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 breath 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: Silk Camisole

A sheer top layered over the camisole gives the outfit multiple pieces of interest, so the focal point isn't all about the inexpensive bright camisole. 

The Affordable Item: Graphic Tee

The saturated colors in this graphic tee mirror the boldness of the expensive-looking bright blue coat, making the two seem both luxe. 

The Affordable Item: Hoop Earrings

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

The Affordable Item: White Blazer

No matter the price, a crisp white blazer is always a smart choice. Level up the luxurious look with other understated basics.

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.

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: Straw Hat

Straw hats are one of those items where there's not that much difference visually between a cheap and an expensive one. Pair it with an ethereal maxi, and you'll have a rich-looking look in a pinch.

The Affordable Item: Printed Top

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

The Affordable Item: Bucket Hat

The Affordable Item: White Sneakers

A statement sock paired with affordable sneakers is a smart way to make the basic shoes feel special.

Up Next: The color that will make any outfit look expensive.