I, like many, love designer clothes. I appreciate everything from the luxurious fabrics to the forward and innovative cuts. However, my closet is in no way stocked full of said fanciful items. Sure, I have a few investment accessories sprinkled throughout my wardrobe that have strong cost-per-wear value, but a hefty chunk of my ready-to-wear pieces skew on the more affordable end. That said, I try to fill that range with those cheaper items that look expensive. That way, I still always have that high-end vibe.
In fact, many of my favorite outfits—those that often get compliments thanks to their chic nature—all actually feature those high-end-feeling pieces that are lower in price. To highlight, I assembled four inspired outfits for different occasions that I rely on or recommend to my friends—all made up of affordable stales. I’m also sharing corresponding styling tricks, digging into why I think each cheap outfit (the total looks are under $150—sans accessories and shoes, but those are affordable too) is particularly elevated and chic. Keep scrolling for more—you may just uncover your new go-to fit.
Keep your work outfit polished by opting for sleek separates with modern details like a scarf-neck blouse in an on-trend hue and wide-leg check pants. Smart accessories—kitten-heel mules included—complete this elevated office fit.
If you’re tired of your standard LBD and want to jazz it up for cocktail hour, consider a forward sweater silhouette (all about the V-neck cardigan) teamed with a playful satin slip skirt. Bold extras, including statement-making knee-high boots and a decorated top-handle bag, will make this going-out ensemble feel even more impactful—and expensive-looking. Note: A faux-fur coat topped over this look would also bring it to the next level.
Need a professional yet modern outfit idea for an important meeting? Don’t underestimate the power of a tailored blazer to bring just the right amount of sophistication to your look. Choosing a style with a little something extra (like the tie detail here) will make it appear far pricier than it actually is. While standard black trousers would work with this look, faux-leather trousers add another luxurious dimension to the vibe. Of course, chic accessories will only add to the elevated factor, like a chunky chain necklace around a turtleneck and elegant pointed mules.
Kick back in a casual-cool outfit for a Sunday running around town. A jacket in faux suede (one fabric that always looks triple its price) brings a luxe contrast to a cozy waffle-knit tee. Straight-leg jeans with just the right amount of stretch (too much stretch can skew cheap-looking), of-the-moment sunglasses, and high-end-feeling snakeskin booties finish off this weekend ensemble.