5 Tips to Dress Chic with H&M or Zara Style Clothes

I still remember that day when a woman stopped me in a department store where I was strolling just to ask where did I find this stupendous skirt I was wearing. Was it from Yohji Yamamoto or Issey Miyake? « None of them », I answered with a smile… Just an H&M black skirt that I had bought for 50 euros…

Still, I’m not very fond of shopping in those « fast fashion » stores… But, if you follow few rules, sometimes, you can find there some real gold nugget!

1/Run away from the clothes that are promoted in the shopping windows

French Chic at low price

Unless you want to wear the exact same top that your open space colleagues… These clothes will soon be seen everywhere from subway platforms to your closest Starbucks… Move on from these front door clothes and go rummage  in the background shelves. Searching for a gold nugget takes time and need a good eye. But what a great pride to find one that didn’t look really attractive at first glance, well hidden behind a pile of yellow mohair sweaters…


2/Refuse to compromise about quality and shapes


Like this faux suede leather skirt

Like this faux suede leather skirt

Or this too transparent synthetic wool

Or this too transparent synthetic « wool »

It doesn’t matter if the price says « buy me, buy me » you’ll still loose your money if you get tempted by this tight dress in a too synthetic fabric or by this jacket in a fake leather that really looks like plastic… Even if you perfectly know that you won’t find here a 100% cashmere sweater, you have to stay aware of the general appearance of the fabric. If it’s too transparent, too shiny, too crumpled, too fake… forget it. The cuts are important as well. Look at the seams, the buttons, the shape of the collar if it’s a shirt, etc.

The cuts are important as well. Pay attention to the seams, the buttons, the shape of the collar if it’s a shirt, etc. All kind of details that will make the difference between an obviously cheap garment and a beautiful one that wasn’t expensive (but nobody will notice!)


3/ Avoid printed fabrics and subtle colors

Dress Chic in a budget French Chic in a Budget French Chic in a Budget

I’m sure we will see these ones everywhere soon…


– Printed fabrics: especially if they belong to the promoted clothes we’ve already talk about, you’ll instantly recognize them everywhere…

– Subtle colors: they are rather difficult to find there and they generally look faded… Better stick to classic ones

French Chic in a Budget French Chic in a BudgetParisian Chic in a Budget

These shirts are from H&M also, but who we’ll notice?



4/ To upgrade any of your « low-budget » clothes, invest in good quality accessories


French Chic in a BudgetA nice simple cut and a classic color for this coat mixed with a good pair of leather loafers. Et Voila how it can be H&M prices but chic!

This is a tip that all French girls have already heard about… If you wear a not expensive dress with an « expensive » pair of shoes and a nice bag you’ll look great. The opposite just doesn’t work! So stop buying your 10th cheap pair of jean and save instead a little money for a pair of nice leather boots. They will emphasize all your outfits and in addition, you’ll wear them for more than a season! And don’t be afraid to mix your not expensive clothes with high designer clothes or even vintage ones.

Why not wearing your Hermes scarf with a Zara top and a vintage jacket. That will instantly add an offbeat touch to your look. That’s really a successful ingredient of the French « je ne sais quoi » recipe!


5/Do your own customization

Add a broderie collar or a pin, saw a badge or a patch, dye the fabric in an another color, change all the buttons… anything that will add style is welcome!


Transform a black cardigan ( badges from Macon&Lesquoy)

I really like these badges from Macon&Lesquoy!…

petite-broche-brode-main-cactus moyenne-broche-brode-main-ukull cusson-the-do

or a simple navy sweater (collar from C by Clemence)

Collar from C by Clemence

Collar from C by Clemence


And you? What is your opinion about shopping in H&M or Zara style stores?




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2 commentaires

  1. I.m like you.. I shop in the H&M or Zara ( or Uniqlo) for basics and I mix them with more expensive items.. an example: last year I bought an expensive Sandro skirt. Very versatile, it’s stretch, black and grey. I combine it often with a cheap, very soft offwhite top i’ve found at H&M for 15 euro’s. or the cigarette pants ( duke of Windsor plaid) i’ve found at Zara on sale. ( 20euro and great quality, it’s even lined..). together with my navy cachemire sweater it looks great..

    • Well done Mireille! I shop in Uniqlo as well. I like their basics and some items of Ines de la Fressange collection ;)

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