I’ve been known to forget my best friend’s birthday and often struggle to recall my own mobile number, but there’s one thing I’ve never forgotten — a throwaway tip stylist Gok Wan shared on TV five years ago
While it’s probably not as important to recall as said friend’s birthday, that tip has since become my golden style rule and served me well.
It’s simple, very cheap and instantly makes your clothes look far more expensive than they are.
All it takes is the addition of an accessory — and no, it’s not a fake four figure price tag.
Watch: Paula Joye explains the one item every woman needs in her wardrobe. (Post continues after video.)
Wan shared the advice on Gok’s Clothes Roadshow, in which designer and high street styles were pitted against each other in a themed runway show.
The audience had no idea which was which and voted for their favourite. More often than not it was the budget looks that came out on top, despite costing literally thousands less.
Evidently, the secret to making your budget buys look more expensive is to always hide the joining seams, or part where two items join.
The giveaway seams exposed and covered. Image: Supplied
This is because the little details like the seams, zips, hooks and buttons are the biggest giveaway of the quality of a piece of clothing.
Cleverly cover these features — particularly the clearly visible ones, like seams around the waist — and no-one need know your $10 bargain pick up isn't actually this season's Sass and Bide.
Take this simple, black jersey dress I picked up from H&M for $19.95. It's versatile and practical for work, yet so soft and cozy it's basically like wearing your pyjamas outside. I love it.
Before and after. Image: Supplied
While the draping makes for an interesting feature, a closer look reveals it wasn't exactly handstitched by a seamstress in a couturier. Multiple wears and washes has left it looking a bit well-worn.
So what do I do? Add a belt. Not only does it hide those giveaway signs around the seam, it also adds extra shape and interesting detail to break up the black.
The same applies for separates.
This $5 skirt picked up from a Paint It Red warehouse sale may just be my favourite style discovery this year. I team it with basic t-shirts, fancy tops and jumpers - it works with anything.
But following Gok Wan's advice, I'll always cover the point where the skirt and the top join with a belt, wrap or even a thick ribbon.
With the trademarks of cheap clothing, like the zipper and seams, hidden from prying eyes, the outfit looks more put-together and the waist is accentuated. Winner.
While I'm well aware the material and fit of some items may give their high street origins away no matter how many belts I wear, it's a quick and easy tip that makes a big difference on a very small budget.
A follow-on tip from Gok is to pay attention to the material of the piece you're buying - go for the highest quality at the price you can afford.
"Look for any kind of detailing – the cut is really important," he told the Mirror. (Post continues after gallery.)
Finally, another great way to make your clothes look more expensive it to ensure they fit perfectly.
Found something that ticks all the boxes save for being too big/small in one area, like the bum or waist? Find a good seamstress, shower her with compliments and get it tailored.
I've done it for cheap pleather leggings that now fit like a glove and look like leather trousers, as well as countless cheaper evening dresses. It's an added cost, but if the item is cheap in the first place it's well, well worth it.
What's your tip for making clothes look more expensive?
Featured image: Supplied