How to Make Your Outfit Look Expensive on a Fast-Fashion Budget

I have a full-time nanny now, I just renovated my kitchen, and I recently upgraded my car. How's that for some major expenses? It’s safe to say I’m pinching pennies wherever possible right now. There is only one little problem. I love (with a capital L) to shop. I mean, as market editor, I practically do it for a living, and with a slew of new spring trends on the horizon, how do I look plush and fancy and keep my style game strong on a fast-fashion budget? The key is to consider specific items and elements that make a piece look much more expensive than it actually is. Think about the fabric, hue, silhouette, and detailing. Below, I’m sharing some ritzy pieces that only look like they cost an arm and a leg. Because it's pretty satisfying when someone thinks your Zara purchase is designer, right?

Mock Croc

Style Notes: This trending textured fabric looks upscale and pricey, especially when it comes in a sumptuous dark-chocolate hue. Luckily, there are some great affordable options to get the look.

50 Shades of Beige

Style Notes: From camel and cream to biscuit and ecru, soft neutral hues in a variety of textures make an outfit seem definitively more expensive. Wear it from head to toe for a luxury look.

Pearl Drop Earrings

Style Notes: It's not easy to tell the difference between real and faux pearls, so channel your inner Chanel (on a fast-fashion budget!) and get your hands on some of the less expensive drop pearl earrings on the market right now.

Satin

Style Notes: Silky satin fabrics always look expensive, especially in jewel tones and metallic hues. Try a slip skirt over slouchy knee-high boots and a soft sweater.

Tweed

Style Notes: Tweed is a favorite among royalty (Kate Middleton is a fan) and is the staple fabric of Chanel. It adds a touch of elegance to every fashion girl's outfit. Try a chic tweed minidress or skirt suit. For an edgier look, pair it with chunky dad sneakers or combat boots.

Silk-Print Scarf

Style Notes: Commonly associated with luxury fashion house Hermès, a silk scarf will elevate any outfit. Because pure silk can be pricey, try a sateen one instead for the same effect. Tie one around your neck, your ponytail, or your favorite handbag.

Faux Fur

Style Notes: Nothing says fancy-schmancy quite like a plush faux-fur coat. Go for one that's long and slightly oversize for a statement, opulent look.

Velvet Headband

Style Notes: The easiest (and most affordable) way to make your outfit look more expensive is with an elegant headband. A thick, plush velvet one (a favorite of Kate Middleton's) looks rich and fancy.

Top-Handle Bag

Style Notes: The pretty handbag loved by royals and the fashion crowd alike is a huge trend for spring. It adds instant polish to absolutely any ensemble, elevating even the simplest jean-and-tee outfit. If it's good enough for the royals, it's good enough for us!