How to Find Affordable Clothing that Looks High End

Have you ever seen someone wearing an outfit you love and you ask the person, where did you get that? You already have in your mind it must be some one of a kind, expensive specialty store you’ve never heard of and then they say….Old Navy or Zara or Target. You’re instantly shocked and wonder, ‘how does something look so high end when it’s so affordable?’ After years of shopping on a budget, I’ve mastered how to find affordable clothing that looks expensive…and I’m going to give you my secrets.

Affordable Clothing that Looks Expensive Who What Wear Red Floral Dress 4
Photos by Michelle Dorman Photography

Know what high end clothing looks like

If I could give you one tip, it would be this – if you want to find affordable clothing that has a high end look, then you gotta know what high end clothing looks like. For me, that was too easy because I’ve always swooned over Vogue magazine and spent my evenings pinning runway looks to my Pinterest boards. I instantly knew I needed this Who What Wear red floral dress from Target because it gave me visions of Gucci. If you know what designer clothing looks like, it’s easy to replicate the look for less.

Gucci red floral dress Who What Wear dress
Gucci left, Target right

Affordable doesn’t mean cheap

I specifically did not use the phrase how to make “cheap” clothing look expensive because I believe there is a difference between affordable and cheap. We’ve all seen those websites or been to stores where the clothing is deceivingly inexpensive. Frighteningly low priced clothing almost always doesn’t work in your favor and will end up falling apart and looking cheap.

Look for standout details

Subtle or standout details can be the difference between any red floral dress and this Who What Wear dress from Target. The silk buttons, gathering around the knee, and subtle slit give this dress a unique and more elevated look. I’m so amazed by how gorgeous it is!

Affordable Clothing that Looks Expensive Who What Wear Red Floral Dress

Seattle Fashon Blogger Hot Dress Hot Mess

Understand fabric types

When shopping for any clothing regardless of price, it’s important to know what the fabric is made of. Usually, linen and cotton are reliable and withstand multiple washes. I love fabrics like faux suede and faux leather but if you go too inexpensive, the fabric can look fake or be easily ruined. Finally, always be wary of acrylic, rayon, or polyester which tend to be low quality.

Affordable Clothing that Looks Expensive Who What Wear Red Floral Dress

Go for inspiration, not an obvious knock off

I am all about taking inspiration from designers, but I’m not a fan of obvious knock offs. Wearing a Chanel bag that is fake is 100 times worse than wearing a bag that slightly resembles Chanel. Let Chanel, Gucci, or Prada inspire your looks rather than buying a dupe.

Affordable Clothing that Looks Expensive Who What Wear Red Floral Dress

Find high end clothing that is affordable

High end clothing can be affordable! You know I’m a big fan of consignment shopping and that’s an amazing way to find designer and high end pieces for less. Find consignment stores that carry brand name and designer clothing and start going through those racks!

Who What Wear Tiered red maxi floral print dress

It’s all about fit

The fit of your clothing may be the most important part of how you look and feel. A good fitting pair of affordable jeans look so much better than an ill fitting pair of designer jeans. Opt for clothing that fits well over anything else. And if you find something that doesn’t fit, a tailor can be your new best friend!

Hot Dress Hot Mess Seattle Fashion Blogger Bailey Chauner

What are your tips for finding affordable clothing that looks expensive?

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6 thoughts on “How to Find Affordable Clothing that Looks High End

    1. Hey I’m wearing an extra small. I’m 5′ 3” and around 110 lbs. The length is perfect for me and the tie around the waist allows for tightening or loosening. Hope you find the perfect fit!

  1. I have a really hard time finding clothes that fit me well and look cute, so I don’t really enjoy shopping. I appreciate how you said that clothes that fit well affect how you look and feel. Maybe I should look into getting a personal stylist to find good-fitting clothes for me, and that way I won’t have to deal with shopping myself.

    1. Hey Violette! A personal stylist is always a great option or taking your clothes to a skilled tailor. My final advice would be to check out Stitch Fix who has given me some denim that fits perfectly. I always hate shopping for pants because I can never find anything that fits. If you have questions about Stitch Fix feel free to email me at 😘

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