How to Get a Couture Look on a Budget

Since the dreaded virus-that-must-not-be named took over our lives, nothing has seemed much fun anymore. Whether it’s being able to see family, meet with friends, or go out for meals or to the movies, we’ve had to embrace a new way of life that will never feel normal.

I miss browsing in clothes stores and buying a new shirt, or a new pair of jeans, and unpacking the bags and laying out my new purchases on the bed. I don’t know about you, but more than anything I miss getting dressed up to go out more than I do the night out itself!

Even if all clothing stores flung their doors open tomorrow, though, many of us couldn’t afford to shop the way we did before. Furlough has been tough, especially for those of us who work in the service industry. We’ve had to tighten our belts financially, while at the same time loosening them literally (thanks, lockdown snacking!).

Last year I was introduced to the wonder that is wholesale boutique clothing, and I can’t believe I didn’t know about it before. Shopping wholesale used to be only for retailers but is now open to the public. But more on that in a moment!

Start with the Little Things

You’re never going to look a million dollars if you don’t feel a million dollars. So, essentials like a bra that fits properly are a must. The haute-couture-look will always appear dime-store-yuck if you don’t look after the little things. A coat of nail varnish and a smudge of lipstick can work wonders, and a matching purse can bring a look together.

Invest in a Little Black Dress, and a Crisp White Shirt

You’ll be amazed at what two seemingly innocuous purchases can do to open up your fashion world. A simple white shirt can be tweaked and accessorised to look different every time. The same goes for the LBD- the Little Black Dress. A blazer, a cute belt, the right shoes… it’s all about the pairing, dahling.

The great thing about simple styles is that they never go out of fashion. So, don’t just get one dress, or one shirt. Get several. This is where the shopping for wholesale boutique clothing comes in.

Create Your Own Label!

Wholesale boutique clothing gives you the opportunity to play around with your own sense of style. A set of six little black dresses (costing as little as $4 each) can potentially give you six whole outfits. Be brave! Here are just a few ways you can let your imagination fly, and turn heads with simple adjustments:

  • Cut stuff off. Don’t like the sleeves? Bin ‘em!
  • Add large designer-style buttons.
  • Summon the spirit of Schiaparelli and put in some shoulder pads for the bold look.
  • Channel your inner Chanel and co-ordinate with a string of pearls for the classic silhouette. Heck, get yourself some long gloves and become Holly Golightly!

Which reminds me…

Thrifted for the Gods

Don’t forget that there are always (OK, almost always) gems to be found in thrift and vintage stores. Take a little time to scour your local vintage clothing store, where you could end up snapping up genuine designer goods for just a few bucks. And even if you find a real couture piece you wouldn’t wear yourself, you will probably find someone who’ll pay good money to take it off your hands, leaving you with extra cash to treat yourself!

You never know… you may have just discovered a whole new hobby, and you’ll look a million dollars, too.