From all the outfits you see on Instagram, it’d be easy to assume that all fashion editors own are designer items, from the latest It bag to pieces from the industry’s buzziest emerging brands. But things are not always what they seem. Yes, because of gifting and borrowing from brands—for example, the F/W 22 Prada bag below was loaned to me from the luxury secondhand retailer Fashionphile for NYFW—designer items do come along. But for the most part, a lot of editors, especially myself, stick to a budget that leans a lot more toward Zara than it does Prada.
The key is to look for pieces that appear (and feel!) expensive but really aren’t, which is harder than you might think to achieve. Luckily, I shop with this criterion in mind on a 24/7 basis for my job, so I already have a few dozen items in mind. To shop them all, from the $35 H&M slingbacks that I swear should cost at least $500 to $88 designer-looking Afrm leather pants, keep on scrolling. Oh, and get out your credit card because if my cart is any indication, you’ll be bringing some items home with you.