Working in fashion means you have regular close encounters with some of the most luxurious clothes and accessories out there. And while the job of a fashion editor may appear glamorous thanks to these privileges, it’s most often the case that our budgets don’t always stretch to actually being able to buy these designer pieces. Being exposed to the beauty of designer collections for so long—I’ve been in the industry ten years now—has given me rather expensive taste, and while I’ve gotten very good at knowing which pieces are genuinely worth investing in, I’ve also had to learn ticks and tips for how to shop designer-looking buys for less.
I’m a minimalist at heart, so my dream wish list is usually full of simple, elegant and timeless pieces that reflect a quiet kind of luxury—a The Row cashmere knit or a Max Mara camel coat would be on my fashion bucket list, for example. Yes, sometimes I will save up for the odd worthy Toteme buy or Loewe handbag to elevate the rest of my outfits. For my day-to-day wardrobe, however, I’ve gotten really good at finding equivalent, more affordable buys. You can take my weekly column on the most expensive-looking high-street buys as proof.
Over the years, I’ve started to notice some recurring trends and design details from my favourite luxury labels on the high street. And since I’m here to impart my top tips on how to shop designer pieces for less, I thought it was about time I shared my insights with you. For example, if it’s a cult Toteme knit that’s out of my budget, I know to look to H&M’s premium collection for something with a similar minimalist look; if it’s a pair of wide-leg trousers from The Row, I’ll turn to COS; or for chic coats and on-trend denim, I’ll check Arket in place of Raey. Of course, my pairings are up for debate and sometimes change with the seasons, but it’s a place to start when looking for affordable alternatives to those expensive designers.
Keep scrolling to see the specific high-street brands I look to when I want to shop designer-looking items for less.
Such an expensive-looking colour.
In my opinion, COS trousers can’t be beaten.
COS cashmere is such good quality.
An outfit I’d like to copy in its entirety.
I live in these Arket jeans.
Cable knits always looks so premium and they often appear in high-end collections.
Textured pieces always look more expensive.
This went straight into my basket.
No, that price isn’t a typo.
This also comes in a gorgeous grey and black.
Knitted trousers are cosy and chic for winter.
The perfect throw-on for cooler days.
Such a great pair of boots you’ll wear year after year.
Blazers are something both The Frankie Shop and & Other Stories do so well.
You can’t argue with a beautiful cream jumper for under £250.
This new-in dress is already selling like hotcakes.
I love the asymmetric hem on this skirt.