How to pull off the high-low fashion trend

Marlien Rentmeester, former Condé Nast fashion editor and founder of ultra-popular fashion blog Le Catch, gives us her style scoop.

Photo by Jessie Webster

Top & skirt from H&M, Louboutin shoes; Photo by Jessie Webster

It’s easy to build a stellar wardrobe when you combine a handful of key investment pieces with stylish and affordable seasonal updates that keep you on trend. The last thing you want to do is sink big money into things that will go out of style soon after you buy them. Everything’s available online these days; it’s really a high-low dream come true!

Here’s how to do it:

Start with the high!

Invest in pieces that transcend trends, will last you through the years and make a big impression. Your bag, shoes and coat are typically the things that people notice first about your outfit, so I like to focus on these first as well (think statement pumps, a designer bag, a smart coat). Then add a few other wardrobe staples, where owning the real thing can make a huge difference: a black cashmere sweater, a chic leather motorcycle jacket, a beautiful watch or a good pair of well-fitting jeans. These are items you’ll want to wear regularly, so the return on your investment per wear is high.

Now add the low

Trendy pieces

Retailers from Zara and Joe Fresh to stylish discount department stores like Target offer a myriad of runway-inspired designs for much less than the real McCoys. Elevate these up-to-the-minute styles by pairing them with your forever-chic big-ticket classics to achieve that very desirable, but often elusive, untraceable look.

Statement jewellery

Eye-catching cocktail rings, bib necklaces and bold bracelets can be found at flea markets, vintage stores and fast-fashion retailers from Topshop to H&M to J.Crew — and even Winners. They don’t have to cost a lot, but they can certainly dazzle, and that’s what really matters at the end of the day.

Save on basics

Every wardrobe needs essentials like tanks and t-shirts, and everyone can get these no-fuss staples at places like Gap, Old Navy, Forever 21, etc. If they wear out after a season, you won’t feel bad having to restock.