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In a recent video on my YouTube channel, I share my style hacks and simple shopping strategies to help you look expensive on a budget. Looking great has nothing to do with how much your spend on what you wear and you can still look like a million bucks (without needing to spend that amount!).
Toteme coat (sz XS – new season version linked), Everlane cashmere knit* (sz XS), Everlane jeans*, Gucci belt (review here), R.M. Williams Boots (see my try-on of different style RM boots here), Celine bag (review here, affordable dupe here), Ray Ban sunglasses
I’ve summed up my strategies that I’ve finessed over the years in my neat summary below.
#1 – Less is more with colour
I’ve reaped the benefits of keeping things neutral in my wardrobe as I find that the pieces I reach for have a lot more versatility and pair well with each other. Monochromatic dressing always achieves a polished look and the classic all-black and all navy looks are my go-tos. When it comes to tonal dressing, I employ the three colour rule. Some of my favourite colour combinations are in this video at the 2:43 mark.
#2 – Focus on fit
Things tend to look more expensive when they look like they were made for you. You don’t need to shop designer to find clothes that fit you right and I’ve found many wardrobe gems on the high street that continue to serve me well. Making sure things fit you properly on the shoulders, hips and waist are key to picking the right pieces for you.
#3 – Don’t be afraid of the tailor!
And if you are shopping the high street, and you’re petite like me, chances are things weren’t made for your body shape. So that’s where you should embrace the tailor to make tweaks to those pieces that make a world of difference. It’s important to keep in mind that the bigger the job, the higher the cost – so I like to use the tailor for tasks that are relatively straightforward – shortening pants or arms of jackets. If you’re hoping to change the way a jacket fits you on the shoulders or on the torso, those significant changes can be quite costly.
#4 – Prioritise premium fabrics and textures
Fabrics like cashmere, silk, linen look and feel more luxurious and a lot of high street retailers now use these fabrics. The best thing about these fabrics is that they always appear to be a lot more expensive than they are. You can add these pieces to your wardrobe without breaking the bank and if you take care of them well, they’ll last you for years, as natural fibres tend to be more durable than their synthetic counterparts.
#5 – Be strategic with luxury
If your budget provides for you to dabble in a bit of luxury, be strategic with the pieces that you choose to add. Personally, classic handbags and shoes are ideal ways to add a bit of luxe – they get a lot of airtime and they’re built to last. Clothing tends to have a limited lifespan (and costs a pretty penny). So while you might be wearing a completely high street outfit, a luxe handbag will ‘trick’ everyone into thinking that the rest of your outfit follows suit.
#6 – Be strategic with clothing
And similarly, be strategic with where you invest your pennies. There are particular items where your dollar does go further, and these are typically items that incorporate a bit of tailoring or structure – like blazers or coats. Contemporary labels will put more thought and consideration into the way their pieces are constructed ensuring that they have all the details to elevate the piece and they’re made to last.
#7 – Less is more with accessories
And it goes without saying that you can elevate your entire outfit by adding a few simple accessories. Less is more and I rely on the timeless pieces in my jewellery collection to add a bit of interest to my outfit.
Thanks so much for stopping by, and if you’re not yet subscribed to my YouTube channel, you might like to do so – I’ve got some A/W look books in the works as well as some more handbag reviews!
P.S. My obsession with brown continues and my summer holiday outfit diaries.