HOW TO GET THE DESIGNER LOOK ON A BUDGET

How to get the designer look on a budget

This is how it starts in my head – I fancy a floor length skirt, straight-ish but tiered. Yes that would look fab in a tropical print. Oooh I’m lovin’ that new Gucci T-shirt. It would look wicked with the skirt. Maybe do a modern take on a Spanish señorita? Wtf £300, are they kidding for a t-shirt? That’s obscene I cannot abide. It’s not embroidered with 24carat gold thread is it? Does 90% of the profit go to charity, are they buying mosquito nets or housing the homeless? Nope forget it, wait for the high street knock off…

Meanwhile the search for my skirt of dreams begins. Shockingly obviously I don’t find anything under £200 & since it’s not for a special occasion I refuse to spend that kind of coin. So I change tack & look for something I can customize. It isn’t long before I find this dress for £40 at Warehouse & BAM I have a contender for the perfect specimen. I just need to try it on to check a couple of important details 1. It’s nice quality & worthy of a custom fit 2. It’s a simple hack. After all I don’t want a complicated alteration that ends up costing more than the original designer version.

How to get the designer look on a budget

How to get the designer look on a budget

How to get the designer look on a budget

How to get the designer look on a budget

How to spot a good candidate for customization

When I get an outfit idea in my head I often struggle to find it in my price range. Instead of giving up I will sometimes source the fabric & have the outfit or part of it made from scratch. As I’ve said before, this is not as expensive as it sounds so if you have a good tailor on speed dial, as I do it’s not a big deal. Actually when I picked up this finished skirt from my tailor the other day she handed me the discarded piece of material & said “You will want to keep this, with your clever ideas, something will come of it” I took that as a compliment. Anyway as with this strapless dress, often I’ll find something that’s perfect to customize into what I am actually after.

When I tried on this dress I could see the seam joining the bodice was at exactly the right position to become the waist band. Additionally it was a smooth flat fit all the way around. All that it needed was a nifty cut & tuck to create the waist band. As for the zip a very simple trim to the new required length then merely slide the pull back into position. No need for any major changes at all. My tailor agreed & 20 quid later I had my awesome maxi skirt!

Thanks to Topshop I also had a pretty funky knock off of the outrageously expensive Gucci Tee. Popped on a pair of ginormous silver hoops to complete the look & chose my old Chanel sandals because the silver CC’s tie-in so nicely with them. I instinctively grabbed my bright yellow clutch – Also seen here. Incidentally if you don’t already have a brightly coloured statement bag, it’s truly an excellent addition to your wardrobe.

How to get the designer look on a budget

How to get the designer look on a budget

How to get the designer look on a budget

How to get the designer look on a budget

How to get the designer look on a budget

topshop merci t-shirt with hoop earrings

Shop the Edit

How to get the designer look on a budget

A Simple Low Chignon

I am now going to attempt to describe in words how I achieved this low chignon. What I should’ve done was record myself actually doing it but ahem…I forgot sowee. Anyway if this is a complete failure just let me know & I will do a proper vlog for you. Here we go, are you sitting comfortably? Now try to picture this…

Shoulder length hair is ideal for this or you can add a clip-in hair piece for a thicker bun as I did today. Separate the sides in front of your ears & leave out for the time being. Take the rest into a loose low ponytail then flip that ponytail over on itself & into a gap you make in the centre above the band. This results in a rolled effect on either side. Next take both side pieces together at the back slightly above where you rolled the first ponytail & make a smaller ponytail. Then flip that one onto itself too then down into the gap you made with the first one. This leaves you with lovely evenly rolled sides & a piece of hair which is the end of both ponies, showing out of the bottom. Spray this piece of hair then put an elastic band in the very end of it. Now take that end, roll it up & over, into the fold of the top & pin. That’s it.

I’m quite liking my fringe longer these days. For this style I simply blow dried it smooth with a barrel brush then added some wax for separation & so it wasn’t fluffy. The wind did the rest…Oy vey

low chignon hair bun

low chignon hair bun

low chignon hair bun

low chignon hair bun

topshop merci t-shirt with hoop earrings

So what’s the verdict lovelies? Do you like my outfit? Was I right to destroy the Warehouse dress or did you prefer the original? For me it’s about being creative & although this look isn’t exactly cutting edge, you won’t see anything exactly like it anywhere. Also I’m looking forward to dressing-up the skirt with heels & a smart top in fact I’ve already earmarked it as my Ferragosto outfit.
You could say it’s already paid for itself? Mx

  • Comments ( 29 )

  • avatar
    Michelle

    Skirt, love it, Top, love it. Hair, love it and looking forward to the vlog (I’m rubbish at doing my own hair). Quite simply, you nailed it!
    Michelle xxx

    • avatar
      MT

      Thanks honey, I have been a bit slack actually. You’ve just given me the kick up the bum I needed to get cracking on the vlog! xxx

  • avatar
    melissa

    Color me inspired. This is SO creative. I really love everything about the outfit. Off to go try my hand at the chignon! 🙂
    ~Melissa
    https://freshairandfalselashes.com

    • avatar
      MT

      How did you get on with my tutorial Melissa? If it’s too hard to understand don’t worry, I’m going to do a proper vlog x

  • avatar
    sara delaney

    What a fab idea – wish I was handy with the old sewing machine, but think it’s still in the garage with the mice… xxx

    • avatar
      MT

      Heehee I have an image of cute little mice busily sewing teeny tiny mouse outfits 😉 xx

  • avatar
    Lizzy

    What a clever girl you are to spot and then realise a dress’s potential. You look amazing- classy and sexy in equal measures. Gorgeous accessories too xxx

    • avatar
      MT

      Aw shucks Miss Liz *blushes*…xxx

  • avatar
    Samantha

    Followed your lead from a very early post (black leather skirt…) and have had numerous pieces from my wardrobe altered, by a very clever seamstress around the corner. Excellent advice Michelle (again!).

    • avatar
      MT

      Fabulous! Just what I love to hear, thank you Samantha x

  • avatar
    No Fear of Fashion

    You clever girl. You nailed it. A lovely outfit and indeed very versatile.
    Greetje

    • avatar
      MT

      I love this Greet! Thanks for making my day xx

  • avatar
    Emma Peach

    Turning a dress into a skirt is a brilliant idea! Nobdoy else will have one like it…well, unless they read your blog and copy you! I love the T-shirt too! Fabulous outfit!

    Emma xxx
    http://www.style-splash.com

    • avatar
      MT

      Thanks Emma, I hope people do copy the idea. This t-shirt is a winner for Topshop I reckon 😉 xxx

  • avatar
    theresa campbell

    Brilliant! Love tropical prints and love the idea of turning a dress into a skirt. It’s amazing what you can do when you have a good tailor or can sew. So many things that would be left on the rack could be transformed with some minor tweaks.

    Your outfit is truly an inspiration. And your hairdo is a perfect summer look.

    Theresa

    • avatar
      MT

      Hi Theresa & thank you so much for leaving this lovely comment. I used to alter clothes a lot more when I shopped at charity shops but sadly those shops have pretty slim pickings these days. I hardly ever find classic pieces any more but then again I don’t have as much time to trawl them regularly with the children. You really have to go in every week.

  • avatar
    ABby@Midlifecrisisnut

    Look at you señorita! I just love your look! But what’s more, you had me laugh soooooooo hard with you WTF golden thread comment! Cheers to summer! Missing you Girls! xx Abby

    • avatar
      MT

      Gracias Abby! Yay to summer, which appears to be over already in England 🙁 Thank goodness we have sunny Europe on our doorstep xx

  • avatar
    SUzy Turner

    In my eyes, you can do no wrong, Michelle! I think that skirt looks absolutely divine!! And I love it with the tee – which, incidentally, makes your boobs look huge (I’m just jealous lol!) And the chignon is perfect.
    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!
    Suzy xx
    http://www.suzyturner.com

    • avatar
      MT

      Ahem I did notice my ginormous bangers when I was editing the photos 😉 What the hell??? Not a good bra choice obvs, I really must get that nude Shapeez one sorted. Thanks Suzy xxx

  • avatar
    sequinist

    I love this look! I agree with Wendy Kate. I think that print on a whole dress isn’t so great, but on a skirt it is super! I love it with a tee shirt, and I’d love it styled WAY up with a fitted white blazer, heeled sandals, and a statement earring, all Carolina Herrera style. Brava bella, for your creativity. I’m going to raise my hand and ask for the video of this hair look, because I don’t see quite how to do it from you description.

    You are one saucy señorita here. xx

    • avatar
      MT

      Ack I know I know! Why didn’t I record it DOH!!! I was kicking myself, no mean feet in this skirt lemme tell ya 😉
      Vlog to come babe xx

  • avatar
    Sarah

    Genius. Any tips on finding a good, affordable local tailor?

    • avatar
      MT

      Oooh excellent question Sarah. I just looked online & happened to find my wonderful Sadie. I did start with a small hem & darts adjustment & soon realised I had a gem of a woman on my hands. Turned out she owns the business & has another equally talented tailor who works for her so I’m very lucky. I suggest trial & error. Start with something small & check the finish with a fine tooth comb. Even a simple hem should be done well, you’ll know if you’ve found a good one.

  • avatar
    Simplement Lui
  • avatar
    Wendy Kate

    I didn’t like the original dress, too much print but as a skirt – wow! it’s fab and I love it with that t shirt, a whole different vibe to it. You are so clever! 🙂

    • avatar
      MT

      Nah I’m not so clever to do it myself, well I could have but I’m lazy 😉
      I agree with you about the print being too much Wendy, plus I just don’t like being all that bare up top any more. xx

  • avatar
    Samantha Blair

    This is my kind of look Michelle!
    Designer inspired without the fashion-victim.
    A bit of clever DIY and a good alternative T.
    Perfect!
    Great style and more pennies in your pocket.
    XXX
    Samantha

    • avatar
      MT

      Thank you Samantha that means a lot coming from you xxx

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