Hello. I’m luxuriating in bed this Sunday morning and decided to put this “Luxury for Less” post together, as I was reflecting on how many of my clothes are so reasonably priced, but when I am dressed for work, I always get compliments and I always get asked which designers I wear.
Secret 1 – Simple Colour Palette
If you are a long time follower of my blog, you will know I stick to a very simple colour palette.
The reason I have such a limited palette is that these colours suit me, and if I buy within a palette, I know that everything is inter changeable and so I will always look “put together”.
Warm Pink/Peach is a great neutral. It looks sophisticated and feminine, and for my fair skin is super flattering. Depending on your skin tone different levels of pink will suit you. For my it is a warm pinks as I have a cool/pink skin tone. My daughter however is olive skinned so the more golden tones work for her, heading into more tan than peach.
I can easily go into Zara, H & M, Top Shop or even Target and pick up a simple shirt or top in this shade and with the right accessories it looks expensive and “designer”. A simple silky blouse will lift any outfit and give that luxury for less look
2. Statement jewellery
I don’t invest in expensive jewellery. For the size and style of the bling I want to wear, I’d be spending millions. So my solution is to buy fashion jewellery, such as Lovisa, in rose gold, grey, and black and because it is so cheap you don’t need to wear it often to get value. When knew this costume jewellery looks fantastic. I do buy designer jewellery sometimes, such as Marc Jacobs or Ted Baker. People do notice these luxury for less pieces and comment.
3. Entry level designer pieces
You can create an overall designer look with sunglasses, belts, scarves jewellery from designer labels. For example, I have a pair of Prada reading glasses, which were $500 (I know cough cough) but when I wear them, it makes me feel designed from head to toe. I also know that when I need to impress, people do look at the smallest details and that is an area that you can look wealthy, without needing to be.
That is not to say that I prefer my Prada glasses over my Oscar Wylee, because I actually prefer the Oscar Wylee, and because they are the uber fashionable clear style, it doesn’t matter what their label is.
I am a big believe in buying the best quality genuine handbag you can afford. I would never purchase a fake, as they look cheap and it cheapens the entire outfit. I purchase less expensive designer, on special, sI have a lovely quilted black DKNY and gold shoulder bag, a black Armani handbag, and Guess tote in palest pink. I also have a Witchery cream tote for shopping trips or long days.
There are designer and I will use Michael Kors here, who sell expensive bags that are complete copies “inspired by” the highest end luxury. Why would I spend $500+ for a copy of a designer bag?
I would rather purchase an original design from a less expensive designer than have a Michael Kors look-alike of a Valentino Rockstud tote or Chanel Classic Flap/Chain Around. It just looks unimaginative and when I see so many Michael Kors I know he must bedoing well out of it, but I just don’t like it as a concept.
Adding a special designer scarf to an outfit can lift the entire look, but if designer scarves are out of reach, the shops like Country Road, Zara, Witchery, Top Shop, all have beautiful inexpensive options, especially if you wait for the sales. This is also the best time to buy designer. I never pay full price on a bag, ever.
4. Knowing where to invest
For me, I prefer to invest in one or two designer pieces, that I can mix and match with less luxurious items. For example, a pair of incredible shoes, that transform an outfit. In the past that would have been some soaring heels, but these days with arthritis on my knees, I stick to kitten heels and moderate wedges with a front platform so less angular. I do think that shoes tell a lot about you. I notice when women’s shoes are scuffed and battered, and it lowers the tone of the entire outfit, so if you can get your designer shoes kept in good condition, think about buying simple basics. Currently I have some Target patent leather pointed toe kitten heels in nude and black as well as a pair of suede wedges, which serve as great basics. Better to wear shoes that are cheaper but in good condition that
Currently I have some Target patent leather pointed toe kitten heels in nude and black as well as a pair of suede wedges, which serve as great basics. Better to wear shoes that are cheaper but in good condition that bank breaking designer shoes that are ratty.
As I mentioned above, I buy the best quality bag in a designer label I can afford, when it’s on sale, that a label that’s just a couture copy. I’d rather have a quality DKNY bag ($550 reduced to $225) than a cheap fake.
5. Timeless Styles
For designer purchases, go with a classic designer style that is timeless. It will lift any look. Think Ray Bans, Levis, Adidas, Chanel No 5. These are timeless pieces from brands that haven’t changed for decades. Trends come and go but these staples will always remain.
6. Neutral make up and natural nails
I tend to head towards the rose golds for my eye shadow (the Naked Palette 2 by Urban decay is my go-to palette). For like I use a pinky brown lip liner with a lipstick that is in the peach shades. I use a warm pink blush and golden highlighter from an Hourglass palette and my nails are always one of the colours in my colour palette. I try to keep my nails neutral so they go with any outfit.
7. Garment Care
No matter how much you spend on a garment, if you don’t iron/steam wrinkles it looks keep. Invest in lint rollers (keep a big one at home and one in your bag). If you winter coat is a light colour, and starting to get grotty looking, get it dry cleaned. Get rid of stained garments and underwear.
A quick once over with a lint roller if you have a pet (I have a long haired cat who sheds everywhere) will keep you looking immaculate.
8. Classic pieces
A linen shirt, a good coat, well fitted jeans, faux leather jacket, pumps, sandals, boots, a pencil skirt, a pair of palazzo pants, a lace dress. If you get each of these items within the colour palette you will always look polished.
9. Well fitted clothes create luxury for less
I always need to get my pants taken up. By making sure your clothes fit, they look polished and expensive. If you need tailoring it is so inexpensive to find an alterations shop and have it don’t professional. Ill fitting closes can ruin a beautiful outfit. Ensure you buy you true size and be honest with yourself. A size too small will actually make you look heavier that just going up a size.
10. Buy designer dupes
I know, I know, earlier I said I disliked “fakes”, but I do think that there is a place for high street brands to copy trends, not garments. Each year a designer will bring out a trend, e.g. fluffy mules. Enjoy the trend without having to look at them next year and realised how much money you’ve spent on a single season trend. While I don’t agree with expensive rip off handbags, I have no issue with “designer dupes” of on trend items. This year it was fluffy mules and quirky heels.
There are many cost effective brands such as Zara, H & M and Top shop that all follow the catwalks, and bring out shoes and bags that are inspired by, but not copies of, designer label trend items such as studs (Valentino) etc. I like to be on trend, but I don’t like having to wear things that are passe next year, so investing in the original makes no sense if I was to lift an outfit and be on trend now.