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These 25 Items Look Expensive, But the Low Price Will Make You Do a Double-Take

There’s no denying that shopping creates a major adrenaline rush—especially when you discover items that look and feel expensive yet do not cost a fortune. There’s an unspoken sensation when you go to check the price and find that a piece you predicted to be at least $300 is shockingly a fraction of the cost; you check your eyes, and naturally, do a double-take. It’s a rare occurrence that once it happens, you leave asking yourself what exactly about the item made it look so expensive? 

As a thoughtful shopper, I began to question what design qualities made seemingly indulgent items actually affordable. Was it the fabric? Was it the color? Was it the silhouette? The answer happens to be yes, all of the above. An item is deemed expensive-looking when the fabrications and design details mimic those that are rather pricey—think mock necks, embossed leathers, seam detailing, pleating, and so on. We constantly preach that seasonal fashion trends can indeed be affordable, and you can get runway trends and the look of “it” items at an achievable cost. Ahead, I‘ve curated the ultimate list of fashion items that look expensive without the price tag.

The lizard embossing makes this bag look quadruple the price.

Behold, the aforementioned pleating detail that instantly elevates any fashion item. 

There's something about a minimal, sleek sandal that just feels so expensive. 

This could easily pass for $250, but $30 sounds a lot better. 

Knits always tend to err on the expensive side, so this squareneck top is a steal. 

These Bermudas are giving me major The Row vibes. 

From the embossed croc leather to the buckle embellishment, the design details of this sandal are very luxe. 

An insider secret: herringbone chains almost always look expensive. 

A good, classic t-shirt can be sneakily expensive, so this boxy fit definitely made me do a double-take.

Again, the pleats are so luxe. 

Try elevating your classic hoops with a sculptural earring this season. 

Everything about this silk set screams expensive. 

Complete the set: Wide-Leg Pant ($50)

A minimalist strappy heel under $100? Yes, please.

The soft leather trend isn't going anywhere. 

The seaming details of this knit cardigan make it look almost triple this price. 

There's something about a mock neck that just reads so elegant. 

Another mock neck to prove my point. 

Can't go wrong with a bold, black cat-eye. 

This silk skirt comes in 5+ colors—you're welcome.

The mix of materials makes this handbag look designer—Loewe, Prada, and Celine all have iterations of mixed material beach bags. 

The shade range looks impressive on this hat.

Next up, check out more budget shopping: the best under $100 items from Shopbop.

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