It’s no secret that designer brands are viewed as, for the most part, the center of fashion. When looking at companies like Louis Vuitton and Chanel, and looking at designers like Alexander McQueen and Tom Ford, their designs tend to hold the “standard” for what is fashionable, at least for the season they’re designing for. Their New York Fashion Week collections will inevitably create a new trend or new idea for the rest of the fashion industry to follow.
For most of us, though, especially college students, it really is not realistic to try and find ways to afford luxury styles. Designer items like a runway-ready Chanel gown or a Louis Vuitton custom coat are typically left to the celebrities — the people that the companies are confident will promote their brand in the best, most profitable way. Take Alexander McQueen for example. His most basic pair of sneakers can run upwards of $600 at stores like Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. So for those that really value staying on trend and wanting to follow along with the most fashionable, it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’ll need to find an easier and cheaper way.
It’s very simple to look “designer” without breaking the bank. Let’s follow along with the Alexander McQueen example. If you go to their Instagram page and look at their newest drop, one general theme becomes very clear: all of the items have a very cinched and defined waistline. And this does not only pertain to women’s clothing; McQueen pretty much keeps the same waistline for the men’s collection, too. This style of clothing holds on to androgyny, essentially a fluidity between what is traditionally considered men and women’s clothing. Androgyny is a style aspect that is becoming more and more mainstream, especially with the biggest designers. This concept is a great way to stay on trend, if that’s something that you find compelling.
It’s best to start with the basics. A key note in wanting to look designer, which basically just means expensive or put together, is sticking with clean cut lines and simplicity. There is a reason that the most classic styles are just that — classic. Your average jeans and a t-shirt look has been around since before the 70s, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. The little black dress in the back of your closet will always be a safe bet. Knowing how to enhance these pieces and incorporating them into your everyday wardrobe is a very important factor in keeping up with the most fashionable for the least amount of money.
Once you have your basic items, keep that in the back of your mind when choosing the next item. Call this your interest piece, something that will really take your average, everyday clothes to the next level. This will make it look like you really put thought and effort into your style. This piece can range anywhere from a really cool necklace or a belt to an interesting pair of shoes. Now I’m a little biased, I love a good high heel and I think it could add a ton of interest to an outfit, and they even work with jeans and a t-shirt. But that’s just me. If you want to follow that chic designer look like Alexander McQueen has, a belt would definitely be your best bet. Take any loose fitting shirt — I say a button-down — and a classic, sleek black pant, and find a non-traditional belt that you love; the interest piece really is where you can let your personality shine through. You can find these at Target or Amazon for so cheap, but make sure you can adjust it. Now instead of putting it in your pant loops, put it around your waist, and pull out some of the shirt so that the fabric is hanging over your belt. This creates that cinched waistline that takes your otherwise basic items and turns them into a stylish, chic, put together outfit that everyone will love. It still stays with the comfortable classics, just a little elevated.
These styles look great on everyone. Taking what is already in your closet and adding just the simplest pop of interest or color can really take your style from good to great, and you don’t even have to open your wallet to do it.