Buy This, Not That: How to Make Your Outfits Look More Expensive

Happy Friday, loves!

Is it just me, or is this month basically flying by without any real slow down? I cannot believe we are already more than halfway through the first month of the new year, but I guess I should considering how much faster time goes by with four kids than it did before.

I’m loving it, though. This is an exciting year for me and my family with all that we have going on, and it’s so much fun to live through it a day at a time – even if it feels like those days fly by. Since it’s Friday, I’m going to keep this short and sweet and basically to the point.

Y’all know that I love high-end fashion. I love designer shoes, bags, and sunglasses – I’ve been collecting Louis Vuitton handbags since I was 20 (though I’m super guilty of rarely carrying anything other than my Neverfull GM the past two or three years). I have more Louboutins and Manolo Blahniks than most people have clothes. I loooove high-end designer fashion.

Mostly accessories – though I tend to always spend more for designer basics. Jeans, dresses, and coats (that I really only need for our twice-yearly winter trips to NYC). Other than that, I’m good buying the budget-friendly version of most things. If it’s trendy or it’s easily replaceable, I won’t spend much on it. It’s those classic pieces I cannot live with if they’re poor quality.

Because I like to mix a lot of high-end fashion with low-end items, I get a lot of questions about making cheaper pieces look expensive. The truth is that it’s so much easier than you imagine. You don’t need to have designer items to make your outfit look expensive if you’re on a budget. You just need to know how to shop for pieces that don’t look cheap – and how to mix and match.

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Buy A Long Coat, Not A Short One

If you buy a long coat with a classic cut, you can make any winter ensemble look more expensive. Just be sure you’re not buying your long coats from the trendy shops you see on Pinterest or Facebook. You can get a good quality long coat with an affordable pricetag at Nordstrom, Macys, Dillards, and even H&M.

Try this one, this one or this one.

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Find a Tailor, Don’t Settle

Do not settle for pieces that don’t fit well. It doesn’t matter if you spend $500 on a dress or you spend $15 on it. If it doesn’t fit you well, it looks cheap. Find a tailor. Become her best friend. Have your clothes hemmed and fitted to your body type.

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Know What You Can Pull Off, And Don’t Be A Victim

So many women look gorgeous in those high-waist, wide-leg culottes. I, my friends, am not one of them. As much as I love them, you won’t find me in them because I know that I cannot pull them off. Know what your body can handle, and don’t deviate from that path. You cannot pull off every trend that comes your way. Know thyself.

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Wear Pointed Toes, Not Round Toes

I just don’t love a round toe when it comes to a classic heel. If you’re going to look high-end, the first thing you should do is throw on a pair of great shoes, but make sure those pumps have a pointed toe. They’re instantly more flattering because they help elongate your legs rather than making them appear squatty. They just don’t work – and they never look upscale.

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Think Basics, Not Basic

If you want to look expensive, try the basics. Think wrap dresses, fitted jeans and high-quality tee shirts with a blazer. Add classic pumps to an outfit, or get a few fitted oxford shirts. Keep your jewelry simple and sophisticated. Add a pair of oversized sunglasses. Get a structured bag. Stick to basic colors, and take off that last layer of whatever. Less is always more.

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Show Off One Body Part, Not All of Them

The quickest way to look cheap is to put every body part you have on display. Keep it classy by keeping everything else modest and only showing off one asset at a time. If your hemline is short, make sure your neckline is high. Show off those gorgeous legs, but keep everything else under wraps. If your neckline is plunging, make sure the length of your dress or skirt is at or below the knee. For example, a plunging neckline in a fitted sheath that hits just below your knees is one of the sexiest yet most sophisticated looks imaginable.

My gorgeous grandmother always told me that you attract what you put out there. If you want to be treated like a lady with class and elegance and attract people of the same nature, dress like one. If you want to attract low-quality people who treat you as such, dress like one. It’s that simple.

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Remember That You Attract What You Put Out There

Here’s the deal – your personal style choices are just that. Personal. Don’t let me dictate what you wear. However, always remember that you do attract a very certain type of attention when you walk out the door based on how you dress. Keep that in mind, and you’ll always be a step ahead of the game.

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Mixing High and Low on Vacation

Happy Monday, loves!

It’s an exciting week in the Raiford house. Addison, our oldest, has her favorite week of summer – cheer camp. She’s been going since she was 5, and she’s been with the same group of girls since. This means my schedule is crazy, but she loves it, and her performance at the end of the week is always so much fun! It’s also Father’s Day, and we have so much to celebrate with Craig. He’s the best dad in the world -and we all know it.

It’s also a week for the books, because, you guys…I’ve started packing for our Caribbean vacation. Which isn’t until next week! Anyone who knows me knows I’m in panic mode the night before we leave on vacation because I’ve packed nothing. This time, however, I’ve started packing. Perhaps it’s because my husband and I spent time Saturday coordinating our dinner outfits, or perhaps it’s because things we’ve ordered for vacay have started to arrive, or perhaps it was the post-dinner parking lot fashion show Friday night. Whatever it is, I’ve started packing – and it feels really good to have things crossed off my checklist already (you guys, I’ve created my vacay checklist already, too!).

Caribbean packing is easy for me. Swimsuits, coverups, and dinner attire. And 78 other outfits I don’t need, of course.

My style has always been a good mixture of low and high-end pieces. I prefer certain items high-end (shoes, bags, glasses, jeans, dresses etc.) and some items I don’t care as much about. If they’re trendy and on-style for the current season, they aren’t investment pieces for me. I’m sharing how I mix high and low pieces for a tropical vacay by sharing a few of my favorite new purchases for vacation.

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Shoe Obsession

I’ve been on the fence about a great pair of white pumps for a few months now. I’ve been weighing the idea of white shoes with four kids who love to step on my toes, the rainy Florida weather, and whether I’ll actually wear them. Last week, I decided I’d been thinking about them so much, I needed to have them to wear with the gorgeous gown I ordered for dinner one night. My favorite shoes are always, always, always Manolo Blahnik, so I went with these. They arrived Thursday – and I’ve already worn them to date night Friday night and church on Sunday. Oh, the compliments! I also like to pretend they make my pasty legs look tan. A girl can dream, right?

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Swim Suits

I typically don’t splurge on swimwear. However, I’m very particular about my bottoms. Cheap, trendy bottoms tend to snag and look bad after one or two wears, so I always buy Victoria’s Secret bottoms. I’ve learned they are the ones that last a long time and hold up quite well no matter what I sit on (the dock, the boat, the pool deck, etc.). Tops, however, I don’t care about. I mix and match my tops and bottoms, anyway. These VS cheekie ruffle bottoms are my favorite – I have them in every color ever made over the years, and I wear them season after season after season.

I also recently bought this scalloped suit for a trip we took earlier this month. To be very honest, I hate the bottoms. The scallops don’t hold up, so they end up needing adjustments every 30 seconds. I skipped out wearing them, but I love the top. You can go with this one or this much more affordable version.

I also bought this pink top from Express. Full disclosure – it hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m super excited about it! For only $20, it doesn’t matter too much if I don’t love it.

Swim Coverups

This has been the worst year – ever – for swim coverups. I haven’t found anything I love, anywhere. I always love a good Lilly Pulitzer coverup, but the one I bought is no longer on the website, so I’m linking this one since it’s the same style just a different design. Furthermore, I just ordered a few coverups from….wait for it…Amazon! I found them on Pinterest (looooove Pinterest) and was dying when I realized they were only $16-$17 on Amazon. Naturally, I ordered multiple colors, and I really like them! You can find them here.

I’m not done shopping, yet. But I’m proud of myself for already ordering all my dinner attire, swimwear, and shoes. Now I just need a new beach bag and earrings. We’re going to shop this weekend, so hopefully, I find everything I still need. Because next week, we’re out!