Real vs Steal | Acne Lia vs H&M

Acne H&M

Yes, its Acne again! And this time it’s about one of my favourite things: Acne’s cable knit mint green sweater. If Forbes made a list of The It Items of 2012, this would be on it. Bloggers wore it/wanted it, it was photographed ad infinitum and people went mad for it.

It’s not hard to see why it became such a hit. Mint goes well with a lot of colours – dark blue jeans, crisp white, peach, pastel pink, purple, yellow.. The pricetag was more of a miss – £210 (around $320) for a sweater is pretty steep. Even so, it sold out (and left a legacy in pink, white yellow and green versions.)

So why am I rambling on about something from last year now? The Lia’s heyday may have passed, but mint green is set to be a hit again this season, which means old season Lia is still “in.” And despite it being the first day of Spring today (here in England), we’re still in sweaters 😦

So, for those that didn’t get the Lia but still long for one… look no further than to fellow Swede H&M, where I found a lookalike for just £15!


High Five. You can get it here.

This is one of the instances where I have both the real and the steal, so here are a few more pictures, and a quick comparison of the two


As you can see in the photos, they look quite similar, but the Lia is a lot more detailed (as you’d expect)


P1010392The photos above don’t quite capture the difference in workmanship (the left side is Acne, right is H&M). The Lia has very intricate detailing, as though its been hand-made. Can’t fault Acne here, the quality and workmanship is beautiful.





Style and Fit:

P1010391 I often forget that “cropped” cable knit sweater features in the description of the Lia. I’m not particularly tall (5”9) and I don’t have an absurdly long torso, but I have to wear a shirt underneath to avoid the exposed midriff. That or it just looks oddly short worn without one :/ This can make it quite annoying to wear, and I’m yet to find a shirt in the same colour to make a perfect match. And to top it all off, I ruined a silk shirt that I wore underneath, because the texture of the sweater imprinted all over the sleeves and left it looking like the inside of a pomegranate…

The H&M is slightly longer (left side) which means you can wear it without a shirt 🙂 

The verdict: H&M: en punkt. Acne: I curse you.

As for fitting, the Lia is loose and straight (I wear size XS), whereas the H&M is more fitted (UK 8/US 4). Acne’s fit is more modern and different to what you usually see.


This is the most important thing to consider when buying clothes since cheap cloth flatters no-one. The Lia is 100% cotton, so its thick and warm. If you ditch the shirt, the cotton is surprisingly breathable. The H&M is 60% cotton and 40% acrylic. It still looks good, and its warm. I’d say its better for milder weather, but also good for layering for warmth. One thing that did disappoint me about the Lia was the manufacturer’s label: Made in China. Not quite so Scandi-cool are we Acne! 

Washing instructions

I bet you’re surprised to see that. Usually if an item is hand-wash its back to the rail – for most things, at least. I make a special exception for clothes I really love and which are more expensive/designer, so that I don’t ruin them. Unsurprisingly, the Lia is handwash. Its 100% cotton so unless you like shrunken clothes, don’t put it in the wash! The H&M is machine washable. Approved.

Overall, I’d say the H&M is a good dupe. And for the price… it’s a steal 🙂


p.s. check out my other Real vs Steal post on the Acne Pistol boots here

9 thoughts on “Real vs Steal | Acne Lia vs H&M

  1. You know, it’s a beautiful sweater, and I love the color, but the it sweater? Commotion amongst the blogging world? 320 pounds? What the actual fuck? Now, I’m all for paying steep prices for designer duds, but not when they look like something I could procure from Zara or Macy’s, or hell, even Walmart (ok I’m stretching it). Every season comes a few must have items that have the fashion blogging community drooling over it, and it looks like a piece of garbage that shouldn’t cost more than $10. Remember those Kenzo sweaters? What was so special about them? I can’t justify paying so much money for something that looks generic. Balmain? Bring it on, it looks luxe. So yes, I’ll take the steal deal 🙂 Funny, this was going to be a future blog post of mine.


    • Usually I thank people for their comments, but I’m not sure if you’re insulting me here! The reason I called it an “It” item, was because it WAS featured on loads of street style blogs, and if you ever use Polyvore, have a look at how many sets it’s featured in. It was hugely popular. And yes, it costs loads for what it is, but thats what buying designer means. But unlike something like the Isabel Marant trainers (another “It” item but complete fad), I’ll still be wearing it for years to come because its simple. But Balmain, seriously? Look at my last post on Monochrome/Stripes. Theres a pair of jeans mentioned which cost over a thousand pounds. And you can get a similar pair for £25. Who in their right mind would pay 1k for a pair of (generic) jeans?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: