During these dog days of summer I find myself wearing a lot of low priced fashion. I will actually call it “cheap” fashion, because I’m not talking about quality pieces I find on sale or pieces from designer outlets, but the truly low-priced, inexpensive and not-of-such-good-quality stuff I get from stores like Target, Kohl’s and H&M! I wear these pieces on days when the only person I will see is the check-out lady at the grocery store. These clothes are comfortable, care-free and I can throw them into the washing machine. For the price, I don’t even care if they make it out of the machine in one piece, but most are polyester (the horror) and come out looking great! Even if the apparel is cheap and no one sees me on a given day – I still want to look good! So here are some tips for shopping and styling low-priced fashion.
1. Purchase black and white pieces. The irregular top-stitching or lack of finishing altogether will not show up in basic black and white. For example, you can wear a cheap black t-shirt with a designer skirt or cheap black pants with a designer blouse and no one will know the difference.
Black and simple: labworks Women’s Criss Cross Back Dress from Target, now $12.24
2. Get trendy pieces on the cheap! Go ahead and get that sportswear-inspired mesh top, romper or jumpsuit at discount stores. You may only wear it a few times anyway and then you can give it away next year. Oh and I still think these pieces should be purchased on sale even from the inexpensive store.
Trend for less: Target Junior’s Mesh Sleeve Top, now $15.28
3. Prints: Warning! Proceed with Caution! The right print on a low priced piece will often blur the bad construction and therefore can look like designer fashion. But please beware of prints that make the item look cheap! Does it look like a Pucci or a really bad Cavalli? If you see animal faces in the print, avoid purchasing it! If the large plaid does not match at the seams, don’t get it!
A good print: OASAP Vintage Bird Print Bodycon Dress, $36.90
4. Do buy pieces from designer collaborations! Designer pieces have a lot more style and detail than other lines at discount department stores. As long as you don’t have you heart set on a particular piece, these collaborations always go on sale after a few weeks anyway so if you wait you can really get a steal. It is not like everyone (except savvy shoppers like yourself) know where you got these pieces. I receive many compliments and find myself explaining about the collaborations from Target, Kohl’s and H&M.
Kohl’s Designer Collaboration: Peter Som for DesigNation Striped Sweater Tank, now $20
5. Go big or go home. Buy a bigger size. First of all, H&M, Zara, Forever21 and some other lines are cut for juniors, so always reach for the next size up to make sure it fits you properly. Cheap clothes look a lot better a little big and can look absolutely terrible when they’re too tight! I recently bought a sweater in an XL (I usually wear a S) and it worked beautifully – boyfriend style! A tank a few sizes too big can become a workout coverup. Always try on a bigger size and you may be able to turn a mini dress into a tunic!
Get it big: Joe Fresh™ 3/4-Sleeve Cable Sweater, now $9.99
6. Mix High with Low. Throw in at least one high-end piece with your low-priced ensemble. Wear your best shoes or handbag for instant confusion! With the proper choices, fit and styling, no one will know if your are wearing high or low!
– Carol Calacci
Image Layout: Second City Style
Tags: black and white pieces, Carol Calacci, Derek Lam for DesigNation, designer collaborations, designer fashion, discount stores, H&M, High Low Fashion, Joe Fresh, Kenneth Cole Outlet, Kohl's Designer Collaboration, Kohls, labworks dress, Lanvin Trilogy Bag, low priced fashion, machine wash, OASAP, Peter Som for DesigNation, prints, styling, styling cheap fashion, Target, tips for shopping, Trend for less