Sometimes it’s hard to understand why designer clothes cost as much as they do. Admittedly, a decent chunk of the price discrepancy between non-designer and designer items has everything to do with the fancy labels. But another part of that astronomical price tag is legitimately deserved. Designer clothes, after all, are simply made well. The finishes are superior, the fabric more expensive and the general quality far and away beyond the average wear-it-once frocks you find at stores like Forever21.
That said, four digits for a cocktail dress is still quite a lot to wrap one’s head around. So here’s one for all the ladies (and gentlemen) who are appalled at the idea of spending much on clothes but still want to look classy. Take the jump and you’ll find five really easy tips for making cheapie items look far more expensive than they are.
1. Change the Buttons
Perfectly passable inexpensive pieces are given away time and again by their crappy buttons. The good news is that all you have to do is go to a fabric store, buy more expensive looking buttons and replace those junky plastic ones. If you’re feeling particularly lazy, you can even pay someone $5–10 to do it for you.
2. Alter It
I’m starting to feel like a broken record, but I really can’t tell you how much of a difference slight alterations make. Shorten the hems on your bargain pants and you’ll look chic rather than vaguely like you’re trying to sweep the streets. Taper your pencil skirt just slightly to give it some shape. Nip the waist of that dress or those pants in and your outfit will automatically look more expensive.
3. Belt It
If your cool, inexpensive new dress comes with a sash, chances are that said sash is junky looking. Ditch the flimsy faux-silk ribbon in favor of a thicker, less synthetic one from a craft or fabric store. Or, better yet, lose the sash altogether and add a nice belt.
4. Fabric Is Important
Style you can fake, fabric you cannot. Regardless of how great the shape is, cheap fabric is always obvious. Stay away from anything that’s more than 20 percent synthetic. Shiny things, too, take you down a dangerous road.
5. Buy Expensive Accessories
You’ve saved money on the dress and jacket, so buy a kick ass pair of shoes. Not only will they look better now, they won’t fall apart next month. Cheap shoes, much like icky fabric, look obvious. Same goes for bags and belts. Every girl should own at least one nice purse and belt.