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How to work the Hi/Low dressing equation this spring

By Sara Delaney on May 05 2014

I’ve never been the sort to turn down designer duds at the right price, but even for me there’s definitely a cost ceiling, where said designer item becomes way less attractive. My credit card starts to get the shudders if the price point creeps over £500, and I’ve definitely got history of allowing would be purchases to languish in my shopping cart for days on end whilst I try to justify a costly purchase and shift it from my ‘nice to have’ list to my ‘can’t live without it’ list.

Thank heaven then for the dawn of the Hi/Low dressing trend championed by the likes of Kate Middleton and Michelle Obama. Suddenly fash-tastic role models are telling us it’s okay, in fact pretty cool, to mix our high end with our high street.

So in this brave new world of mixy-matchy dressing, how’s a gal to know which designer pieces to blow her hard earned cash on, and which pieces she can swan into Zara or Uniqlo and snaffle up in every colour?

The key to pulling off Hi/Low dressing is to spend the bucks on pieces which can transition across a few seasons. A great rule of thumb is to invest in outerwear and accessories. With a little clever attention to trend details, you can pick up a designer piece today, which will definitely keep working for you come the autumn.

For this spring you can’t go far wrong with a designer statement coat. When sporting one of these babies, you could be wearing a string vest underneath for all we care; it’s all about the outerwear. Look for brights or pastels in classic cuts or bikers and bombers with mixed textures or embellishment, just ensure you have a high impact item.

Another investment piece is a structured tote. Opt for a pastel hue like duck egg blue and work it right through to the fall. Classic neutrals are also a winner and will certainly ensure your cost per use sum comes up trumps.

Finally a pair of designer statement heels is the perfect way to update your high street outfits. Think pointy toe pumps, block-heeled sandals, cutout details, and embellishment. The joy of coughing up for a designer shoe is that the comfort factor for your tootsies really does increase with the money you spend. I snagged some delicious Sophia Webster heels this season and could seriously wear them 24/7 they are so comfy.

So we’ve figured out our designer items for the season, what do we need from the high street? To be honest, the quality of high street clothing is so good these days that some brands are snapping at the heels of their designer counterparts with their ‘Limited’ and specially curated edits. The high street brands are still major at nailing a whimsical trend. Tropical florals? Check out Ted Baker. Monochrome must-haves? Try Warehouse. Boho festival chic? Take a peek at Kate Moss’s new collection, which just dropped into Topshop.

Grab any of these spring trend items and work them with your high-end pieces safe in the knowledge that by next spring, your designer investments will be ready to pair again with whichever new trends turn up.

Twitter: @notesbyastylist
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