How To: Shop Premium On The High Street

By September 22, 2023No Comments

High street shopping doesn’t have to break the bank. With the right knowledge and a trained eye, you can shop premium without emptying your wallet. In this guide, we’ll explore the art of shopping premium on the high street, with a particular focus on understanding fabric composition and tips for achieving an expensive look on a budget.
Whether you’re strolling down the highstreet or exploring online stores, this guide will help you make smart choices that elevate your style.

The Power of Fabric Composition
To shop premium on the high street, it’s crucial to understand the fabrics you encounter.
Fabrics play a pivotal role in the quality and overall aesthetic of your clothing. Here, we’ll delve into the world of natural fabrics like wool, leather, and cotton, and how to spot them while shopping.

Wool: A luxurious natural fabric known for its warmth and durability. When shopping for woolen garments, check the label for a high percentage of wool content. Merino wool is especially prized for its softness and insulating properties. Keep an eye out for terms like “100% Merino wool” or “wool blend,” which indicates a mix of wool and other materials. Premium high street brands often invest in high-quality wool, so look for well-known labels to ensure you’re getting the best. 

Try: Massimo Dutti, Uniqlo and Marks and Spencer

Leather: Leather exudes timeless sophistication and can elevate any outfit. When buying leather items such as jackets, bags, or shoes, examine the texture and smell. Genuine leather has a distinct, rich smell and a natural grain pattern. Investing in genuine leather may cost more upfront, but pays off in terms of durability and style longevity.
Faux leather is gaining in popularity but I would always recommend these steps to help you spot a good faux leather product, as this can be tricky. It starts with examining texture and feel; high-quality faux leather should mimic the grain and suppleness of genuine leather while feeling smooth and cool to the touch, without a strong chemical smell. Look for a consistent and uniform appearance, with a natural sheen, and check for neat stitching, well-finished seams, and edges. Test the material’s durability by gently tugging and ensuring it doesn’t stretch or tear easily, and be cautious of excessive colour transfer. 

Try: Zara, Anine Bing – faux leather
Theory, Joseph – real leather

Cotton :Cotton is a versatile and breathable fabric, making it ideal for high street shoppers. Premium brands often use high-quality cotton in their clothing. Look for items that specify “100% cotton” on the label to ensure you’re getting the real deal. When shopping for cotton, pay attention to stitching and finishing details; a well-made cotton garment will have neat seams and hems. 

Try: Uniqlo, COS.

Tips for Looking Expensive on a Budget
Now that we have looked at fabric composition, let’s explore strategies for achieving an expensive look without breaking the bank. 


Invest in Classics
Classic pieces never go out of style. Invest in timeless items like a tailored blazer, camisole, white shirt and wool coat. These staples can be mixed and matched with various accessories and other wardrobe items to create endless stylish outfits.

Second Hand and Vintage Stores
One person’s cast-off can be your treasure! While these don’t necessarily fall under the premium on the high street theme, I think they are definitely worth including. Second hand and vintage stores often hide unique, high-quality pieces at budget-friendly prices. Take your time to browse these shops, and you might stumble upon a designer gem or a vintage leather bag that adds an air of luxury to your ensemble. 

Try: Cobbler’s Wardrobe, 38 Dunville, Thriftify, Vestiaire Collective 

Focus on Fit
The fit of your clothing can make or break your look. Even budget-friendly items can look expensive if they fit you perfectly. Invest in alterations to ensure your clothes hug your body in all the right places. A well-fitted garment instantly elevates your appearance. 

Try: Alterations Centre, South Anne Street

Pay Attention to Details
Small details can have a big impact on how expensive your outfit appears. Replace cheap plastic buttons with stylish alternatives, and ensure that zippers and fasteners are in good working order. Additionally, subtle embellishments like embroidery or beading can give your clothing a premium edge.

High and Low Blend
high-end and high street pieces in your wardrobe to create a balanced look. Pair a statement designer handbag with an affordable dress or combine a luxurious silk scarf with a well-fitted blazer from a high street brand. This mix of high and low creates a visually diverse and interesting ensemble.

Accessories Matter
Accessories can elevate your outfit, so invest in high-quality shoes, belts, and jewelry. These items are often the first things people notice and can create a lasting impression of luxury, even when the rest of your ensemble is budget-friendly. Resale sites and pre-loved options work very well here.

Quality Over Quantity
Instead of buying a multitude of cheap items, save your money for a few high-quality, versatile pieces. These investments will last longer and offer more value in terms of style and durability.

In Summary:
Shopping premium on the high street is all about making informed choices. Understanding fabric composition and implementing smart shopping strategies can help you achieve an expensive look without breaking your budget. So, next time you hit the high street, keep an eye out for natural fabrics like wool, leather, and cotton, and remember the tips for looking expensive on a budget. You can also book a shopping appointment with me or my team!

Some Key Premium Pieces To Elevate Your Wardrobe: 

H&M: Oversized Cashmere Jumper

H&M: Oversized Turtleneck Jumper

H&M Hooded Down Jacket

H&M Straight Leather Trousers 

Zara Faux Leather Midi Skirt

ASOS Urbancode Real Leather Skirt

Selected Femme Leather Mini Skirt

COS The Clean Cut T-Shirt

Pre Loved:
Chloé Slip On Sneakers

Bash Black Distressed Ankle Boots 

Prada Velvet Sandals

Please note that some product suggestions contain affiliate links. 

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