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How to Make Fast Fashion Look Designer

Every knows I just love my fast fashion, which isn’t a popular opinion these days (and for good reason). However, I try to treat it respectfully and only buy pieces I really love and I think I will wear a lt. I treat fast fashion like I would treat a designer garment, and that makes all the difference.

I get asked by friends and even people on the streets all the time about the garments I wear, thinking they’re designer, and people are shocked when I say things like, “thank you, it was $5!” I am a firm believer there are diamonds in the rough for any cheap brand. So, I put together a little guide on how I choose what to buy from brands like Shein, Romwe, Lulus, etc.

(This post contains affiliate links. Click to read my full disclaimer.)


  1. Watch for quality: inspect either on their site or in person (or both, preferably). What is the fabric like? Have you steamed it to see what it looks like without wrinkles? Do you ever see extra loose thread in a garment? Sometimes the seams aren’t cleaned up, but they’re still sewn fine. That’s ok! They just didn’t finish it perfectly like a nicer garment and that’s easily fixed.
  2. Pick things that don’t look cheap: That sounds straight forward, but it’s actually not. You really need to be looking out for those pieces that look designer or a nicer brand. If you see an item, like these shoes, right away you think they look too nice for this site, right? You want that feeling every time. If you don’t automatically feel that way upon looking at them, then NEXT!
  3. Don’t be afraid to return: I love SHEIN because they’re cheap and let you return a lot of items. I mean, you can’t return a lot of little accessories (they’re so cheap though, so whatevs) or swim/lingerie, but you can return clothes, bags, shoes, etc. Take advantage and never keep something you’re not totally in love with and makes you feel fabulous.
  4. Test it: most brands have return policies of 30 days. That means you can legitimately try a garment before making a final decision. Wear your item for a few hours before deciding. I don’t recommend wearing it out of the house or eating in it just in case of accidents, but do more than simply try it on. Give it a whirl! Is the fabric nice? Does it itch? How does it fall on you? Did it wrinkle immediately?
  5. Take advantage and shop sales: get on a mailing list and know when there are good promotions. Your cheap shopping excursion just got a hell of a lot more affordable.
  6. A steamer is your friend: I say this literally all the time: A STEAMER IS YOUR BIGGEST ALLY. Any garment will instantly look nicer if it’s steamed. I never leave the house without steaming my clothes. A lot of times, fast fashion is made from lesser materials that look cheaper. They just do. However, steaming and getting all those wrinkles and imperfections out of a garment will instantly boost the look. I’ve had people at fashion week stop to ask what designer made clothing by Forever 21 or H&M and I simply fooled them by perfectly steaming my outfit. Just trust me on this. If you invest in one thing to elevate your fast fashion it should be a steamer.
  7. A seamstress is your best friend, or a sewing machine: sometimes a cheap garment just needs a little upgrade to make it amazing. A button upgrade or a hem can really elevate a garment. Women used to always tailor their clothes back in the day and I think we’ve lost the art of dressing in this way. I’m even guilty of not doing it as I rarely do it these days, but when I have in the past it’s really made a look. For me, I’ve not been able to do that as my weight fluctuates so much, but if you’re in a consistent place try upgrading your new look by either consulting your seamstress or doing little upgrades yourself at home. Guys, buttons are seriously the easiest thing to replace and so cheap.


I’m not advocating fast fashion is in any way better than designer, but I, without a doubt, believe anyone can look fabulous at any price point and a $20 outfit, no joke, can be chic as fuck. Honestly, I do most of my shopping the fast fashion route because that’s what I can afford. After my RTR unlimited membership, I’m generally tapped, so affordable style is my best friend. And I mean AFFORDABLE like dirt cheap. Tell me your favorite fast fashion brand in the comment.


I’ll revisit the budget shopping in another blog post and talk about finding designer clothing on the cheap. In the meantime, tell me in the comments about your favorite affordable clothing you’ve bought in the past. What’s your favorite item that looks like it cost much more? Mine is the blue shoes referenced in this post!


shop the shoes here ($19)

shop the skirt here ($20)


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