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Style & beauty

How to look expensive on a budget

(53 Posts)
HettyMaud Tue 10-Sep-19 21:34:11

No doubt some of you are like me - I spend most of my spare money on going out and on treats for my AC and DGS. Clothes for me are way down the list. I don't look anywhere near as smart as I did when I was younger. I feel as if I look as if I'm always wearing cheap clothes (which I mostly am). How can I achieve a more expensive look without breaking the bank? (Don't much enjoy shopping).

Doodledog Tue 10-Sep-19 21:42:35

Charity shops in expensive areas often have bargains, or look out for dress agencies, which sell on clothes for their owners.

Alternatively, search by brand on eBay. If you force yourself to go window shopping, you can get an idea of which brands you like. You can get some real bargains if you're lucky.

I used to buy expensive clothes when I was working, but since I took early retirement, I hardly ever buy new - it's much better for the environment, too.

Granny23 Tue 10-Sep-19 22:57:57

All my 'expensive' clothes were bought in thrift shops for a few £s, but my most admired outfit this year has been a summer weight knee length turquoise and white jacket/coat (£20 in Asda, reduced to £10 in their sale) worn with my existing navy skinny jeans and white or turquoise top. I think it is 'the way you wear them' rather than the price that makes for a stylish outfit.

tiredoldwoman Wed 11-Sep-19 05:55:54

Yes, my daughters buy the most gorgeous things from Primark and look beautiful and wealthy in them !
So how come I look like a sack of potatoes ?
It's definitely ' the way you wear them' as Granny23 says !

Beechnut Wed 11-Sep-19 06:50:06

I agree with Granny23and tiredoldwoman. My daughter has the ‘she could look good in a sack’ look and me, well.......

Nortsat46 Wed 11-Sep-19 07:09:42

These are my tips ...
I never wear more than two colours, including shoes.
I never wear more than three pieces of jewellery.
I don't buy many clothes and always in the sales, so I buy the best pieces I can afford but in a limited palette of colours. (I watch the sales on line and often get offered pre sale previews).
I think co-ordination and combinations of things which work together, are key. Then you can buy fewer, better quality items, which last for years.

GinnyHendricks Wed 11-Sep-19 07:36:41

I think fit is everything, don’t buy or wear anything if the fit isn’t quite right. Decent accessories (bag and shoes)

Good posture, hair and subtle makeup if you wear it.

Keep an eye out for people you think look great and are a similar shape and size and similar colouring and make a mental note (real people out and about, in magazines, on tv) and get scouring the charity shops for good fabrics. Have things altered if necessary.

A cheap top can be made something else entirely by a silk or cashmere scarf (birthday gift?)

Newquay Wed 11-Sep-19 07:55:29

Just been on annual family jolly and felt quite smart (but relaxed of course). Was proud to keep saying this top, trousers etc were older than my eldest DGD who turned 23 when we reached home. They’re all good quality items, only worn once a year. No landfill cheap stuff from (smug!) me.

J52 Wed 11-Sep-19 08:05:02

My suggestions are; buy classic styles in natural materials, even if they’re blends with some man made to make them cheaper.
Try to keep to a classic colour palate, no neons and sparkle or brights kept for accessories.
Be open in your shopping browsing, in the summer I bought two plain Linen blend dresses in a shift style from Bon Marche. They look every bit as good as ones four times the price, especially worn with Italian leather sandals and chunky silver jewellery. ( which I’d gathered over the years).
Some less expensive shops do great jeans, the cut is important to your shape, not the price.

Tearoses Wed 11-Sep-19 09:54:15

You can get expensive looking pieces in Primark, H&M, TK Maxx and the like, but you do need to be prepared to look at a lot of stuff to find them.

Dressing for your shape, subtle make up, finding time to go through your current wardrobe and weed out anything unsuitable or past its best cost nothing.

As PPs have said, not too many clashing colours and block colour rather than pattern is a good start.

I think delicate jewellery looks more expensive, even if it is not precious metal, providing your skin is not allergic. I have to wear real gold or silver earrings, as I react to nickel, but have some lovely delicate studs that I've had for some years, and they did not cost a lot.

Maybe you already have some clothes, shoes, jewellery or bags that you could wear more until you find extra pieces to work with them.

I'm trying to be helpful and hope this doesn't come across as patronising. smile

lovebeigecardigans1955 Wed 11-Sep-19 10:03:03

My advice is to go for simple styles without too much fussy detail - it's the details which go in and out of fashion. I wear old clothes most of the time and while they may not be the height of fashion they haven't really dated either.

fizzers Wed 11-Sep-19 10:09:33

Buying clothing is way down on my list of priorities these days, I don't go out socialising all that often but when I do I look half decent! I stick to classics, plain colours and some decent accessories and jewelry.

I also shop in Primark, charity shops, anywhere in fact, it's how you wear it not how much it costs that counts.

Missfoodlove Wed 11-Sep-19 10:12:51

Try jeans, chinos or trousers until you get the right ones. Persevere and don’t accept OK!
Once you know they wash and wear well get them in different colours. eBay is great once you have the size and style.
Add a belt, V neck cashmere or merino jumper and loafers.
Change the look with shirts and tops.
Sparkle and glitter rarely look good.
Make sure bag and shoes match.
Deichman see below do great classic shoes at great prices.

Disgruntled Wed 11-Sep-19 10:47:05

I'm completely with Doodlebug. I no longer even enjoy looking in 'real' shops - much more sense of fun and luck with charity shops, dress agencies and EBay.
Besides, if you buy 2nd hand designer, they might be less likely to have been made by slaves or child labour....

Kirstyfiona Wed 11-Sep-19 10:48:04

I find the cheaper the make of garment the bigger size l buy as expensive brands build in “vanity room” and Primark etc are cut quite skimpily.
Darker colours generally look more expensive than pale ones but I’m not sure why!!

Diane227 Wed 11-Sep-19 10:57:09

Its the sizing which affects me most. Just sending two pairs of jeans back which I ordered regular length and are 3inches too short. Last week I returned black trousers as regular size was too long. I dont enjoy trying on in fitting rooms as thing dont look the same as when you get them home so prefer to buy online.
This Summer I managed what is referred to as a capsule wardrobe . A few decent pieces which intermatched. Wore them all season.
Ive given up trying to be smart . It makes me feel uncomfortable.

Gingergirl Wed 11-Sep-19 11:09:49

I also don’t enjoy shopping now so I go on my own, at my own pace. I think fit is the key. It doesn’t matter where you buy it...if it doesn’t fit right on you, it looks a mess. I don’t write a shop off because the fit of some clothes are different to others-I’ve just bought a winter padded jacket in m&s (£35) because it did have the features I wanted but the fit was good on me. Some of their clothes look dreadful! I have a pair of primark shoes that have lasted me about ten years and cost a fiver...they’re comfortable and I’ve worn them everywhere-just plain black ‘suede’ pumps. Likewise, I have stuff from there that just fits and looks awful...definitely a mistake! So, I think it takes time and effort I’m afraid....maybe look online at some shops first...and then go to them and try least you then know what you’re looking for...

Nico97 Wed 11-Sep-19 11:27:00

I think the key to always looking good, even in old and tired clothes, is having a good hairstyle and make up - they can lift the dreariest of outfits.

Bellocchild Wed 11-Sep-19 11:36:36

Finding brands and styles that suit my body shape and watching carefully for discounts and sales works well for me. I prefer a limited colour palette too.

marpau Wed 11-Sep-19 12:01:12

EBay and Vinted for me. I know which brands I like and mainly buy new with tags. I shudder when I see items in shops at full price.

Theoddbird Wed 11-Sep-19 12:10:23

Definitely eBay. I have bought Monsoon and other good makes in the past for a few pound. M&S Per Una is worth looking out for. Look for cotton and linen blends. Happy hunting.

Happiyogi Wed 11-Sep-19 12:11:09

HettyMaud, how about reducing what you spend treating others? Many children have bedrooms heaving with unwanted five minute wonder "stuff", or spend their free time being taken to expensive entertainments in an attempt to stave off boredom.

I think your family might actually be very happy to have old fashioned time and attention from a Gran who clearly values herself and her appearance! I don't mean in a selfish, vain way. But, a bit like the airline advice, put on your own safety equipment before attending to others?

TrendyNannie6 Wed 11-Sep-19 12:32:29

I actually think the key to getting it right is starting with good hairstyle n subtle make up nice manicured nails, keeping away from all oversized patterns and garish colours that make people look like pat butcher, sorry pat, love you really, and make sure they are a good fit, and wearing the correct size bra:

Coconut Wed 11-Sep-19 12:35:49

Try “everything£” I’ve bought some lovely things over the past couple of years. There’s lots of weird stuff on there, but also lots of staples and lots of really special clothes too.

Coconut Wed 11-Sep-19 12:38:01

Sorry that should be “”