A fashion editor’s guide to looking expensive

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Chanel, Prada, Hermes and Dior – oh how we love them but our credit account cringes at first sight of the “designer” rack at David Jones or Saks online. Yes, it’s a harsh reality, we crave the expensive pieces, the luxe look and the highly coveted new runway collections but wearing head-to-toe expense is basically wearing our grocery money. Some simple changes in our wardrobe and way of thinking can leave us looking like we’ve just stepped from front row at NYFW only without eating baked beans for the rest of the month.

Ensure everything is freshly pressed
Even the most expensive of crisp blouses, linen blazers or Palazzo pants look like Target sale rack picks if you leave the house without ironing them properly. A stiff collar and pin-straight seam can take the most basic of pieces to high-street glam. If ironing isn’t your thing, pay somebody – it’s a worthy investment.

Whites must be white
If those sparkling cotton pieces aren’t looking quite so sparkling anymore, either get out the bleach or ditch them. Off-white is fine as long as it was never supposed to be pure white. Nothing says cheap like yellowing whites.

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Don’t underestimate the power of an in-expensive cotton T-shirt
Under a double-breasted blazer, with some skin-tight trousers, over-sized sunglasses and chunky bling, a cotton T-shirt is about to become your new best friend. Stock up in white, grey and black for wardrobe staple pieces. The best part is whether you paid $5 or $50, nobody will be able to tell except you.

Layer with coats and jackets
Take your outfit to the next level with a camel trench coat or classic black blazer. They don’t have to be new-season or top shelf, just make sure they’re good quality and versatile with the rest of your wardrobe. Dramatic layers adds value, style and luxe to any basic outfit.

Glam up some old denim
The old favourites, the jeans in the perfect dark blue shade that make our legs look great and our butt look even better – it’s a shame they are 2011 Myer and not quite worthy of that new bar opening after work tonight. Add some statement heels (just make sure the hem is long enough), a crisp blazer and a chunky necklace and viola, those errand-running jeans are ready to hit the photo wall.

Accessories with gold and bronze
Luxe tones like gold and bronze over colours instantly says top dollar and top shelf. Gold-plated pieces are perfectly acceptable – just make sure nobody knows.

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Style pieces like a pro
The most in-expensive of pieces can look like something from the pages of a magazine if you know how to wear them. Take a styling class, read-up or watch some YouTube tutorials – whatever it takes, get to know your body shape and what looks good on you. Have this art perfected and you’ll be able to take any outfit from drab to fab.

Dress head to toe in tones
White, taupe, grey or nude – head-to-toe in one tone says sophistication, impeccable styling and expense. Invest the time to find the perfect tonal pieces and team with bold accessories to create a less to luxe look.

Clinch, tailor and shape
Add a belt, tuck in a shirt or have a waist nipped in few inches. A shapely silhouette, while very Amal Clooney, also looks very expensive (well obviously). Keep the look simple yet classy and you’ll forever asked who it’s by.