There are literally thousands of influencers that I can name at the drop of a hat but, right now, there's one particular dresser whose feed I continuously consult for inspiration. Why? 1) because she's French and, as such, dresses with a certain je ne sais quoi that I'm hellbent on replicating. And 2) because she's been blessed with the rare gift of being able to uncover the most expensive-looking high street pieces before they blow up. I'm talking about Aïde Sané, otherwise known as @basicstouch; the minimalist who proves that you needn't have an endless bank balance to dress like rich girl.
With a wardrobe that largely consists of pieces from H&M, Arket, Uniqlo, and Zara, I found myself needed to know what it is that she looks for in the high-street pieces she expertly selects. So I asked—and her insight was on-point. Below, she shares her high street shopping advice, plus her tips and tricks for making affordable clothing and accessories look super premium.
Aïda wears a H&M coat, Zara jeans, and Dune boots.
“High-street clothes aren’t necessarily bad quality—you can find great and affordable gems, but my first tip would be to look for quality fabrics, for instance, like wool. Get used to checking those care labels. I also look for wool and cashmere blend knitwear as they’re far less expensive than 100% cashmere options. My favourite style is a turtleneck—I love when the collar is big and thick because I think it looks more expensive and high end. I’m also currently loving V-neck or crew-neck knits that I can layer with a lighter turtleneck underneath; it gives you a chic vibe, plus you’re not going to get cold.”
“The coat I always think looks the most expensive is, believe it or not, an oversized coat; especially if you’re wearing tighter clothes underneath like slim jeans. I know people are sometimes afraid to take a bigger size because they think the proportions will be way off, but sizing up from can make a huge difference to the overall silhouette. What I love about this trick is that it also makes it easier to layer with thicker knitwear while still feeling comfortable. That said, as well as oversized outerwear, this season, I’m also really loving the belted coat. I look for long options as they feel elegant. Whichever coat style you choose, again pay attention to the materials and make sure you’re buoy quality. Colour-wise, I always opt for neutrals like black, white, beige, brown, navy, and khaki. I find they never date and that you can wear just about anything underneath them and you’ll still look put-together.”
Aïda wears a H&M coat, Uniqlo jumper, and Azurina bag.
“When I was younger, I used to hate when my mum would dress me entirely in one colour—I thought it was so old-fashioned. But now I realise that it looks very put-together and sophisticated. Wearing an all-beige, all-brown, all-black or even all-white outfits is probably the easiest way to look expensive with affordable items; the trickiest part is knowing where to find pieces that go together. But, if you look and shop from the same brand, sometimes they tend to use similar colours or the same palette on various garments—I’ll often order a few pieces in the same colour with the idea of wearing them together. Just add gold jewellery, and you’re good to go.”
Aïda wears a Uniqlo jumper, Arket coat, and a Dune bag.
“I like the challenge of getting dressed according to the weather—that means wearing raining boots when it’s raining, a matching scarf and beanie when it’s cold. I can’t think of anything more ridiculous than getting cold just for the sake of looking cute. So wear a nice chunky scarf and a beautiful neutral beanie, and you’ll look elegant, chic, and stay warm, whatever the forecast may be. It’s a small detail, but I always think wearing matching knitted accessories (or at least accessories that are a similar colour) can make your overall outfit look more expensive.”