myself, I look to her for interpretations of trends on a smaller frame, and she always delivers.

  3. 3
    March 17th, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Can I make a suggestion? I don’t find this format of article to be very helpful. Rather than breaking down her look one outfit at a time, it would be more reader-friendly and more useful to break down her style by trend or by silhouette. Just something to think about!

  4. 4
    March 17th, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    The debut of The OC isn’t 9 years ago, it’s 8.

  5. 5
    March 17th, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Thanks for pointing that out Dilara! Fixed :)

  6. 6
    March 17th, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    i really hope to see more of these posts!!! please do blake lively, or lucy hale!

  7. 7
    March 18th, 2011 at 6:49 am

    I absolutely love her style. She’s such a pretty girl with a great look which is much more London street style than Hollywood actress! Love it!


  8. 8
    March 18th, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Love it! Possibly a Lauren Conrad post?

  9. 9
    March 18th, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Rachel Bilson is a such a likeable fashion icon among college girls, and I really like the looks you picked: most of them I’ve saved the pictures on my own cuz I love them! Such coincidence!

    Good taste, moi? ;)

  10. 10
    March 18th, 2011 at 11:09 am

    You’re welcome Zephyr! :) Great post!

  11. 11
    March 18th, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Im looking for bags simiiar to the first two here. I really want a brown or black leather bag thats structured, but still looks bohemian. the closest thing i’ve found are the abercrombie bags on their website. but I don’t think the the pricetag is worth the brand, also i really want to see it in person before i buy it.

  12. 12
    March 18th, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    the first picture looks a LOT like leighton meester!

  13. 13
    March 18th, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Please do a How to Dress like post on Leighton Meester or Nina Dobrev I love both there style.

  14. 14
    March 20th, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Favorite celeb. Her style is so perfect because she somehow always looks effortless. Love it.

  15. 15
    July 14th, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    OMG!! Rachel Bilson is a great style icon….even for being 29! She even has her own column in InStyle magazine!! I love all the outfits here, but I think I love the last one the best. It is the ideal image that says casual chic which is her style hands down!!

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