How to Mix High/Low Fashion Pieces | EP 101

Mixing High-Low Fashion: what it is and how to do it? 

This week, we are giving you the 411 on mixing High-Low Fashion: what is it and how do pull it off – and, in addition – our Fairy Gay Mother, Nolan Meader, is back to help us! 


A Disclaimer: Holly starts off by saying this is not her usual “Fashion Over 40” style rant. This is a fashion topic for anyone of any age or budget. Most anyone can pull this off! 

Also: be sure to head over to Holly’s Pinterest Board to follow along as you listen. 

So, this isn’t as simple as one might think. There is a way to pull this off that looks seamless and classic; not trendy or tacky. This is something that people started to do then got creative and made how-to videos about it. I will say creating a high/low look is really broken down into two buckets.   

  1. How to buy it.   
  1. How to style it.   

If the words “I hate to shop’ are in your frequent vocab, this isn’t for you.  

In addition to the advice and style info that we are about to give:  

This really isn’t for a beginner or someone who has just started a style journey. This is for someone who already has great style who is trying to EVOLVE their style. Your style should be evolving with your age. If your style isn’t evolving or you’re stuck in a style rut, this will be great motivation for you to get that fashion energy moving back in your life. It’s kinda like your furniture and your tchotchkes. If you don’t move them around occasionally, the energy in the room gets stale.  So, let’s start there and break it down.   

Let’s first talk about the difference between high-end and low-end fashion items. 

It might seem obvi, but we want to make sure we are all on the same page. What personal stylists might consider a high-ticket item would be something that starts probably at $500-600 dollar range and up.  

The Low-end would be $100 or less. Anything in the middle say over $150 would be considered moderately priced. This isn’t written in stone, it’s just what we consider high and low.   

How to Buy It:  

If you love to shop but don’t know what to shop for, then start here. Designer, high-end pieces can be acquired from stores at full price, or second-hand.  

In the market for a fabulous designer bag? Shop around a little at places like The RealReal and Vestiaire Collective and try to purchase second-hand.  

We’ve talked about this before, how you can go to secondhand luxury websites and buy something even with the tags still attached. People who want to regularly rotate their wardrobe will buy and sell second-hand. It’s a great resource for the fashionably fickle person who always wants something new and it’s even better for the environment. So that’s a great reason right there to shop secondhand.  

When you shop high-end, the best place to put that money is going to be in the accessories. Accessories usually means, bags, shoes, jewelry, belts, scarves, hats, etc. These are the items that you can tell are high-end. You don’t want to waste a ‘high-end’ piece on say a pair of black pants. You want the high-end pieces to be subtle but recognizable and the low-end pieces to blend with a sense of ease in conjunction with the rest of your look. A person who achieves this look correctly will have someone look at them and not be able to tell which pieces are low-end.  

That’s how you pull off a High/Low look! Yay!

Buying high-ticket items can be intimidating and daunting, but once you shop around and research what you are looking for, then you will feel better about spending the money. Most people with a financial block around clothes don’t see the value of why things cost what they do.  

There is a reason that things cost what they do, and clothes are no different. Everything from the stitching to the fabric to the actual pattern it takes to make the garment makes a huge difference. This is the reason why we are constantly talking about shopping for  fit first  instead of for color or for price.  

When you shop for fit, you will have a better product that you can wear longer. Things that fit better on your body will probably cost you more.  

Let’s use Holly as an example. She has never, ever been a person who cares about bags or purses. She bought what she thought was cute at a cheaper price and never gave it a second thought.  

Once she met Nolan, who is a terrible influence, btw, he taught her why her bags didn’t work and how it cheapened the rest of her look. She started to buy higher-priced bags and then really got it.  

Carrying a nicer bag can make you look much more polished and professional.  #truthbomb

The next high-end statement pieces are shoes. No matter what your high or low pieces are, shoes are the most telling statement you can make. Fine, high-quality shoes say “high” no matter how “low” you go.  #seewhatididthere

So, how low should you go? 

Notice we didn’t say how low you  can  go; we said how low should you go.  

When you see something cool and trendy, like a T-shirt, that can be low-end. If you are into T-shirts or like wearing them, a great way to shop for them on the cheap is to shop vintage.  

For example, Rock-n-Roll, authentic tees can be pricey, but something similar like a knock-off band tee is something you can do on the cheap. You can look at vintage stores in your area or look at websites like ThreadUp and Etsy, or even Urban Outfitters has a vintage section. This is a great way to mix it up.  

“You could put a vintage Rock-n-Roll tee under a blazer with designer jeans and shoes, and a moderately priced bag with costume jewelry. That’s a great way to mix high and low.”    

Another way to shop low-end is with denim. Levi’s are a perfect way to get a great jean at a great price. There are other companies like Good American and Madewell that have jeans that are priced moderately and have a great product for less. Once you have great basics on the lower end its super easy to mix with high end to create a perfect high/low mix.   

See my Pinterest board here for more ideas!  DOOO ITTTT.

Nolan’s Note of Week: High needs to be “high” to pull off the High/Low look. Take your best pieces and combine them with a trendy low piece. The focus needs to be on the High. Not the Low.  

Or he’ll beat you with a menu from Cipriani. And we aren’t kidding. He was very passionate about this.


“The Best Fashion Friend You Never Knew You Needed!” 

#fashion #fashionpodcast #highlowfashion 

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