How to look expensive on a budget


15 Ways to Elevate Your Look

While there may be a desire to constantly have that It Bag of the month, I am a firm believer in shopping smart and managing your money wisely. But, that doesn’t mean you have to give up looking luxe either. Yes, we can have our cake and eat it too! ( Well, Almost :P). Whether it’s raiding your mother’s closet, shopping designer vintage, looking out for High street copies of designer styles or quite simply looking well groomed. We’ve put together 15 ways to elevate your look.

1|Shop Designer Vintage|

Who’s excited about the new Girl Boss series on Netflix, Hands Up! I am! Not everyone is as lucky at vintage shopping as Sophia Amoruso to turn it into a business, though try taking a stab at it yourself and you may just be sashaying down the street with a one of kind piece that all the trendsetters will be yearning for and better still, getting it for a song. It can be a real thrill to find that vintage Chanel backpack that they simply have not remade, especially considering they sadly do not make hardware like they used to on most designer bags these days, yet I still repeat purchase admittedly.

[Click on the images for more info]

2|Borrow Items|

If you can’t afford luxury items, there’s no shame in borrowing them. I am a frequent visitor to my mum’s closet. In fact, the Hermes Kelly bag in the images was my mums but now it has been lovingly permanently adopted by me. If you have sisters, friends or cousins with good taste don’t be afraid to ask them too. I have lent out many an item, though always ensure we respect the garment and return them to their owner, yes you heard me, garments deserve respect too :).

Alternatively, there are always sites that loan dresses and bags out for the day. Do let me know if you are interested in a post on this. I would love to hear from you.

3|Look out for High street Copies|

These days I’ve found amazing pieces on the high street for a fraction of the cost. For example, this Balmain inspired Blazer with gold buttons, granted its fit is less structured than the Balmain number but still, has a similar overall look and feel about it. I will put a link to all my purchases below should you be interested.

Personally, I only do this usually for clothing as I prefer to spend a bit more on shoes and bags. Shoes because my feet are a blister war zone if I don’t invest in a more comfortable pair which just so happens to usually cost more. Bags, well because it plays a huge part in elevating your look. So save on your garment and splash out on your accessories.

4|Shop Timeless Quality, not Quantity|

I used to love a good bargain at University and developed a huge hoarding problem. My bedroom on an average day looked like a tornado just pirouetted its way through it. I accumulated mountains of clothes, shoes and bags that would not even see the light of day.

Now, I shop smarter and only invest in timeless quality pieces that are flattering and those that I’ll get my cost per wear out of. Whatever I don’t use I often sell it on my Depop or on this designer site  who have offered our readers  a voucher here | Get £20 off £200 spend on first orders only with the code WELCOME17

Also, try this discount designer multi label store below|

Huge designer Outlet with up to 80% off treats delivered in 2-4 working days!

For bags, I start with my classic designs in wearable shades and build my collection from there. I can’t wait to share these timeless pieces with my baby Z when she’s older.

Gucci UK

5|When in Doubt Wear Black and Spritz on a fresh fragrance| 

Apart from being form-flattering, black is a safe bet for looking classic and polished without putting in any effort at all. It is quintessentially Parisian and so is investing in smelling like a breath of fresh air. Looking effortlessly chic in black and smelling great will unintentionally invite you to walk taller and be more confident which also adds to your elevated look ( Mind Blowing I know).

6|Quality Fabric|

For those of you who may not know, I used to work in fashion both in buying and as a creative director. This is where I developed my obsession with ensuring I found the best quality at a price that was competitive. Old habits die hard and I am still today as a shopper a stickler for quality. Though it need not necessarily be only confined to designer materials and fabrics. I was lucky enough to find this gilded number in an amazingly soft fluid fabric which draped like liquid gold.


A well-fitted garment will not only help you shed the weight without you having to live in the gym but will also make a £30 garment look custom-made. If you are not the standard rack size, which most aren’t, then invest in a little nip and tuck it will make a world of difference.

8|Attention to Detail|

I always look for unique elements even in the simplest of garments. Whether it be the addition of just three tiny gold buttons on a sleeve like on this black sweater or a veil on my pillbox hat, unique details offer an unconventional spin on a classic otherwise mundane item.

9|Chic Accessories|

Chic accessories are one of my soft spots and when I came across this lovely handmade pillbox hat with its dotty veil I just had to have it. Chic accessories can make any high street outfit look like you’ve hired a personal stylist.

10|Solid Jewellery|

When choosing jewellery always look for pieces that are slightly weighty, structural and more solidly crafted. I am a huge fan of Gold and Rose Gold personally.

11|Have Your items Pressed|

This is something you are probably thinking your mother would say but believe me it will certainly take your look up a notch. Invest in a steamer if you aren’t a natural Martha Stewart and it would only take a few minutes.

12|Keep a Low-Maintenance Hair Style|

I always envy those who have the time to style their crops in the mornings. I prefer to keep it as simple as possible so a top bun, high pony or just letting it hang loose Coachella style is my go to every day mane-routine. If your hairstyle is low maintenance then there is less chance you will not find the time to look presentable.

13|Get Your Nails Done|

Nothing is worse than the sight of grubby fingernails that have been bitten and torn into. I have been guilty of having that terrible habit but I managed to kick it by having my nails done. Having perfectly manicured nails somehow made me not want to damage them and soon I was able to kick the habit. (Yay no more stares of disgust from onlookers)

14|Red Lippy|

If you are teetering on the fear of looking like the Joker, fear not! Get yourself a really good lip pencil and matte lipstick. A trick I learnt from a makeup artist when I was working in TV was to dab your foundation all over your mouth area so as to start from a blank canvas so to speak, this works great if you do not have the ideal lip shape and want to re-create the perfect lip. For example, if your lips are thick and you want to draw a smaller pout. Use the lip pencil to draw in the perfect pout even if it’s smaller than your natural lip line. Remember this line has to be as perfect as you can get it as mistakes are very unforgiving with this bright shade. Fill in with the lipstick and you are good to go.

15| Keep the rest of your Makeup Natural|

If you aren’t 16 or going to a festival, bold eyeshadow shades and heavy blush should be avoided like a plague. Bold lips and natural eyes and cheeks go together like peaches and cream.

I love this eyeshadow and cheek palette below. It goes so well with both a red lip and a pinky nude lip like on the model below.

{ Click on the images to recreate the look and for more info)



Photography | Victoria Metaxas

Styling | Shan Lee


Shop My  Wardrobe

Black Sweater

Black Blazer

OTK Boots |Gisele Bundchen’s Stuart Weitzman over-the-knee boots

Pill Box Hat | Vintage | Find something similar here Wear Now Pay Later with SplitIt

Gold Dress | From the Link Below

Hope you all had a lovely Bank Holiday Weekend!


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