How To Fake A Really Expensive Wardrobe

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I learned quickly how to fake a really expensive wardrobe and always look my best, even if I didn't have the money to splurge on higher end items.

Last week, I asked you which products are worth the brand name, and many of you listed clothing items. I tend to agree that sometimes, it’s quality over quantity when it comes to my wardrobe.

However, there was a time and place where I simply couldn’t afford higher end clothes, but I still had to pull off a professional look at work. Because of that, I learned quickly how to fake a really expensive wardrobe and always look my best, even if I didn’t have the money to splurge on higher end items.

Here’s how I did it:

1. Shopping at Goodwill


Not everyone likes buying clothes at used clothing stores. It actually gives my husband the heebie-jeebies. However if you shop at a Goodwill or other thrift stores in a really affluent area, it’s amazing what you will find.

I used to go to garage sales and target specific neighborhoods where I would buy extremely nice clothes that were hardly worn. Even though I work from home now, I still have several blazers and designer items that I found at thrift stores and only paid a fraction of the cost for.

If you would rather shop from home and not trek out to your local thrift stores, try Amazon’s open box discount section. You can find deep discounts on purses, accessories, clothes and more – all of which are in great condition and ready to be snapped up by someone who doesn’t need the tags to be attached to their clothes to rock them.

Another alternative to shopping at Goodwill is buying secondhand clothes on ThredUp. ThredUp is an online consignment store that lets you buy or sell clothes for women and children.

Not only can you sell clothing you no longer like or want to wear, you can also buy secondhand clothes for significantly cheaper than you’d buy off the rack.

Also, if you prefer to shop online, Capital One Shopping (formerly Wikibuy) is a terrific way to identify active discount codes at various retailers. The free browser extension finds and applies any active coupon codes to apply towards your purchases.

The extension also lets you look at products reviews and create price drop alerts to help increase potential savings.

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2. Give Up on the Little Polo Player


If you give up the notion that you have to have a little polo player or bear or elf or whatever it is on your shirt, then you can still look extremely nice and avoid the cost that the emblem brings.

I can always find those brands on sale during the off season or on holidays, but I’m also not married to the idea that every button down shirt or collared shirt has to have something on it.

*Related: Do you spend too much on haircuts? Read our guide on the best places to get cheap haircuts near me to find the best options to save money.*

That being said, you can still get a name brand item without breaking the bank. The Kohl’s clearance section, for example, is a great option to get clothes for the entire family that allow you to look stylish without spending too much.

The same goes for shoes; designer styles can derail the best laid budget plans and leave little left over for the rest of your wardrobe.

If you can’t afford the designer label right now, that’s fine. Once you give yourself the freedom to shop around and look for quality construction, you will be amazed at how much money you save.

This works for clothing and shoes. Read our guide on places to buy cheap shoes online to purchase quality without sacrificing too much.

3. Stick to the Basics


You can fake an expensive wardrobe by keeping it neutral. You can get quality neutral items at Gap and pair them with high end accessories like scarves and bracelets than it is to afford a name brand silk blouse.

By wearing less expensive items and accessorizing them with the name brands, you can get the same look for half the price.

A great way to save on many of those basics is through the Amazon clothing section.

4. Focus on the Fabric


Remember, a big leather bag is a big leather bag regardless of the name brand on the inside. Similarly, a white cotton shirt is a white cotton shirt. The lesson is that if you consistently look for specific fabrics that are classics, you can’t go wrong.

Leather purses will last for a really long time regardless of which brand made it, and the same goes for many other wardrobe items.

*Related: Looking for extra ways to save money on clothing for your family? Check out our guide on how to get free children’s clothes online to keep more money in your budget.*

If you’re open to shopping online, Couture Candy offers a 15% off first-time buyer discount that you can use on their entire line of clothing and accessories – in a variety of styles, at least one of which is sure to fit your wardrobe.

I learned quickly how to fake a really expensive wardrobe and always look my best, even if I didn't have the money to splurge on higher end items.


Of course, I’m not advocating that we all aspire to have a high end wardrobe. However, I also realize that when you go to work or out and about, we all want to look our best.

One way to do this is to emulate some of the higher end styles, but if you can’t afford it, the above tips can help you fake it and still look amazing.


What brands are you willing to pay full price for when it comes to clothes and accessories? Have you ever ‘faked it’ to make a good impression? If so, where do you find deals on name brand clothes, shoes and accessories?

*Capital One Shopping compensates us when you sign up for Capital One Shopping using the links provided.*


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Catherine Alford is the go to personal finance expert for parents who want to better their finances and take on a more active financial role in their families.