I went to the Topshop launch in the city last week and picked myself up a couple of things – a great skirt for under $100 and a top I’ve already worn a couple of times, I think that was about $50.

The Topshop launch: great fashion at affordable prices: I know this isn’t the cheapest of spends but in the scale of zero to high fashion, The Topshop launch and its ilk are admittedly at the lower end.

I’m sure I’m not alone in the fact a good portion of my wardrobe is at this high street level. I’m lucky enough to have a few special designer pieces but for day to day, if it’s affordable, if it suits me and if I like the look of it, it doesn’t take much convincing me to outlay these sorts of prices on things.

What I try to do though, is to dress things up to look more expensive than they are, especially for meetings, occasions or events. There are a few tricks to doing this so I’ll share my favourites with you:

  • Always buy the best you can afford. This is counter to what I’m saying about having a wardrobe full of cheap clothes but within the mid range of chain stores and lower end designers, the quality doesn’t vary greatly. Buy less but invest well and you’ll always look better than if you spend the same amount on a whole bunch of cheap clothes.
  • Pair things with good quality accessories. A leather shoe and great bag can really lift an outfit, as can some great jewellery from Mimco or even Adorne. Brisbane jewellery label Red Phoenix Emporium is another of my favourites.
  • Buy pieces that suit your shape and fit well. A dress can be as expensive as a mortgage payment but if it clings in the wrong places and doesn’t flatter you, it may as well be a cheap rag. Clothes that are made for your shape and are a good fit will always make you look better.
  • Consider length. The vast majority of skirts and dresses you’ll find in cheaper stores are way to short and come nowhere near knee-length (which is best for most women), which is a shame. Search for something that falls to the knee or just above and you’ll look a whole lot classier and better than in a shorter hemline.
  • Look after your clothes. That’s a sure-fire way to have them looking more expensive than they are. Even light summer dresses look so much better with an iron and having hung on a good hanger than if they’re folded and forgotten until the rush of getting ready.

Let me know if you have any other great tips, I’d love to hear from you.