My Mom Wants to Look Chic on the Cheap—I Suggested These Expensive-Looking Items

My mom recently messaged me because she wanted some sartorial guidance on a few summer pieces worth adding to her wardrobe. Her exact words were: “I want to freshen up my summer look—what can I buy that’s cute but won’t cost a ton?” Given that I’m all for cheap items that look incredibly chic, I had a list of expensive-looking trends I sent over to her to consider this season.

The items in question all feel elevated and quite high-end thanks to fashion-forward details but can actually all be purchased for under $50. I'm talking about pieces like elevated blouses, sleek sandals, and minimal yet striking jewelry.

Intrigued? Keep scrolling to check out the expensive-looking pieces I’m loving right now, complete with a bit of visual and shopping inspiration if something catches your eye.

Puff-Sleeve Pieces

Whether it's a top or a dress, a puff-sleeve accent brings extra dimension and elevates an otherwise simple item.

Square-Toe Sandals

The best sandals that look expensive



It's all about the details. Going for a pair of sandals with a square toe will make the shoes feel quite high-end (even if the price point isn't crazy high).

Chain Jewelry

The best jewelry that looks expensive



Opting for chain-link necklaces and bracelets is the way to go. They're of the moment and don't necessarily have to cost a fortune to get the look.

Tank Dresses

In the dress realm, I'm all about a tank dress. While on the simple side, the silhouette is inherently chic and can look so sleek with your favorite accessories.

Slouchy Tees

The best oversized T-shirts for summer



My mom wanted to add a few new tees into her collection, so I suggested plain T-shirts in slouchier cuts because they feel modern and fashionable and thus more high-end.