Gone are the days of high-end labels existing only for the rich and famous. Luxury is becoming more and more accessible to the masses with luxe brands beginning to popularise diffusion lines and entry level lifestyle pieces to give us all a touch of the fabulous and aspirational in our lives. While Tom Ford accurately says “Time and silence are the most luxurious things” – neither are easily attainable in today’s fast-paced world. But the ‘feeling’ of luxury, well that’s something we can all have a taste of. Affordable luxury is actually ‘a thing’, and here’s how…
Who’s Doing It?
Net-A-Porter led the fashion charge making high-end couture accessible all over the world with its big brands, super-fast delivery and sleek black box packaging – we’ve all been spoilt with a touch of Madison Avenue with this online fashion giant. Then the Net-A-Porter group went and launched TheOutnet.com and all of a sudden designer brands were more accessible than ever. Swoon! Similarly, top end labels like YSL have rebranded to Saint Laurent offering basic pieces, within the luxury class, but without the unattainable price tag. At home here in Australia we have the likes of C&M by camilla and marc and the beautiful basics of Bassike to thank for our touch of luxe.
Beauty brands alike are giving us access to the super skincare science of their hero products without the cost of an arm and a leg, and let’s not get started on the 5star luxury travel that starts with low-cost airlines offering business-class travel at economy prices and ends with idyllic Asian destinations right on your doorstep. Like beautiful Bali offering privately staffed villas, chauffeurs, child-minding, in-villa massage, personal chefs and concierge services, all set within the grounds of your secluded 4-5 bedroom villa. And did we mention you get all this for the same price as (sometimes less than) a week in QLD!
Here’s our edit of some of the best ‘affordable luxury’ items and opportunities around – it’s time to pimp your life!
FASHION & BEAUTY: SUPE-UP YOUR STYLE:
Luxury fashion and beauty can be bought of course, if you have the dollars, but there are ways to ‘feel’ luxurious and bring some high-end ambiance into your life without breaking the bank. How can we all get a little Tom Ford action in our life without having to take out a second mortgage? Easy. Invest in these small, (more) affordable luxuries that will have you feeling like Kim Kardashian on a budget.
So you can’t splash out $3000 for a Prada bag or Burberry trench? The best way to incorporate high-end designer fashion is to buy the smaller, more affordable pieces in their collections, like sunglasses. With a starting price point of around $300, you can introduce brands like Armani, Prada and yes, even Tom Ford into your world for a fraction of their bigger ticket items.
Prada PR22QS VOICE $500
Or just makeup, in general. Ever whipped out a tube of Chanel red lippy to reapply in public? There’s a definite feeling of “I can do this, it’s Chanel, after all.” Most big brands now have a makeup line, even Burberry with their signature ‘check’ on the packaging. Even if you just buy one item from these ranges, you’ll feel the luxury grace the air around you.
Chanel ROUGE COCO hydrating lip colour, $52
There is something to be said for being well groomed at all times. It SHOUTS luxury, even if you’ve used products from Priceline. To be honest, if it’s all done well, nobody will know the difference. Here’s a quick guide to fooling people:
Hair: Go over your hair for two minutes with the blow-dryer in the morning. It makes the world of difference.
Toes: People look you up and down from your head to your feet, so if your toes are freshly polished and shiny, you’ll immediately have a luxurious finish.
Skin: Even if you have no makeup on, moisturized skin will beam your best light. Try a product like L’Oreal’s Youth Code Luminosity Extraordinary Serum or the Revitalift Laser X3 Moisturiser which will make the skin gleam.
L’Oreal Youth Code Luminosity Extraordinary Serum, $35.95
L’Oreal Revitalift Laser X3 Moisturiser, $35.99
It’s Time For A Time Piece
A super shiny gold or silver watch will always look expensive, even if you bought it on sale. Try brands like Michael Kors, Marc by Marc Jacobs or Emporio Armani to inject some demure glamour into your look.
Marc By Marc Jacobs Amy Rose Gold Bracelet Watch $365
Fake It Til You Make It: Faux- Diamond or Pearl Stud Earrings
Refinement is a sign of luxury, so instead of going overboard on enormous diamante faux jewellery, choose small studs and wear them everyday, as though they’re real. They’re elegant and reserved – two sure signs of luxury and class.
Equip Diamante stud earrings $7.99
Get Cosy With Cashmere
This is worth investing in. Cashmere feels beautiful on the skin and you will feel luxe every time you wear it. Store it well and it will last for years, making even a “jeans and a jumper” outfit feel incredibly luxurious. Try cashmere from Banjo & Matilda for modern knits that are 100% pure cashmere banjoandmatilda.com.
Banjo & Matilda Sloppy jojo in heather grey $280
Scent of A Lady
A good fragrance is a tiny bit of true luxury you can use every day and a great way to boost your designer portfolio. Our latest faves are Chloe’s signature scent and and Giorgio Armani Si. Spritz carefully – a little goes a long way and you don’t want to overpower people in the elevator on the way to work.
Chloé Eau de Parfum – 50ml $130
Giorgio Armani Si Intense – 50ml $140 1300 651 991
Get Polished To Perfection
Messy doesn’t equal luxurious. Take a look in the mirror before you leave the house. Are there things spilling out of your bag? Tuck them in or remove them. Sharp tailoring adds a polished look, so do you need to add a blazer? A closed toe is more polished than an open one, so perhaps a change of shoe is in order. Remember, you can fake luxury. It’s all in the details.
TRAVEL: ROUND, ROUND GET AROUND (LIKE A CELEBRITY!)
Road-Tripping In Style Baby: Mercedes-Benz Luxe, Half the Price Tag!
Luxury wheels are no longer a pie-in-the-sky dream. Mercedes-Benz is leading the way in setting new (and affordable!) standards in the premium medium-sized car category. The gorgeous, sleek, C-Class has all the uber-luxe trappings you would expect from a Mercedes-Benz but enters the market at a modest price point of $60K – which is around the same price you would expect to pay for a ‘bells and whistles’ Mazda!
With similar features to its more expensive siblings ($100K for the E-Class and $200K for the S-Class) this sexy set of wheels marks an awesome moment in motoring history where the much-coveted Mercedes-Benz badge is now more accessible than ever. Who says you need a Toorak or Double Bay postcode to cruise around in this baby?
Want more? Like any great accessory, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class can be tailored to suit your personal tastes. It comes with a bespoke perfume, (a scent that can be changed to suit your mood and can be turned on or off at your choosing), ambient lighting (choose your own colour interior lighting), touchpad technology (as easy to use as a smart phone) and oh, so, much more!
Leaving On A Jetplane: Bali Bling Bling!
We can’t travel now but we can plan our next trip even if it is next year. Trendy tourist spots like Seminyak, Canguu and Uluwatu are high on our list. They are going next-level with their luxury villa offerings and personalized concierge services to turn an already five-star holiday experience into a not-lifting-a-finger kind of holiday. You know, the kind only usually associated with millionaires and celebrities where they have staff to cater to their every whim. Plan a trip to these extravagant villas on for size…You’ll feel like royalty but pay like a pauper!
Villa Samuan Siki
Let the luxe experience begin even before you take off by using ex-pat run and owned Good Living Asia to organise all the bells and whistles for your Bali getaway. Not only do they have a superior edit of Bali and Lombok’s best villas for any sized family, group or couple, they’ll make sure your VIP arrival into Denpasar is super-smooth and streamlined, fast-tracking you through immigration and then whisking you away in air-conditioned comfort to your uber-luxe villa of choice. You’ll feel like a celebrity, but without the paparazzi following you!
Did we mention that you’ll also be spoilt with chauffuers, private villa staff including a chef, dedicated security, spa therapists, child-minding – the works? Best part of course, is it’ll cost you less than a holiday in Australia with the same luxury features! Bali does five-star luxury oh so well, at such reasonable prices, you’ll go back again, and again, and again! That is when we can travel again…
What are some of your favourite affordable luxury items? Tell us in the comments below!