Look Expensive on a Budget: 17 Rich-Looking Pieces You Need

To look expensive on a budget these days is not as easy as many think. Karl Lagerfeld once said that looking rich today is simpler than ever. That’s true – but only with a lot of effort and a lot of time invested.

I personally have been shopping like this for YEARS! But what really sucks about it is that with ever-increasing material and production costs, the prices for simple garments have also risen sharply in recent years – and especially in recent months. On top of that, there’s the icing on the cake: The materials used by most brands and fashion houses – no matter in which price segment – are increasingly getting worse and worse.

Savings are being made – everywhere. But most likely in the materials and in the processing.

Therefore, it is now incredibly costly and extremely time-consuming to find high-quality treasures that 1. you like at first, 2. are well processed and 3. which were processed with durable, high-quality materials.

With that being said, it was a special concern to me after my many years of research in cheap fashion houses to look for high-quality items to share with you today.

Because I can tell you one thing: Once you have found a high-quality piece, which is then also inexpensive, you stay with it and buy it in every conceivable color and shape – and that’s what I’ve been doing for years.

However, if you would like to start your own search in the future, I strongly recommend you to follow the following tips, otherwise, you will quickly fall for any advertising promises, which are not only disappointed but also broken again and again.

Nowadays, the marketing measures of most fashion houses are so sophisticated that it is – especially online – difficult to recognize which piece it really is and whether it is really durable as well as high quality.

Here are my best tips from years of experience:

How to find Expensive-Looking Pieces these days:

1. Look very carefully at the item descriptions and material compositions:

Not all that glitters is gold – this applies not only to the fake life on Instagram but also to the embellished fashion shopping world.

Acquire a basic knowledge of high-quality fabrics that are adapted to the seasons and disregard short-term fashion trends. For example, high-quality fabrics for summer are linen, silk, cotton, and viscose; for winter are wool, cashmere, and leather.

Of course, nowadays there are hardly any items made of these pure materials, but there is increasing use of fabric mixes, which are simply cheaper in production for the manufacturer – so always look at the largest proportion and make sure that a high proportion or at least a minimum proportion of these fabrics are included in your piece that you would like to buy.

2. Order the piece and try it on:

Sure, this is an obvious tip, but one that is really important. Because even the highest quality fabrics can look unflattering when worn and put you in a bad light.

Therefore, pay close attention to the smallest production errors such as incorrect seams or lint. In case of tears, bulges, or wrinkled pieces, you should immediately become alert and send the item back or give it away – because you won’t be happy with it in the future.

Especially linen and polyester are known to wrinkle very quickly. While, for example, good virgin wool hangs itself out again (a good indicator of a high-quality item), such materials, unfortunately, crumple even after extensive ironing again and again – you have to like that.

But now let’s get more specific…

17 Expensive-Looking Pieces that’ll Make you Look Expensive on a Budget:

1. H&M Men’s Blazers

As I’m sure most of you know by now, because we’ve reported so many times about these great blazers: We swear by H&M’s men’s blazers* because they’re made of a much sturdier viscose than their counterparts from the H&M women’s department.

The soft yet sturdy fabric is simply brilliant, as it ensures that the blazer stays in its usual shape even after years of wear and doesn’t start to wrinkle or shrink like so many other blazers on the market, which are usually made of a lot of polyester. This makes it a piece that can make you look super expensive in no time – without being so.

Another advantage of the blazer from the men’s department is that it sits so nicely oversized, making it totally stylish and modern.

I myself have actually had this model for years and now in pretty much every color – and none have ever disappointed me!

They still sit as the first day and are faithful companions that can definitely keep up in quality with my virgin wool blazer, which just as little creases or falls apart somehow.

A hearty recommendation for all blazer lovers!

The Best Low Budget Blazer!
The Best Low Budget Blazer!
H&M Black Slim Fit Blazer

A hearty recommendation for all blazer lovers!


$64.99

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2. Button-Down Shirts by COS

Everyone needs high-quality button-down shirts in their closet for the warm days, because the classics can be super casual simply pulled over a top or also buttoned up just always look super elegant.

But since here too, unfortunately, in most fashion stores more and more synthetic fibers such as polyester are mixed, these look super fast totally cheap.

Therefore, it’s essential to rely on high-quality button-down shirts made of 100% linen, viscose, or cotton – and those of COS always are*.

In addition, they offer great shirts in many different colors and patterns – so there should be something for everyone.

Our Favorite
COS

A destination for timeless design

Every piece is made to last beyond the season. With a focus on craftmanship, COS brings you essentials for the modern wardrobe.

Buy better, keep forever.


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3. Trench Coats by Mango

Mango is my all-time favorite when it comes to good jackets and coats* for small money.

But in particular, I swear by the trench coats because they come from a big cotton and viscose content, which makes them pretty high quality.

In addition, I really all jackets and coats that I have so of Mango, wear for years and am always fully satisfied! For this I love the brand – it brings me namely every year new through colder days or colder evenings.

Feel free to stop by there and make sure you check out their outerwear!

This is my all-time favorite trench coat:

THE BEST
Mango - Classic Cotton Trench Coat

Cotton. Straight design. Mid-design. Lapel collar. Long sleeves with buttons at the ends. Belt loops. Adjustable belt. Front button closure. Two side pockets. Back vent. Lining.

$79.99

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4. Leather Shoulder Bags by COS

For strolling in the city with your best friend, for brunch, or for the morning coffee to go.

No matter where this bag accompanies you, your arm and looks 10x higher quality.

Timeless Classic. Expensive-Looking. What more could you ask for?

The perfect longtime friend.

COS - Folded Leather Medium Shoulder Bag

Quality is a Feeling.

Made from soft leather and fully lined with organic cotton, this folded shoulder bag features a wide adjustable strap, a magnetic button closure, and a detachable zip pouch to carry your essentials.

An investment for this season and the next that folds perfectly below the shoulder.

- Embossed COS logo

- Adjustable flat pins

Shell: 100% Leather, Lining: 100% Organic cotton

$190

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5. Leather Loafers

Leather loafers are the everyday shoes you can’t help but feel and look expensive without.

They’re comfortable and you can combine them in 2 seconds. They go with everything.

And by the way, they make any of your outfits 5x more stylish.

Walk in Expensive Elegance
COS - Chunky Leather Loafers

These chunky loafers are made in Portugal and are crafted from pure leather using an environmentally friendly chrome-free dyeing process. They feature a rounded square toe, wide front strap, and a stacked rubber sole.

- Enforced toe panel and heel counter

- Leather lined

Upper: 100% Leather, Sole: 100% Thermoplastic rubber

$250

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6. Long-Sleeve T-Shirt with Ruffles

Yes, this may sound boring, BUT: expensive-looking t-shirts and other tops are a super important part of your outfit that can either elevate the look and make it chicer, or completely mess it up.

That’s why I urge you to pay special attention to these small, but fine details, because they have great potential.

Here you should pay particular attention to high-quality fabrics such as viscose, cotton, silk, or linen because they prevent excessive sweating and are air-permeable.

This top here, for example, is my all-time favorite, as it just always looks good and is exciting at the same time, as it doesn’t quite cover your neck and thus exposes your collarbone as an eye-catcher.

All-Time Favorite
COS - Off-The-Shoulder Long-Sleeved Top

Crafted from a fine ECOVERO™ Viscose blend, this black top features an off-the-shoulder neckline and elegant long sleeves. The minimal seams create a clean silhouette.

- Slim fit

- ECOVERO™ is a trademark of Lenzing AG. Viscose fibers are derived from certified renewable wood sources using a lower environmental impact process

67% ECOVERO™ Viscose, 27% Polyamide (Nylon), 6% Elastane / Machine wash cold

$69

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7. The Striped Sweater

Timeless. Cozy. Expensive looking.

THE BEST
COS - Knitted Half-Zip Sweater

This relaxed-fit sweater is crafted from responsibly sourced wool and pure cotton, twisted together to create a heavyweight knit.

The laid-back piece is complete with a wide-spread collar, dropped shoulders, loose sleeves, and contrast intarsia stripes.

- Half-zip closure

Certified according to the Responsible Wool Standard, to protect the welfare of the sheep and their environment

100% RWS Wool, 100% Cotton / Machine wash cold

$135

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8. Cashmere is Your Best Friend

Yes, cashmere is a high-quality, comfortable fabric. Yes, it’s also a bit more expensive.

But I promise you: it’s an investment worth making.

The cashmere pieces that I bought over 10 years ago, I still wear today. They look and feel the same as on the first day.

There is no other fabric that makes you look so high quality and glamorous.

An Investment Worth Making
COS - Relaxed-Fit Cashmere Top

Knitted from pure cashmere in soft cream, this top features a rolled crew neck, dropped shoulders, and neatly ribbed trims.

It's designed for a relaxed fit that drapes elegantly over the body.

- Raglan sleeves

100% Cashmere / Machine wash cold

$250

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9. The Linen Shirt

Forget everything you know about sweating. Linen is temperature regulating. It won’t make you sweat or freeze.

Comfortable to wear. Expensive in appearance.

Our Pick
COS - Regular-Fit Linen Shirt

Crafted from lightweight and breathable linen, this beige regular-fit shirt is designed to last beyond the seasons.

It has a classic pointed collar, concealed placket, and a curved hem that's slightly longer at the back. For a complete set, wear it with its matching item.

- Long sleeves

- Buttoned cuffs

- Back pleats

100% Linen / Machine wash cold

$99

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10. Midi Tube Dress

Feel feminine while being on trend.

COS - Knitted Midi Tube Dress

Knitted from a blend of recycled fabric with a touch of stretch for comfort, this black tube dress is designed for a close fit with shaping at the waist to highlight the silhouette.

- Thin straps

Made from pre-consumer waste and used fishing nets, recycled nylon reduces our demand on natural resources 

56% Viscose, 43% Recycled polyamide (Recycled nylon), 1% Elastane / Machine washable 

$135

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11. Linen Pants

The pleasure of linen. As pants.

Influencer's Favorite
COS - Wide-Leg Linen Pants

Crafted from lightweight and breathable linen, these white wide-leg pants are cut for a high-waisted silhouette. They are elevated with exposed seams to elongate the leg, slip pockets for a seamless design and a concealed button-fly closure for a minimalist finish.

- Belt loops

- Back welt pocket

100% Linen / Machine wash cold

$135

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12. Aviator Sunglasses

Classic sunglasses simply belong in every closet.

Our Favorite
COS - Oversized Aviator Sunglasses

Designed in the COS atelier, these aviator sunglasses are part of our debut sunglasses collection. Crafted from recycled brass with a gold-tone finish, they feature tinted polarized lenses and are finished with a flexible hinge and a curved temple for a comfortable fit.

- Adjustable nose pads

- 100% UV protection

- This product bears the CE mark

$120

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13. Pleated Shorts

COS - Pleated Shorts

Made from a blend of TENCEL™ Lyocell and linen perfect for brighter days, these black tailored shorts are cut with sharp pleats through the front. Adjust the fit to your liking using the inner tab.

- Hook-and-bar closure, zip fly

- Side seam pockets, sewn back pocket

- TENCEL™ is a trademark of Lenzing AG. TENCEL™ Lyocell is made from renewable wood sources, using a process that recycles 99% of all chemicals and water 

Shell: 79% TENCEL™ Lyocell, 21% Linen,

Lining: 100% Organic cotton / Machine wash cold

The inside leg length of size 6 is 5¼"

$99

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14. Linen Blazer

The pleasure of linen. As blazer.

Influencer's Pick
COS - Regular-Fit Linen Blazer

Crafted from a blend of TENCEL™ Lyocell and linen, this lightweight dark-beige blazer is cut for a regular fit. It's tailored with peak lapels, tonal buttons, flap pockets, and a back vent that allows for movement.

- This item runs large to size, we recommend taking a size down

- Single-button closure, sewn inner pocket

- Buttoned cuffs

- TENCEL™ is a trademark of Lenzing AG. TENCEL™ Lyocell is made from renewable wood sources, using a process that recycles 99% of all chemicals and water

Shell: 78% TENCEL™ Lyocell, 22% Linen, Lining: 100% Organic cotton / Dry clean only

$190

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15. The Statement Pullover

COS - Regular-Fit Printed Mohair Jumper

Crafted from a traceable mohair blend, this regular-fit intarsia-knit sweater has a simple round neck and ribbed trims for comfort with a slightly cropped body. Our in-house atelier designed the bold landscape print, which makes it a striking piece to brighten any day.

- Long sleeves

- Certified according to the Responsible Mohair Standard, to protect the welfare of the goats and their environment

55% RMS Mohair, 30% Recycled polyamide (Recycled nylon, 15% RWS Wool

$135

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16. Pleated Pants

COS - Wide-Leg Tailored Pants

Crafted from traceable wool, these black wide-leg tailored trousers have been designed to fall loosely over the body. The front pleats and back darts create a flattering silhouette, while the side slip pockets and back welt pocket make them functional. The concealed adjustable-button tab allows the trousers to be worn low-slung or on the waist.

- Hook-and-bar closure 

Certified according to the Responsible Wool Standard, to protect the welfare of the sheep and their environment

100% RWS Wool / Dry clean

$150

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17. The Polo Shirt

COS - Regular-Fit Long-Sleeved Polo Shirt

Crafted from pure cotton, this long-sleeved polo shirt comes in timeless navy and is designed for a regular fit. It has relaxed sleeves, a ribbed spread collar, and a buttoned half placket.

- Organic corozo button closure

- Side slits

100% Cotton / Machine wash warm

$59

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Elisa
Elisa

Founder & CEO of Streetstylis

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