How to make a cheap coat look more expensive
Swap out the buttons
In place of the standard plastic buttons, sew on worn leather or antique-looking gold ones. (On a trench or any double-breasted coat, they're the main thing people notice anyway.)
Water Repellent Classic Trench Coat, $49.99, Merona, Target.com; Brown Leather Metal Shank Sewing Buttons, $4.25 for six, Bonanza.com; Antiqued Shank Style Buttons, $35 for 11, Amazon.com
Add a girly belt
It'll turn a flouncy coat into more of a fit-and-flare, Oscar de la Renta-like sort of thing.
Fitted Coat, $70, Nicole by Nicole Miller, Jcpenney.com; Thin Bow Patent Leather Belt, $78, Kate Spade, Lordandtaylor.com; Wide Bow Stretch Belt, $29.99, Loft.com; Black Elastic Bow Buckle Belt, $355, Stella McCartney, Bluefly.com
Pin on some brooches
The bigger the brooch, the better. They'll look especially kitschy and Marni-like on a colored coat
"Rynn" Coat, $115, bb dakota, Shopbop.com; Resin and Swarovski Brooch, $378, Marni, Luisaviaroma.com; Jewelled Brooch, $17.59, Asos.com; Brooch, $170, Marni, Yoox.com
Toss on a collar
Then tell everyone you bought your cape at A.P.C.
Cape, $69.50, Tulle, Piperlime.com; Faux Shearling Lapel Collar, $38.70, Asos.com; Fox Fur Collar Scarf, $495, Diane Von Furstenberg, Shopbop.com
Layer a vest on top of the coat
It sneakily camouflages most of your cheap coat, of course. But it's also what most of the Helmut Lang-wearing cool kids are doing these days.
Double Breasted Coat, $119.99, Mango.com; Faux Fur Vest, $295, DKNY, Netaporter.com