12 Cool Brands to Shop If You've Got Expensive Taste and a Small Budget

If you read my Who What Wear stories regularly, you’ll know I suffer from Expensive Taste, Small Budget Syndrome. (Check out how I nail the most-expensive-looking fall trends on a budget, this season's expensive It boots for under $100, and the most luxurious looking (but cheap!) Amazon sweaters.) What can I say? I crave a luxe runway look, but my bank account advises otherwise.

Fortunately, as a fashion market editor, I’ve been able to treat this sartorial complex by discovering some of the coolest brands, stores, and retailers that offer posh-looking pieces without the hefty price tag. Below, I’m sharing some of my favorites. Some you definitely know and others you may never have heard of, but all offer gorgeous, expensive-looking pieces that won’t do too much damage on your bank balance. Scroll below as I share some of my favorite pieces to shop from these brands.

1. Pixie Market

Pixie Market’s select offerings of trend-forward and elevated basics like tops, knits, skirts, and jewelry look seriously luxurious. And while it does offer higher-priced pieces in addition to its affordable finds, you’re sure to find something on the site you'll love.

2. Charles & Keith

Charles & Keith carries the most swoon-worthy shoes and bags with most items clocking in at under $100 (but look like they cost a lot more!) Trust us when we say, they'll induce major compliments.

3. Mango

Mango is unquestionably one of my go-tos when I'm looking for expensive-looking pieces at a lower price point. It does help that its online styling is seriously on point and it provides chic inspiration on how to wear each piece.

4. Pull & Bear

We've all heard of Zara (which unquestionably makes this list!), but do you know its sister brand, Pull & Bear? While its site generally skews a little younger, there are plenty of trend-forward and elevated basics that look chic no matter what your age. And the prices are very affordable.

5. Loéil

Loéil has a small selection of delicate minimal silhouettes and statement feminine pieces that look like they've come straight off the runway. The pieces are pretty decently priced for the unique and exclusive pieces on offer.

6. Warehouse

I used to shop Warehouse a lot when I lived in England. The British high-street brand is known for its trend-forward day-to-night pieces that look much more expensive than their price tag. While they don't have a store in the U.S., you can shop a small selection directly on ASOS.

7. Halogen, Nordstrom

Nordstrom has a handful of in house brands that are super cool and relatively affordable. I particularly love Halogen for its chic and polished pieces (that look pricey!). Their cashmere sweaters are some of my favorites I own—and are all under $100. The brand often does collaborations with fashion influencers which are always super on point. (This season it's with @blaireadiebee). 

8. Mejuri

When it comes to expensive-looking jewelry, I always turn to Mejuri. While there are certainly pricier items on their site, the majority of pieces are relatively affordable (under $100). I particularly love their hoop earrings and modern rings.

9. Eloquii

For work, weekend, and everything in between, Eloquii carries some of the chicest plus-size pieces around that could seriously pass for designer.

10. Everlane

If you're looking for upscale, elevated basics, then look no further that minimalist-chic brand Everlane. Its silk and cashmere pieces all clock in at under $100 and its sleek leather shoes are seriously luxurious looking. 

11. Babaton, Aritzia

Our editors rage about the expensive-feel of Babaton's ribbed-knit tank tops. Timeless and classic, they'll last you a lifetime and are priced at a decent $68. Check out the brand's cool range of power blouses and soft sweaters too.

12. Zara

Zara never fails to bring us runway-inspired looks for a fraction of the price. Take inspiration from the way it styles its pieces on the site—they always look so upscale.

Up next, how I would nail the most expensive-looking fall trends on a budget.

Judith Jones
Senior Fashion Market Editor

Judith Jones is the senior fashion market editor at Who What Wear who specializes in shopping content and trend stories with high-affiliate impact. She shares the coolest, most desirable fashion market finds and brands for every budget. Previous to working in fashion, Judith worked as a TV host on the PBS travel show Globe Trekker (airing on Netflix and Amazon Prime) sharing her passion for travel and culture.