10 Ways to Style a Cheap Item to Make It Look Expensive

There are few things more gratifying than triumphantly transforming a super-affordable piece in a way that elevates it and makes it appear more expensive-looking than it actually is. Sure, investing in well-made staples is always well advised, but when the budget is tight or you simply want to take a stab at the high-low mix, a cheap item isn't necessarily always a faux pas.

Rather, it's all about the styling approach. You can make almost anything look pricier than it actually is just by the way you layer it on with your other wardrobe staples. A $5 Hanes white tee is instantly made Olsen-approved chic just by layering it under a blazer and wide-leg slacks with sandals. A floral dress from somewhere like H&M or Zara? Cinch a leather belt around it and accessorize with a Birkin-esque straw bag. Catch our drift?

There are so many ways to breathe new life into a budget-friendly piece when you've got an arsenal of tips. Speaking of, ahead we've rounded up the best ways to do this inspired by savvy influencers and included their under-$150 items so you can shop to get their look.

The Affordable Item: Sweatpants

Chic sweatpants outfit



Pair sweatpants with monochromatic pieces for a streamlined look. Even better if you stick to neutrals, as they tend to look the most luxe, even when you're wearing very casual peices.

The Affordable Item: Graphic Tee

Pair your tee with a fancier item, like a satin blazer, to elevate it in an instant. This is how to make your T-shirt and jeans night-out worthy.

The Affordable Item: Hoop Earrings

Gold hoop earrings



The subtle size of these hoop earrings makes it easy to camouflage their affordable nature.

The Affordable Item: Oversize Blazer

How to style a blazer



No matter the price, a slouchy blazer is always a smart choice. Think outside the box and layer it over another blazer (that's a little more fitted).

The Affordable Item: Polo Top

The texture and weight of this Zara knit is inherently expensive looking, so it's simple enough to pair it with jeans for a luxe look. While Lauren's is sold out, it's easy to find polos made of luxe-looking fabrics this season.

The Affordable Item: Black Pants

With basics, it's harder to tell when items aren't a top tier price point. Tie up your top like her for a cute twist on your classic white tee. 

The Affordable Item: White Button-Down Shirt

White button-downs are one of the most versatile items we own, so finding new ways to wear them is pretty easy. Our favorite at the moment? Just buttoning a few of the top buttons to show a sliver of skin. It'll look instantly designer.

The Affordable Item: Printed Top

Statement accessories like a metallic bag and platform shoes elevate this easy turtleneck outfit.

The post was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated.