Our stylists share their secrets to looking expensive on a budget

We all crave that designer bag or dress every once so often, especially when it comes to Fashion Week where all the latest trends flood IG feeds of influencers like Korean-American fashion stylist Chriselle Lim. While not everyone has the dream life of an influencer, we can certainly take a leaf or two out of their daily looks.

What then should you be getting or allocating your monthly clothing budget to when it comes to investing high end fashion brands? 

Hear from Girlsourced stylists Joyan Chan and Renata Grebliauskaite on their recommendations and find out how to maximise your wardrobe.

#1 INVEST IN LONG TERM ITEMS

Buy more staple items that you will actually wear repeatedly by understanding your own style.

“I’m all about classic staples. Blazers, turtleneck tops, light-coloured shirts, tailored high-waisted trousers, and don’t forget a good pair of jeans! ” – Joyan

“Handbag, trench coat and a blazer. Once you buy the right ones (perfect quality and great fit), they will serve you for many years, so the price at the end will seem not that big. Also, these items are well-sold in second market, if you decide one day to make some changes.” – Renata

#2 DON’T SPLURGE EXCESSIVELY ON TRENDY ITEMS

Trendy items come and go each season, so avoid buying too many of these to avoid overspending. What exactly is considered a trend?

Joyan shares that “a trend is something you wear it once ( and posted on your Instagram) then maybe you wouldn’t want to wear it again because it’s recognisable. Whereas you can wear a classic over and over again, mixing and matching to create new fresh looks every time.”

That is not to say that you should avoid them altogether. 

As Renata puts it, “Trends are temporary, classic is timeless. It’s a good feeling to be aware of the trends, as foremost they are a mirror of the social world, showing in symbols what the society lives in. Also, trends serves giving us a constant inspiration. Though my advice is to be aware in trends, but invest in classic wardrobe items first. “

Not every trend is worth investing in, but some do have comebacks such as pastel denims.

#3 SEEK QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

Investing in a product with better quality will last you for a longer period of time. Some retail partners under Girlsourced such as the sustainable People Tree and Thought, or the luxurious Cashmere in Love offer quality material that may cost more than the budget you are used to, but will go a long way. A bag brand that Renata advises to invest in is Bottega Veneta.

Budget conscious options are not without quality however.  For medium price points for trenchcoats and blazers, Renata suggests The Frankie Shop and for bags, Wandler, and By Far. She also shares that her go-to high street brands like COS, Arket, Uterque that offer both a reasonable amount of quality pieces at affordable price points.

Budget conscious options are not without quality however.  For medium price points for trenchcoats and blazers, Renata suggests The Frankie Shop and for bags, Wandler, and By Far. She also shares that her go-to high street brands like COS, Arket, Uterque that offer both a reasonable amount of quality pieces at affordable price points.

#4 ALL ABOUT THE BALANCE

Don’t hesitate to find the balance between high end and high street items. Avoid over styling.

Joyan advice is to”Narrow it down to wearing no more than two brands for a look. You wouldn’t want to become free walking ads for the brands you wear even if you love them so much. You are still your own personal brand. So try wearing your fav branded items with other non-branded items to strike and maintain a good balance.”

The ever infamous monogrammed look surfaces once in a while. Joyan’s recommendation is to take it easy with monograms. “Too many logos on you will make you look like a poster. Unless that is your signature style, you don’t need many logos to tell the world where you spend your money.” 

Looks from the Gucci Aria campaign. Photo credit: Gucci.

Renata adds, “If the aim of wearing logo-ed items is not to show off your status and you feel comfortable with it, why not. I would advise though, wearing one logo-ed item at a time. Louis Vuitton bag, Balenciaga shirt and Gucci sneakers altogether? No-no-no. The only way when two grand logos look good in one image is an official collaboration like the recent #GucciAria campaign.”

On mixing high street and high end, Renata emphasises on knowing your style. “First and foremost, be clear what your style is. The looks you create should represent who you are as a personality. And once you do the homework right, there’s no chance you’ll look like a walking branded ad, unless by choice. “

#5 AVOID KNOCK-OFFS

One of the greatest fashion faux pas (as well as a disfavour to designers) would be to purchase knock-offs.

Do your research or avoid items with visible branding that might be knock-offs from other brands. Also consider supporting indie brands with unique designs to stand out. On Girlsourced, you can find retail partners like Lily & Lionel that offer unique quality pieces, while numerous local designers like Gin Lee based in Singapore actually offer one of a kind designs that ensure you wouldn’t be wearing the same outfit as another lady at the same event.

Photo credit: Gin Lee Studios

If these tips were useful for you, you can benefit from so much more with a personalised session with Joyan or Renata.

Book them through the link below with their respective codes “JOYAN10” or “RENATA10”!

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