I love to indulge in the latest clothing trends, but I don't love to break the bank on them. Although it’s tempting to scoop up every decent knock off you find, you can end up looking like you’re wearing, well, cheap knock offs. Fortunately, it is possible to buy inexpensive clothes and still look like you're dressed to the nines.

Buy solids

I actually love a nice print, but it usually doesn't scream luxury. Loud designs can draw attention to clothes that are not made well, with patterns that don't match up. While you're browsing the solids rack, aim for darker colors. I don't know why this is, but light colors like pastels just don't look great in inexpensive fabrics. Black, purple, jewel tones... those can look great.

Buy plain

Not only should you look for simpler colors, you should also steer clear of embellishments when you're shopping for trendy items. Similar to the reason that you should stay away from big prints, many times an inexpensive garment's detail will pull down the whole piece. Flimsy buttons or sloppy embroidery means that it won't last long anyway.

Blue polyester skirt from Forever 21 paired with simple black tank and statement necklace.

Tailor it

It seems completely ridiculous to pay to tailor a trendy item, but it can make all the difference in your whole look. It's an open secret that many celebrities tailor even their tanks and t-shirts. So if you find something you love at a store not known for quality, take a chance and make a nip or tuck. A change in hem or a taper at the waist shouldn't cost too much at the tailor, and would stretch the life of your find.

Accessorize well

My personal favorite style secret (and one that I employ often) is to mix in nicer pieces with the latest trend. I'm no stranger to the inexpensive mall stores, but once you pair a plain, rich-colored dress with a bright bag, statement jewelry, or brag-worthy shoe, then the inexpensive item is instantly elevated.

Choose Wisely^ Trends come and go, each season there's one more outrageous than the last. I still haven't outgrown trying funky fashion, but I manage to keep it from looking like I just walked out of a store meant for teenagers. By choosing wisely, no one will ever know that your outfit was a real steal.

More about fashion

Recycled clothes guide
French fashion tips for the American woman
Top 10 fashion must-haves