I can proudly report that I have never in my life purchased any expensive designer clothes at full price. If I’ve treated myself to something high-end, it’s been on sale (deeply discounted), but I am more than happy shopping at H&M, TopShop, or my favorite – Zara for the majority of my wardrobe. I’m always keeping an eye on my finances, and the trick is to make sure you’re buying the right kinds of pieces and caring for them properly so that no one would ever guess you paid so little for your outfit. Here are some insider tips for how to keep a small budget wardrobe looking its very best:
1. If you find a great fitting coat or blazer that is made of a material that does not wrinkle easily, simply replace the cheap plastic buttons to immediately make it look more upscale. You can order some online or go to your local fabric store.
2. When picking out a handbag, stick to simple bags with little hardware and design since those are generally giveaways to a budget piece. A simple clutch or black satchel is classic and discreet.
3. If you’re purchasing lower-priced pumps, opt for faux suede rather than faux leather (or worse, patent leather).
4. Buy a steamer and get into the habit of giving your clothes a quick once-over before leaving the house. Wrinkles can even make expensive clothes look cheap.
5. Get yourself a simple tank and a slip that hits above the knee. Since inexpensive clothing generally isn’t lined, you’ll need to layer to not only avoid your underwear showing to the world but to also help your clothes look more expensive.
6. Fabric selection is key. Tweed, cotton, and linen often look expensive even if they’re not.
7. If your winter wardrobe suffers due to pilling fabrics, just pick up a fabric shaver. It’s always sad having to give away your favorite sweaters when they begin to look worn out – this just may save them.
8. If you have some more expensive pieces that you just love but maybe don’t wear anymore because of fit, it may be worthwhile to take them to a tailor. Even if you purchase something you really love but the fit is slightly off, a piece that is custom fit to your body will always look more expensive.
9. Classic black always look more expensive and can hide the signs of a budget piece.
10. If you purchase a piece that comes with it’s own sash or belt, it’s always best to swap it out for one of your more expensive belts. The cheap belts that are included are always a giveaway for a budget piece.
11. Never wear shoes that are all sorts of worn out. Even expensive shoes that are worn to the grown can cheapen your entire look. Keep shoes together with a trip to the shoe repair to replace heels or fix up scuffs when needed. It’s worth the investment!
12. Never over-accessorize. A beautiful necklace can really dress up a simple, inexpensive outfit, but too many accessories and you risk looking like you’re just trying to cover up a cheap outfit with more cheap stuff. Coco Chanel famously said “When accessorizing, always take off the last thing you put on.”