When your taste is more Prada than Penneys but your budget doesn't quite match, you can still look your true, polished, sophisticated self.
You don't have to spend thousands of euros to look more expensive. You don't really need to spend that much at all. If you already own some of the pieces we mention, take our advice and you might end up not spending a penny! There are some things you can do, though, that will require some effort and maybe a bit of spends. But it's worth it in the end when you get your upgrade to the top of the line or first class or wherever. In the fanciest of places, you'll look like you belong. Because you do belong.
Get it tailored
Jennifer Aniston gets her plain white t-shirts tailored. Her plain white tees. Getting your clothes to fit you exactly is the one thing to do to give your look an expensive edge. The rest, outlined below, are bonuses.
Line your skirt
When it comes to skirts, dresses and coats, lining is the difference between expensive and cheap. Get your tailor to add lining, or wear a slip (yes, they do still exist!).
This is where some creativity and collaboration comes int. Swap buttons on high street blazers, for example, to differenciate your New Look version from the next person's. If your dress comes with a belt, replace it with another.
Wearing one-colour head to toe may not seem like a 'style trick' per se, but how many times have you actually done it (black doesn't count!)? Wearing red from top to tip is not only a sure fire way to be the centre of attention (should you want to), it also gives you an air of confidence and style.
Only the confident can pull off white outfits. Think about those people you know who can wear white jeans. They always look good, don't they? You can do it too, if you're careful. Also, keep your whites white. Grey clothes that used to be white just look sloppy.
Or better still, steam it. No self-respecting crazy rich person would go around in wrinkled clothes. If you want to look expensive, your clothes should be crinkle-free. If you hate ironing, the steamer will be your new favourite gadget (and it's much more economically-friendly than hanging your dress up outside the shower.
Don't wash so much
You're probably washing your clothes too often. It's not really necessary unless they are dirty or very stinky. You can go without washing certain pieces of clothing like jeans and chunky jumpers for multiple washes. And if only one part of the item needs a refresh, give it an old dip in the sink. Also, it may be time to reintroduce yourself to Febreeze.
A great leather jacket, a proper trench and a good fancy winter coat will all contribute to an overall polished look. Get it dry-cleaned as often as it needs. When it gets cold, make sure your winter accessories - scarf, gloves, hat - look premium (even if they're from Zara), and that they match your outfit.
You need good support, you need to feel good. There is no need to deny yourself good underwear! Also, you will want the cleanest, smoothest lines for the rest of your clothes to glide over. Look after your underwear and you won't have to upgrade as often as you think.
Better than high street jewellery
I'm sure you have been given plenty of nice pieces of jewellery over the years. Wear those pieces instead of the rings that turn your fingers green. Buying good jewellery is a justified treat and lots of lovely, real pieces don't all costs a fortune. Here's why it's time.
Clever fabrics: faux suede, cotton, linen
Fabrics like linen, suede and cotton are not expensive but they look expensive. Treat them well and they'll reciprocate.
Consider your capsule wardrobe
Cut back on buying tons of trendy threads every season and instead focus on really nice basics. Earlier this month, I wrote about how to shop smart and conquer fast fashion - read about it here. If you need a simple reminder to stop you from splurging at the weekend, think of the 70/30 rule, where 70% of your wardrobe should be basics and 30% can be trends.
Polished brows, nails and hair
Don't camouflage your face with lots of makeup. The chicest women don't trowel it on; instead, they make sure they have a flawless base that only needs a little enhancement. But if you're not in a position to have your facialist on speed dial, there are little touches you can upkeep yourself. Well-groomed brows and a nice manicure (and, no, it doesn't have to be Shellac) will contribute greatly to your Park Avenue Princess look. A blow-dry will always elevate your look, but you can fake it at home with the right tool, like an InStyler, Babyliss Big Hair. If Santa is really good to you this year, he might bring the new curler from Dyson. That will do the job quite nicely indeed.
Now go forth and be your stylish self!