Look Fancy Without Spending a Fortune
Forget what other people preach: looking fancy on a budget isn't as simple as collecting convincing costume jewelry or buying one really expensive classic piece and wearing it all the time. Pulling off a polished look—everywhere, not just as parties—is a nuanced, tricky challenge. But to prod your friends and family into wondering whose trust fund you inherited or how steep your last promotion pay raise was, we'd try these sneaky tips:
Instead of spending $100 on lackluster, simple black pumps, buy overly-complicated ones like these. With a metal cap toe and floral applique design, they seem like the spoils of someone who collects ridiculously elaborate, kitschy designer pairs like Prada's flame heels and Miu Miu's glitter sandals.
Tying a silk scarf to a top handle bag gives any daytime look an arrogant, preppy affectation. Team this bright Hermès orange one with some cat-eye sunglasses, and even the most drab jeans and t-shirt combo could look very Olivia Palermo-eqsue.
Choose a cocktail dress in a graphic, digitized print or a staunch peplum silhouette—or both. Not only do those two features hide tailoring defects, they also smack of higher-end designers like Mary Katrantzou or Peter Pilotto.
Swap weekend jeans for a pair of proper trousers. The cotton versions are no more fuss than denim (i.e., they're machine washable too) but they look so much more polished. (And these cost less than the last pair of jeans I bought. Eesh.)
Unlike slouchy leather envelopes and scuffed satin clutches, a metal minaudiere never shows signs of wear, so it'll look just as great eight years down the road as it does now. (The more shrunken, the better: it'll let people know you stash the rest of your valuables with your driver.)
If striking shapes or busy prints aren't your thing, elevate an affordable basic dress by choosing one with a slightly off-kilter silhouette. Like something Rick Owens or Margiela, this one feels a little subversive—but it won't cost more than your rent.
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