As a fashion editor, my job is to detect trends on the regular. I’m really not trying to boast here, but I truly take pride in thumbing through Instagram or turning to the streets to spot cool new looks worth testing out. In reference the latter, I often uncovered the freshest street style trends when I lived in NYC and L.A. I now live in Boston, and despite it not being a “fashion capital,” I actually see forward looks all the time. In fact, it’s the unique accessory trends that often make me do a double-take when I’m prancing around Newbury Street.
What’s even more noteworthy is that many of the extras I take note of in Boston (or my hometown in Wisconsin) often look expensive but don’t necessarily come with the enormous price tags. I know this because I asked a woman sitting next to me at a coffee shop where her unique mock-croc bag was from, and she said Urban Outfitters. TBH, I wasn’t even that surprised, because if cheaper bags or shoes come in a modern shapes and feature high-end-feeling details, they could totally pass as designer.
Because I ventured a guess you may be interested in more of the expensive-looking accessory trends I see on the regular (come on, who doesn’t love to feel fancy on the cheap, right?), I curated a list of the most beautiful, budget-friendly pieces I notice in the “smaller” cities I’m often in. Keep scrolling to learn more—and shop a few (or seven) of the under-$200 items in question for yourself.
Glossy Ankle Boots
When in doubt, I always say to opt for a pair of classic black ankle boots for a sophisticated vibe. That said, glossy booties—in patent or mock croc—appear to be the silhouette du jour for many Bostonians. The beauty is that many of these expensive-feeling styles ring in under $100.
Mock-croc just so happens to be one of those finishes that inherently looks expensive. Yes, even when it comes in bag form for under $40. I’m always impressed when I catch a glimpse of a fashion girl punctuating her fall outfit with a stylish mock-croc stunner.
There’s something about a pop of animal print that can make any ensemble feel more high-end thanks to its luxe-feeling nature. As I see anytime I’m walking the streets of Boston, spotted shoes—mules especially—are one of the key styles that amp up any casual ’fit.
Chunky Gold Necklaces
Thicker gold chains have been gracing the necks of the coolest fashion people for seasons now. Sure, there are investment pieces out there if that’s your thing, but you can easily achieve the forward look with the wide array of under-$200 chunky gold necklaces in the market.
Sure, classic wayfarers will always be cool, but it’s more retro-feeling shades that appear to be upgrading many of the looks I spot. My favorite silhouette? An offbeat cat-eye shape in a colored hue.
Similar to mock-croc and other glossy finishes, suede (or faux-suede) will always come across as expensive-looking—hence the reason many style setters incorporate boots in the fabric into their elegant ensembles.
Faux-snakeskin bags are basically invading the streets at present thanks to their “chichi” nature. While crossbody silhouettes seem to be the most popular from my perspective, there are actually a slew of high end–feeling totes and top-handle shapes at my favorite stores as well.