One thing I get asked a lot is how I shop on a budget and still put together stylish outfits.
Yes, my wardrobe is practically bursting at the seams, but it’s filled with pieces I love to wear – and it’s also the perfect balance of bargains and investment pieces.
Here’s the style rules I’m living by this season to make my look high-end, whatever by budget.
1 \\ CHOOSE CLASSIC WITH A CONTEMPORARY TWIST \\
I try not get caught up with trends too much and like to pick pieces I know won’t date. I don’t think you can go wrong with a polka dot, especially when it’s in a more luxurious looking fabric.
LA based online boutique Tobi (who ship to the UK for free with VAT and duties paid, FYI) kindly let me pick some pieces from their site and I fell in love with this Penelope black polka dot blouse* straight away. Tied at the front, I’ve made it into a DIY wrap top and also plan to wear it back to front for a backless look. It’s the perfect balance of showing some skin, but still being effortlessly chic, especially with these gorgeous sleeves.
2 \\ DISTRESSED DENIM IS THE ONE \\
I’m super fussy when it comes to denim. I like skinny jeans, but not too skinny; distressed, but not too distressed; long enough to not look like I’m wearing child’s jeans (I’m just over 5ft 8 so cropped jeans just look a bit ridic on me), but still showing a ‘lil ankle.
I think denim looks more expensive when it’s a bit more ‘lived in’ and, instead of random knee rips that seem to have infiltrated the high street, the distressed look is much more authentic looking.
I’ve tried so many jeans over the years, but Zara is my absolute fave. Most of their jeans full price are between £19.99 and £29.99 and they are so long lasting. I picked these ones up in the winter sale for £12.99 and tend to go a size smaller than what feels comfortable when I first try them on – it might sound odd but after even half an hour of wear, I feel they loosen and fit perfectly after that.
I love these jeans from Zara, similar to the ones I have on.
3 \\ HATS OFF TO THAT \\
Okay, hats might not be for everyone, but all I ask if you give it a chance. Bad hair day? Stick a hat on. Want to feel extra af? Stick a hat on. Outfit lacking that wow-factor? Stick a hat on and, voila, you look seriously stylish.
I picked this one up a few years ago for £1 in Primark – always have a nosy around the reduced racks in Primark, because you really never know! There’s a similar one from ASOS here.
Whenever I wear a hat, people always comment on it (in a nice way!) and I feel a bit more put together. Oh, I should say – maybs avoid the hat on an exceptionally windy day. I have been known to chase my escaping hat down Buchanan Street after it became victim of the high winds…
4 \\ GIVE A WOMAN THE RIGHT PAIR OF HEELS… \\
You’ll see from my Instagram that I love a pair of trainers – I think you can make them look more high end with a pair of leather trousers and a good coat, but nothing beats a good pair of heels to have you feeling your best.
They don’t even need to be mega-high-can-hardly-walk-in heels, but adding a bit of height with a good ankle boot can really transform an outfit. I feel more in charge with a pair of heels on and these sock boots from Primark are comfy too without breaking the bank.
If you’re still not sold on the heels, I’d still try go for a pointed toe and keep the boots quite plain – sometimes extra embellishment and details just cheapen the look and a plainer boot is more versatile, too.
5 \\ CHOOSE YOUR ACCESSORIES WISELY \\
It might be a cliche, but less is seriously more when it comes to accessories. Understated is key – do not forget this!
I find gold works best to bring a look together and I mix designer and high street to create my style. I always usually wear a belt, usually with gold hardware as I think it perfectly breaks up an outfit and adds just the right about of detail.
With handbags, I tend to pick a chain handle with minimal detailing. Quilted faux leather can look so much more expensive too. Finish the look with delicate gold jewellery, like fine gold pendants on chains, stacking rings and bracelets.
Of course, my outfits rarely miss my Gucci belt, which is honestly one of the best investments I’ve ever made. The one I got is linked here.
Photography | Victoria M Style
This post contains PR samples. All words and opinions my own.