THE HIGH-LOW CONCEPT
Those who have mastered the art of eternal style know better than to rely solely on renowned brands to conceive envy-worthy ensembles. They know that although fashion is expensive, style is not. So, they use their honed fashion sense to select the right pieces from high-end, low- end, and every price in between. They learned how to mix their high-end designer pieces with cheaper items to create immaculate voguish outfits that skimp on cost, but never on style.
This styling technique is known as the high-low concept and has been applied by personal stylists for years. It is their secret weapon to combat the ever-rising price of fashion, while delivering spotlight-worthy style to their clients. Even wealthy A-listers such as style icons Angelina Jolie and BeyoncÃ© have adopted this trick of the trade.
But like all skills, high-low styling has to be applied correctly to attain the high level of dynamic novel elegance you sought. A mismatch will most likely result in a tragic faux pas whereas flawless execution stands testament to your discriminating style and fashion prowess. So here are two indispensable insider tips to help you mix and match your way to an affordably stylish new you.
Know When to Splurge
The first and most important rule is to consider each purchase carefully. Each buy should be viewed as a long-term investment into your âcloset bankâ. So, when you decide to splurge on an item it should promise longevity, inimitability, and most importantly, it should complement you–your body and your style.
It is for this reason master-mixers tend to restrict their fashion indulgences to wardrobe staples. These are the workhorses of your wardrobe; the items you just canât live without. They not only deliver a high cost-per-wear ratio, but also, their classic appeal withstands the test of time.
Although these pieces may vary by fashion personality and lifestyle, some common investment buys are:
â¢ Leather Bags & Shoes
â¢ Power Suits
â¢ Signature Jewellery & Sunglasses
â¢ Cashmere Cardigans & Scarves
â¢ Formal Attire
â¢ Wool/Wool-blend Jackets & Overcoats
As an ardent fashion-forwarder, there are two main times when you should readily buy low-end; when you find an item of high quality and when you want to partake of the latest fad. It is important to always keep in mind the cost-per-wear ratio and do not let your penchant for bargains trick you into wasting funds. Even the cheapest item worn only once is more costly than an expensive item worn hundreds of times.
To spot great pieces at even better prices you have to learn to recognize quality. You have to develop a keen understanding of what makes high fashion so coveted. For example:
â¢ Luxury Fabrics: Silks, Wools, Linens, Cottons â¦
â¢ Impeccable Craftsmanship: Proper fit, Flat seams, Even hemlines â¦
â¢ Distinctive Designs: Interesting silhouettes, Refined details, Elegant Prints â¦
To find an assortment of bons plans you can always browse the selection offered by the well-known fast-fashion retailers; the Zaraâs and H & Mâs of the fashion market.
But a savvy shopper knows that there are many chic-for-cheap thrills to be found at flea markets, vintage stores, thrift stores, designer outlets, discount stores, and even designer sales at luxury retailers.
2. MASTER THE ART
Even with your stock of fabulous finds there is still the matter of mixing them together to pull off a high-low creation successfully. A good rule of thumb to follow is to use one high-end item as the benchmark of your outfit, then pair it with complementing lower-end pieces. No piece should look inferior, but instead, each piece should rise to the level of quality portrayed by your high-end investment. Together, all the pieces should create a harmonized fashion chorus.
Another helpful tip is to enhance the look and feel of your chic-for-cheap item. A more refined aesthetics can be achieved with a bit of professional tailoring or even simple alterations done with your own hands. For instance, it will take you but minutes to swap out those tawdry plastic buttons on your cotton blouse for more classy ones. And voilÃ , youâve enhanced the look and increased the value tenfold.
Now that you have been enlightened, go ahead and make a bold fashion statement in your high-low creations. Pair your Gucci with Gap, your Prada with Promod, your Hermes with H&M. You will not only feel good because you look great, but also, your pragmatic approach to shopping will leave you with a peaceful state of mind.