How to Make a $20 Denim Skirt Look Like a $200 One!

Australian Designer Dupes Big W Big W Donny Galella
Marie-Antoinette Issa

Lifestyle Writer

Apr 04, 2024

With over a decade and a half of experience in the fashion industry, stylist Donny Galella has a few tricks up his well-tailored sleeve on making women look good. Renowned for his expertise, he has curated show-stopping looks for numerous celebrities. Gracing prestigious events such as The Oscars, Emmys and ARIA Awards. His flair also extends beyond red carpet appearances, with DG lending his talent to television, offering style insights on shows like Channel 7’s The Morning Show and Sunrise. Galella has also showcased his transformative skills on programs such as Beauty and the Geek and The Biggest Loser.

However, his latest collaboration (teaming up with BIG W to create and curate Donny’s Edit. An effortlessly chic capsule collection) perfectly places him to talk classic styles v seasonal trends, making cargo pants cool again and how to create a wardrobe that looks like you spent a bomb …. while actually saving serious coin in the process!

Hi Donny! We love your Donny’s Edit with Big W! In fact, some fashionistas are saying that for $25, you can recreate looks similar to AJE, Peter Alexander, AERE, JAG and Levis. Do you really believe its possible to look luxe for less?

Absolutely! I always say to make sure you have all the classic wardrobe capsule pieces to ensure you have the perfect foundation. Then inject some seasonal trends into your wardrobe. And, what I love about BIG W, is that you can dabble in all the trends without breaking the bank.

Okay then, what are some of these timeless pieces that you speak of. The type that every wardrobe should have, regardless of seasonal trends?

Timeless pieces are key in any wardrobe, transcending trends for enduring appeal.   BIG W offers a great blend of timeless classics along with contemporary trends that will suit any wardrobe.

One of the most classic pieces you can own is a crisp white shirt, Like the Brilliant Basics Women’s Long Sleeve Shirt in White ($20). A classic white shirt can be styled in so many ways and take you from day to night. No wardrobe is complete without a well-fitted pair of jeans. The 1964 Denim Company Women’s Organic Cotton Blend Straight Leg Jean in Harbour Wash ($25) embodies timeless sophistication with its classic dark denim and straight-cut silhouette. Elevate the look by pairing a white shirt and classic-cut jeans with a black blazer. Such as the &me Women’s Ponte Jacket in Black ($30). This combination exudes relaxed elegance, making it a great choice for any occasion. 

Off that, what are some of the hottest looks we can expect to be wearing this Autumn/ Winter?

As we embrace the resurgence of the utility trend in Autumn Winter 2024, a pair of cargo pants is an essential addition to every wardrobe.

While cargos are often considered casual attire, their versatility knows no bounds. Elevate your look with the &me Women’s Tailored Cargo Pants in Beige ($30) for a more luxe vibe. For a casual look, style the cargos with a tee, denim jacket and white sneakers. Transition into an evening look by pairing the cargos with a tee, blazer and heels, striking the perfect balance between casual and chic.

Another trend I’m loving this season is the Little Denim Dress (LDD). It is a transitional staple poised to carry you from summer to autumn in unparalleled comfort and style. BIG W’s new Autumn Winter collection includes a gorgeous LDD – The 1964 Denim Company Women’s Wide Sleeve Dress (pictured below) – which bears more than a passing resemblance to a similar one by Aere.

Australian Designer Dupes Big W Donny Galella
Denim Dress

How do you determine which seasonal trends are worth investing in. And which are best left to hit the clearance rack?

When embracing trends, select those that resonate with your personal style and prioritise pieces that evoke joy so when you wear them you feel confident.

Understanding your lifestyle is so important when integrating seasonal trends into a wardrobe. As they foster a sense of comfort, confidence and authenticity.  Rather than adhering to trends, prioritise garments that resonate with your individuality and evoke a sense of joy and self-assurance.

I also love thinking about your best assets and how you can dress to accentuate your best assets. I like to think about colours that complement your complexion and enhance your natural features. 

Then, evaluate the potential longevity of the trend. Consider its versatility and timelessness. Are you likely to embrace this trend six months or even a year from now? Assess how seamlessly the trend integrates with your existing wardrobe, ensuring cohesive ensembles.

Ultimately, if the trend offers ample styling possibilities across various seasons, it may be a worthy investment.

For instance, take the &me Women’s Linen Blend Blazer in Tan ($39). While the tan color embodies a current trend, its neutral hue means endless adaptability. Crafted from linen, a natural fibre known for its breathability and comfort, this blazer transcends seasonality. Making it a timeless addition to any wardrobe, poised to elevate your style year-round.

What are some strategies for updating a classic wardrobe with current seasonal trends without overspending or (eek!) looking cheap!

A simple way to refresh your look and stay on trend is by embracing the power of accessories. By incorporating on-trend accessories, such as the &me Women’s Web Strap Crossbody Bag in Bone ($15) paired with the stylish &me Women’s Double Buckle Sandals in White($12), you can elevate a look and infuse it with a contemporary edge.

What sets BIG W apart is its accessibility and affordability, allowing you to indulge in a few key seasonal pieces without fear of breaking the bank. By gradually adding new items each season, you can refresh your wardrobe with ease, staying on-trend while sticking to a budget. 

Finally, are there specific techniques or rules of thumb you follow when mixing classic pieces with seasonal trends to ensure a harmonious (okay, more expensive!) look?

This season, the tonal trend is a great way to elevate your look. Choose a colour scheme and try wearing it head-to-toe for a chic and cohesive outfit.

The &me Women’s Linen Blend Blazer in Blue in Blue ($39), paired with the matching and &me Women’s Linen Blend Wide Leg Pant in Blue ($25) is a great set to inject a stylish pop of colour into your wardrobe.

This ensemble stands out as one of my personal favourites from my curated selection. For those with blue eyes, opting for this set in blue would undoubtedly enhance your natural features. 

Okay, we know we said finally, but this really will be out last question. In your experience, what are some of the benefits of incorporating both classic wardrobe staples and seasonal trends into one’s style repertoire?

Fashion is all about expressing your own personal style and projecting your personality. Your wardrobe should be a blend of classic timeless staples and seasonal trends.  

Once you have all the classic staples, then you can focus on injecting some trend pieces each season. These trend pieces should work nicely back with everything in your wardrobe.

As our personal style evolves with life experiences and personal growth, so too does our wardrobe. By embracing both classic elements and seasonal trends, your style becomes a reflection of you.


By Marie-Antoinette Issa

Lifestyle Writer

Marie-Antoinette Issa is a contributor for The Carousel and has worked across news and women's lifestyle magazines and websites including Cosmopolitan, Cleo, Madison, Concrete Playground, The Urban List and Daily Mail, I Quit Sugar and Huffington Post.



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