This Is My Secret to Finding Expensive-Looking Pieces on the High Street

How do you buy good-quality, expensive-looking pieces without breaking the bank? As a fashion editor, it's a question I've wrestled with for many years—from my time at university right up to the present day. Over the last couple of years, it has also become a pressing issue faced by the wider fashion community, as people attempt to buy less but buy better. But it's always easier said than done though, right?


(Image credit: Joy Montgomery for Who What Wear)

The reality is that most of us don't have a spare £1000 to spend on a designer coat, and historically, the high street hasn't exactly been known for quality or longevity. However, over the last few years, it seems as though the likes of H&M, Uniqlo and M&S have finally clocked on to the demand for something more substantial. The result? A slew of dedicated high-street lines that commit to premium fashion with an accessible price point.

Personally, I've found these collections to be invaluable for discovering affordable yet expensive-looking gems. The brands are keen to separate these high-end offerings from the mainline collections and so put extra time and effort into making them feel special, which results in items that can end up feeling more designer than the designers themselves. After all, they can't just rely on their name to be a signifier of quality. The proof is in the product. Scroll down to shop my premium high-street edit.

1. Uniqlo +J

Uniqlo's collab with Jil Sander is the fashion girl's go-to for expensive-looking minimalist staples. From straight-leg trousers to trench coats, there's so much to love.

2. H&M Premium Selection

H&M's Studio collections and designer collabs famously sell out within days, but the brand's Premium Collection remains a consistent go-to for elevated basics.

3. Zara Atelier

Zara's Atelier dropped its first collection at the end of last year with a limited-edition line of coats shot by Paolo Roversi. A sign of good things to come. 

4. Whistles Limited Editon

If you're looking for easy-to-wear wardrobe heroes with a bit of a fashion-forward twist, then Whistles Limited Edition is worth checking out. Our fave piece this season is the brand's marble-print co-ord.

5. M&S Autograph

M&S was one of the first high-street brands to experiment with different lines to appeal to different audiences, and its Autograph has long been considered a fail-safe for design-led, high-end wardrobe heroes. 

6. ASOS Edition

ASOS White might not be around any more, but ASOS Edition is filling its place with premium event dresses, versatile tailoring and even the odd wedding dress.

Up Next: The Fashion Brands That Make Me Proud to Live in London