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If there’s one area I truly shine in as a fashion editor, it’s finding expensive-looking items that aren’t actually expensive. This especially comes in handy when I want an outfit to look impeccably chic but don’t want to spend a fortune on it. So how do you make an outfit look luxurious in the sweltering summer heat when all you want to reach for are flimsy shorts and a tank top? Here’s my secret. It’s all about opting for the right fabrics in chic silhouettes. For example, linen is something that can look premium at a more affordable price point, especially when it’s paired with a minimalist silhouette.

Below, I’m sharing more of my go-to fabrics and textures that I always lean on when I want my outfit to look expensive. Keep scrolling to shop my favorite finds in each category that look pricey but won’t break the bank.

Linen is one of my go-to fabrics I reach for in summer because not only does it exude an effortless elegance but it’s also one of the best fabrics to beat the heat. Moreover, it softens with regular wear. Opt for a piece in a minimalist silhouette.

Silky and satin-effect pieces always look so luxe because of their lustrous nature. Try a camisole, flowy trousers, or a slip skirt to add a posh touch to your outfit.

Our Who What Wear editors love plissé pieces and for good reason. The lightweight crinkled fabric elevates an outfit in an instant. 

Crisp white cotton is not only soft, lightweight, and breathable—allowing your body heat to escape—but it also looks impeccably chic. Opt for a breezy button-down or a long, flowy dress.

Seersucker and textured fabrics are ideal for summer—light and comfortable—they offer a sumptuous touch to your warm-weather looks. A seersucker swimsuit always looks expensive.

The easiest way to elevate your basics? Opt for fashion-forward ribbed knits for your tanks, tops, and staple dresses.

Eyelet dresses ooze charm and the intricate embroidery looks luxe. They’re a gorgeous option for a myriad of summer occasions. Go for a loose and relaxed silhouette.

When it comes to pants, aside from linen I love easy-to-wear crêpe pants because of their distinctive crisp and crimped appearance which drapes beautifully. Just add a belt, a tank top, sleek sandals and you have one seriously chic summer outfit.

I’m always looking to get that Chanel aesthetic and tweed and textured weave fabrics embody the style perfectly. A chic blazer is perfect for cooler summer nights.

Up next, 12 cheap summer staples that will make getting dressed easier.


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