Can’t Afford Designer Clothes? Here’s How to Look Expensive Without the $$

Posted February 17, 2017 by in Fashion

As Spring approaches, the fashion houses go into overdrive. We’re currently in the middle of fashion month, where influencers and editors sit front row at runway shows to lust over the latest 2017 trends.alike. Many of us can only dream of purchasing the next Tom Ford red carpet hero but there is a way of getting on-trend and up-to-date without having the budget to match.

A lot of fashion trends we see hitting the catwalks tend to find a way of carrying over to the next season, so one great way of making a saving is to subscribe to sites like Secret Sales or the London based, Cocosa.  Cocosa sees major design houses selling their last season must-haves at a snip of the price, including some mega brands such as Christian Louboutin. These companies don’t just focus on clothing though, you can find makeup and homewear too. You could also set up reminders to your favorite brands so you know when the latest sale goes live!

High streets tend to be quick off the market. Companies such as Primark and Forever 21 have a set of rules they need to follow when making similar styles to the big name designers.  One rule is there must be nine distinct changes. This can include the type of material, the way it is stitched, length of certain features and color.  While they need to be proved to be distinct changes on paper, often these subtle differences are hard to notice to the untrained eye, meaning you can have affordable fashion without anyone knowing the difference.

Wearing affordable fashion does mean you need to turn the attention off your style and focus it on other areas.  If you have big bouncy hair and on fleek makeup then you will feel great and convince others your style comes with an impressive price tag. If you have flat fly away hair then invest in some good products and sleep in rollers to give you bounce and shine. For wilder locks then find yourself a hair dryer for long thick hair and learn how to tame your mane.  Make sure your makeup is flawless by checking out some cool online tutorials or join a Facebook group like Mrs Gloss and The Goss.  

If you have a special occasion coming your way then you could make use of one of the hire shops online.  Realizing there was a gap in the market, the team at Dream Wardrobe built a capsule wardrobe of the most incredible designer finds and then grew the platform from the UK to the USA. The idea is, for a fraction of the cost, you can wear the latest designer dresses without anyone knowing you don’t own it. Sadly, you will know and it might be pretty hard to say goodbye when you return it.  Also, if you spill anything down your chest whilst eating dinner, you will have to pay for it which could be pretty expensive! Rent the Runway, another fashion rental company does have insurance for minor damage. Only $5!

Going Vintage is another unique way to get designer cool status. Most season trends draw inspiration from the past and Vintage is never out of fashion.  Some cool designers have emerged such as Dawn O’Porter who has a range called BOBBYDOP.  She sources vintage couture and creates her own designs which aren’t cheap but they affordable compared to most designer outfits. Most of her brand is named after old icons of screen or stage, or after her collection of uber cool pals from both her home country, the UK or her new place of residence, the USA.  Her advice is to get out there and search thrift shops and secondhand stores to find really quirky exciting pieces of fashion history.  We like her style!

Finally if you don’t want to fake it, make it.  You don’t have to be a fashion designer to recreate the latest looks. Just find yourself an online store selling the patterns, get your hands on some beautiful material and then get sewing. If you aren’t confident enough to do this yourself then head out to a local seamstress with photos and mood boards. There are loads of small companies who would love to recreate a bespoke version of something on the catwalk.  Plus, if you make a few tweaks then you can say it’s a piece from your new collection — Fashion Designer in the making!

Don’t be put off by large RRP’s, there are loads of ways to be chic and have your friends thinking you won the lottery. The most important tip of all? Be confident, put on your best smile and strut your stuff like you just stepped off the catwalk.

  • Petite Maison of Fashion February 19, 2017 at 9:27 PM

    Vintage is such a good idea!