Secret Ways to Make Your Winter Clothes Look More Expensive

If in your world, a new season doesn’t equal an entirely new wardrobe, read on. We know how digging out last year’s winter essentials can leave you feeling a little deflated; you find yourself wondering Why is that cashmere top all bobbly and out of shape? and Was that handbag always that scuffed?

As tempting as it can be to run out and put a load of new-season buys on your credit card, that’s just not a savvy thing to do. What is: a weekend spent experimenting with layering and combinations you’d never entertained, along with a little make do and mend session. We’re not talking shredding sleeves off coats and taking up hems, just a quick trip to your haberdashery for some transformative touches—like humble buttons—or a slight reworking of what you already own can provide the winter fashion updates you’re longing for.

The recent round of runway shows also provided endless inspiration for how to wear the seemingly endless jumpers and skirts we already own; all you need is an open mind (and, on occasion, a pair of sharp scissors or some thread).

So scroll through the gallery below for a fast-ticket to making your winter wardrobe look more luxe in no time.

Play mix ’n’ match with belts:

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Style Notes: Switching the belt up on your coat—as creatively demonstrated by Annabel Rosendahl—is so easy, but how many of us do it? You don’t have to go for a structured leather style either—a dressing-gown belt or printed scarf is just as impactful. There are no hard-and-fast rules here.

This black belt will look great against pastel coats.

Use a biker jacket creatively:

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Style Notes: If last year’s overcoat is suddenly looking a bit a bit worn out, try layering with an item you’d least consider layering with: a leather biker. Popping the lapels out gives a luxe, slightly rock edge to the most tired of winter coats. See? It works!

A soft, supple style—like this one—works best for layering.

Forget the hemline rules:

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Style Notes: Forget everything your mum told you, and wear culottes and midi skirts that poke out a foot below your coat. Playing on proportions and volume—like Samantha Angelo—gives a head-turning spin to otherwise classic outfits. 

Wear these with a masculine three-quarter-length coat.

Pimp up your bags:

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Style Notes: Embellishing your handbag with a pom-pom or playful key ring is so simple and so effective. You don’t need hundreds of spare pounds to tap into this trend—just hit the high street; now really is a perfect time.

Jigsaw’s luxe key rings look like the real deal.

Choose OTKs instead of tights:

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Style Notes: Hate wearing tights? What about over-the-knee boots instead? They add instant texture to a look and are much warmer than stockings. We’re following Christine Centenera’s lead…

Proof that knee-high boots don’t have to be vertiginous. 

 

Master the top-tuck:

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Style du Monde

Style Notes: Ever noticed the transformative power of the demi-tuck? Ada Kokosar masters it in perfect nonchalant fashion here. Be sure to set a luxe weave, like the jacquard of her skirt, against something ultra-simple, like a black sweater.

Try this straight, textured skirt with a voluminous knit partially tucked in. 

Layer plain pieces in alternative ways:

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Style Notes: Ever thought about layering your collection of roll-necks under an unbuttoned shirt? Diletta Bonaiuti’s example couldn’t be better—from the artful rolling of her sleeves to the tucked-in-at-the-waist cinch, it makes everything about her outfit look like a million dollars.

Change from £20 for a new jumper? Yes, please!

 

Shoulder-robe 24/7:

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Style Notes: Shoulder-robing—that trend we always see at the shows (and on Vogue’s Sarah Harris)—well, it works in real life too. When you don’t have far to travel/don’t want to take your layers off, throw your jacket over your shoulders for immediate elegance.

This pretty pink coat looks great against dark autumnal colours.

Highlight some cuff action:

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Style Notes: Ever seen a cardigan look so chic? Juliane Diesner knows that adding tailored shirting under a chunky knit—and pulling those all-important cuffs down—adds a considered, of-the-moment touch to what can be seen as a dated combination. 

Just a hint of an elongated cuff or a unique collar is all you need to transform an old knit.

Pin on a brooch:

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Style du Monde

Style Notes: Notice how Yasmin Sewell’s pretty corsage-style brooch acts like a full stop to her outfit? Follow suit and go for an opulent jewel brooch for the evening and pretty florals for daytime. All of your winter coats will be transformed.

Rely on a statement scarf:

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Style Notes: A voluminous stole adds instant glamour to any outfit, no matter how basic your look.

The hardest thing about picking one of these is settling on a colour. 

 

Debobble all of your knitwear:

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Sandra Semburg

Style Notes: Nope, there are no unsightly bobbles on Garance Dore’s jumper dress. The best way to reinvigorate your winter warmers is to spend a few moments here and there getting rid of the unsightly fluff-balls. You can de-bobble a jumper in seconds, and it’s strangely satisfying—FYI, we’ve heard good things about the Phillips Fabric Shaver (£10).

Treat your jumpers as you would a pair of shoes—with constant maintenance. 

Replace your buttons:

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Style Notes: It’s time to dig out your sewing box and get crafty. Swapping the buttons on a coat or jacket is the ultimate in upcycling thriftiness. And best of all, it doesn’t matter how bad your needlework is—no one will ever see the inside of the coat, right?

This simple trick costs next to nothing. 

Find out what fashion experts shop on the great British high street.