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10 cute, girly iPhone 5 (and 5S) cases

Christmas is almost here, and you know what that means! It's time to start shopping for cheap, universally-loved gifts, like smartphone...cases!

Seriously, everybody loves a cute iPhone case, but nobody really wants to pay $35 for one.  So why not get your girlfriend(s) phone cases, instead of, you know, the whole phone-plus-data-plan-shebang?  Genius, right?  That's what I thought!

Here are 10 of my favorite cute, girly iPhone 5/5S cases (won't fit the 5C, but nobody has that anyway).  I would totally have one of these if I wasn't a total Android girl at heart :)

1. Boostcase Rugged iPhone 5 Case ($28, Free People)

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Rugged cases are usually pretty...ugly.  Sorry Otterbox -- I love you, but you're not exactly the sexiest thing to adorn my phone.  But this rugged case from Boostcase comes in two pretty color combos, gunmetal gray and mint green and silver and coral pink.  I love how the bright colors peek through the metallic studs!  This case is double-layered -- the bright hard case snaps onto your phone, and the rubbery studded layer wraps around it for extra protection.

2. Speck CandyShell for iPhone 5S & iPhone 5 ($34.95, Speck)

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I'm a total sucker for bright colors, can you tell?  I really like Speck's CandyShell cases -- I've even got one on my old iPhone 4 (which I still use, occasionally, for Scramble With Friends purposes).  These Speck cases come in a variety of cool color combinations, including raspberry and black, pool blue and wild salmon pink, and grape purple and malachite green.  They're soft on the inside and hard on the outside so they won't scratch your phone up, and the bright lining color peeks through at the edges and on the soft rubber parts that cover the power button and the volume buttons.

3. Chic Physique iPhone 5 Armband in Fire Swirl ($29.99, Chic Buds)

Okay, so this is technically an armband -- not a case.  But it's still something every girl needs for her, um, Power Yoga class.  Or working out.  Or whatever.  This cute Velcro armband lets you access your iPhone while working out, running (because apparently those are different in my mind), or doing other hands-free activities.  I love that it's not boring black like all the other armbands out there.  I love the colorful damask pattern (there's even a matching case), but if it's not for you there are other options to choose from.

4. Tasseled iPhone 5 Case ($38, Anthropologie)

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Although I've never been a huge fan of Anthropologie, I have always been a huge fan of unnecessary objects hanging off of my phone.  Hey -- I grew up in Tokyo, okay?  This painted leather class from Anthropologie is gorgeous, and I love the little tassels that swing while you talk.  I've always been pretty disappointed about the fact that today's smartphones don't allow for attachments of some sort.  This case almost satisfies my desire for swingy things, but I do wish one had a face...or something.  Like I said: Tokyo.

5. Fabulously Fierce Rhinestone Leopard iPhone 5 Case in Purple ($15.99, Luxe-Case.com)

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You know what they say -- leopard print is always in!  Or at least, I think they say that.  I just made that up, so I hope someone, somewhere, says that.  Anyway, this case has it all -- purple leopard print, rhinestones, silver glitter, and a hole for the Apple logo on your phone so EVERYONE KNOWS YOU'VE GOT AN iPHONE.  (As though people wouldn't be able to tell otherwise?)  I actually really like the look of this case, but I'm not sure how legit the site is -- let's be serious, "luxe-case.com" doesn't exactly seem robust.  At the same time, I'm sure you'll get something if you order from them, and it's only $15.99 with free shipping, so what have you got to lose?

6. Boys Make Passes Silicone iPhone 5 Case ($35, Kate Spade)

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So here's a fun story -- when I was in 3rd grade, I had to get glasses.  I read a book in which the main character had glasses and was teased about it ("four-eyes").  I got my glasses over the summer, so I fully expected to hear some teasing comments when I got back to school.  But here's the crazy part -- I loved attention as a child.  Loved it.  All attention.  Any attention.  So I was actually excited that people might tease me about my glasses.  Well, long story short, nobody really cared that I had glasses and not once did anyone call me four-eyes.  I was pretty disappointed about that.  Then I switched to contacts in 5th grade, and now I only wear glasses...pretty much never.  I wear those month-long contacts that you only have to take out once a month (seriously...I only take my contacts out once a month).  BUT I still love this case!  I especially like the bold letters that spell "Kate."  If my name was Kate, I would buy an iPhone 5S just so I could have this case.  Alas.

7. Selfie Mirror iPhone 5 Case ($19.99, Juicy Couture)

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If we ignore the fact that the iPhone 5/5S has a pretty decent forward-facing camera, this is the perfect case!  Another fun fact about my life (this article is just full of them, huh): When I was in Tokyo, my brother got this phone that had an AMAZING feature.  If you pressed a button on the phone, the screen turned into a mirror!  And I'm not talking about just turning off and being really glossy -- the glass actually changed so it was reflective.  To this day, I have no idea what the technology was, but leave it to the Japanese to put such AWESOME, ADVANCED technology in a free-with-plan cellphone, AMIRITE?  Seriously.  Anyway, I love this Juicy case, I would totally get it, and for the foreseeable future it's an additional 30% off the $20.  SO WORTH IT.  Think of your Instagram followers!

8.  Pink Fashion iPhone 5/5S Case ($24.50, Victoria's Secret)

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Not gonna lie, I saw this case in an ad -- Victoria's Secret is having an in-store promo through November 17, 2013, where if you buy any product from their Pink line you get a tech accessory for free.  So you could technically buy a pair of panties and get this case for free!  Of course, it is kind of a blatant advertisement for the Pink line itself, but I still kind of love it?  I guess I'd love it even more if, like, pink was my favorite color or something.  Hmm.  Well, whatever, it's pretty cute, and I like it better than the rest of their merchandise, which says "Love Pink" (that makes no sense guys. No sense at all).

9. Ombre Bling Cover for iPhone 5 and 5S ($12.50, Icing)

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If you're going to purchase a cheap rhinestone iPhone 5/5S case, you have some options.  You can go the eBay/Amazon Market/Etsy route (which, unfortunately, usually use stolen photos and are somewhat of a crapshoot), or you can go to the "sort of older Claire's" accessory store, Icing.  This pretty, blingy case features rhinestones in an ombre pattern -- sure, it's probably not the top-quality strassing you'll find on a Louboutin shoe, but it'll do for a $12.50 case, right?  Also, when the heck did Icing go online?  Is Claire's online too, now?  What is the world coming to?

10. Monogrammed iPhone 5 Case ($35, C.Wonder)

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If you know me (and even if you don't, perhaps), you know I love my name.  Mainly my first name.  I love the name "Sarah," and I love the letter "S."  So pretty much anything with a monogram is my jam.  That's why I love this C.Wonder case, which comes in every letter of the alphabet.  Some color schemes are better than others, but I love the bright, bold patterns and, of course, the giant letter in the middle of the case.  So perfect!  So me!  So you!  Maybe!