I’m going through a relatively obsessive phase with Pinterest right now. It’s been going on for the last few months but it was only over the last few weeks that I actually took some time out to flick through the outfits and street style images I’ve been saving. They all have one thing in common – a whole lot of luxe.
While my budget screams high street, my 2019 aesthetic is a little more rich girl vibes. I’ve tried the tricks, you know, where you use the Pinterest images to recreate looks from your existing wardrobe. It’s not quite the same when trying to maintain a chic allure with your old camel coat you bought cheaply a few years ago, particularly when your new season mood board centres around the Max Mara Icon coat. Or is it?
Flicking through a mountain of magazines, scrolling through Instagram and staring longingly at the many impulse purchases piled up in my wardrobe, a light bulb moment occurred. Sure, it takes a little more effort in the short term but with a careful eye, considered purchases and learning to care for your clothes the way they truly deserve, you’d be surprised the kind of luxe looks you can pull together on a budget.
Your bank balance will be pleased to know that adding a few extra zeros to the perceived cost of your outfit doesn’t have to be literal and looking sartorially richer than you actually are doesn’t require an entire wardrobe overhaul. A few tweaks here and there, a good tailor and pursuit of particular colour palettes is all you need to look fabulous without forking out for a heap of new items.
Ready to look richer than you actually are? Scroll through for our tricks to elevate any outfit.
All white outfits give the impression that you don’t have to worry about stains, that you’re sophisticated enough that accidental spillages of your fancy lunch is never an incident that occurs in your world. Plus, public transport? With an outfit like that you travel exclusively by Uber, obviously.
Wearing one colour head to toe is an easy way to win sophisticated style points so if an all white ensemble topples your anxiety levels, try soft browns and tans. Maybe you’re more suited to burgundy tones or feel at your best when wearing blush pink. You’ll know when you’ve found the right colour palette for you and by committing to one spectrum of shades you’re guaranteed to a luxe, elegant look – one that didn’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Tailor to suit your body shape
At 5’1” the power of a good tailor hasn’t escaped me. Turns out if clothes don’t fit you straight away, the magic touch of a tailor can take a look from disaster to divine. If an item of clothing doesn’t fit well, it doesn’t matter how much it cost, it’s instantly cheapened. Whether you paid £200 or £20, it’s worth all the difference to pay a further £15-20 to have it altered to suit your shape. That might mean reducing the length, tapering the leg or in the case of vintage items, working with your tailor to completely reinvent the item – a trick that allows clothing to serve the test of time without dating in the age of fast fashion.
Buy in bulk
You’ve heard about the idea of items that spark joy, right? Pay attention to those items. Maybe it’s a particular pair of jeans that you forever feel amazing in. Maybe it’s the dress that instantly boosts your confidence. The heels that always get you compliments or the knitwear that never fails to warm cold bones in the depths of winter. Once you find the items you truly love and feel comfortable in, stock up. If you truly love an item and you know you get the wear out of it, there’s no shame in buying it in multiple colourways. A luxe sense of style is amplified when worn with confidence. It’s these basics that will make you feel at your best. Who cares if you wear them all the time. These are your winning items. Repeat buy and rotate colourways accordingly.
Know your fabrics
Fabric can be one of the biggest giveaways in a luxe wardrobe. I remember bulk buying a lot of jersey when I was younger. It seemed like a great idea at the time and if anything, I thought I was cleverly employing our ‘buy in bulk’ trick above but it didn’t all stand the test of time. A few carefully chosen staples stood by me but the rest lacked lustre by the following season. Invest in quality fabrics instead and learn to take care of them. Timeless and elegant pieces bought in silk or cottons will add an instant air of sophistication to any outfit.
Buy a steamer
If you think you hated ironing before, wait until you bring a steamer into your life.
Wrinkles can ruin an outfit just as quickly as spilling ketchup on your all-white ensemble but we all know how frustrating it can be having to haul the entire ironing board out while trying to get ready in the morning. Use of a good steamer will help to blast wrinkles out of any item of clothing in minutes.
P.S a travel steamer will completely change your life. You heard it here first.
It seems simple but is often overlooked. By removing plastic buttons on cheap clothing and replacing them with something a little more luxe, this small trick can instantly transform an item to look all the more expensive. Try sites like Etsy for buying metal, bone or fabric covered buttons to elevate an old item of clothing.
Invest in timeless classics
A tailored coat or classic trench instantly raises the bar with any outfit. In the short term parting ways with a significant chunk of money may be painful but cost per wear, plus the lifespan of such an item is worth it. For the ultimate fancy feels, you’ll want to invest in a maxi coat. Double breasted, faux fur, pristine whites, I challenge you not to find a maxi coat that doesn’t look chic and more importantly, doesn’t make you look super rich and sophisticated.