How to Fake an Expensive Wardrobe

Is there any bigger compliment than when a stranger is compelled by the greatness of your outfit to approach you with the potentially embarrassing question, "Where did you get that?" This ego-boosting incident usually happens when you’re wearing your most luxurious-looking items, whether they were actually pricey or not.

So in the name of looking our most expensive, we had to ask: What is it that makes clothes look fancy? Fast-fashion stores like Zara and Topshop are experts on emulating the current designer trends in terms of prints, cuts, and style, but what’s a little harder to fake? Fabric quality.

But since we can’t all afford cashmere and silk, we figured we’d do a little research on the best affordable clothing materials that only look expensive, plus which cheap fabrics often belie their humble origins. With your clothing label know-how, you can make smarter and more luxurious fabric choices, even when you’re on a shopping budget. Just below, we're sharing our easy guide to shopping different materials of clothing and our favorite affordable finds. 

Now, even more affordable shopping ideas, care of Zara's new swimwear collection.

This post has been updated by Anna LaPlaca.