How can you exude high end style AND maintain a budget at the same time? Follow these 10 tips on how to look expensive on a budget!
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10 Ways to Look Expensive on a Budget
It might seem counterintuitive to say that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to look like a million bucks! But you don’t! This list will help you feel your best without the heavy price tag.
By following these tips and incorporating them as habits into your daily wardrobe, you can present your most expensive-looking self with any budget!
1. Get the Right Fit
To appear rich is to have properly fitted clothing for your body type. Jeans are a great example of this. There are endless fits, sizes, and styles. The key is to find the size and style that is most flattering on your body. While it may be tempting to buy into the latest trendy style, if you buy into the fit that is most flattering on YOU instead, you will look and feel like a million bucks!
2. Utilize Neutral Colors
Those classy & chic outfits you drool over on Pinterest? Odds are good they utilize neutral colors. Instantly elevate your look by maintaining a neutral colored closet. This also makes for a versatile wardrobe, thus allowing you to create more outfits with less. Hello, money savings!!
3. Wear Understated Jewelry
Think dainty layered gold necklaces, a chic bangle cuff bracelet, or a pretty pair of pearl earrings. One or two simple pieces of jewelry polish off your outfit without being over the top and cheap looking. Avoid statement pieces as a general tip for everyday style.
4. Go for Monochrome to Look Expensive on a Budget
Maybe you struggle with putting together expensive looking outfits. The easiest way to look rich is to wear monochrome. An outfit that is all the same color instantly exudes elegance. The best part is that you likely already own a monochrome outfit! Popular monochrome outfits are black, white, gray, and navy.
5. Steam Your Clothes
Nothing say cheap like a wrinkled up shirt! Before getting dressed run a steamer over your clothing, especially the lightweight pieces that are prone to wrinkles. A crisp, wrinkle free outfit is and easy way to look more polished and expensive.
6. Invest in Timeless Items
Purchasing items you love (that fit well) and can wear for years to come is the ultimate way to save money over time. I’ve compiled a list of wardrobe basics that are the foundation to a versatile wardrobe. The key to wardrobe basics is quality over quantity.
Buying one basic white t-shirt, that is well made, for $50 will get much more wear than a $10 t-shirt that falls apart after a couple washes.
Also keep in mind that trends are temporary and can contribute to your outfit looking cheap. In the fashion world, buying into trendy pieces is one of the quickest way to overspend! Stick to the basics for a timeless & chic wardrobe.
7. Carry a Structured Bag to Look Expensive on a Budget
Structured pieces always appear polished and professional, therefore they naturally look more expensive. Be sure to always have at least one structured item in your outfit, to create an elevated look. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a nice structured bag. There are great options for under $50!
8. Take Care of Your Clothes
Much like steaming your clothes, taking care of clothing not only adds life to it but it gives the appearance of a rich and well maintained wardrobe. Things like loose threads and scuffed up boots are easy to fix and will make you look more expensive.
Ways you can take care of clothing:
- Try water protectant spray for suede/fabric footwear.
- Read the garment care tag before throwing something in the wash!
- Snip loose threads.
- Sew up minor holes.
- Treat stains ASAP.
- Avoid smearing makeup (particularly on the collar area).
9. Add a 4th piece
Ahhh! The good old 4th piece rule. A standard outfit contains 3 pieces: a top, bottoms, and shoes. Adding a 4th piece INSTANTLY completes any outfit and makes it appear polished. Follow this rule each time you get dressed and it will soon become a habit… and you’ll always look rich!
Common 4th pieces:
- Jacket or Blazer
10. Pay Attention to Fabric
Certain fabrics feel and look more luxurious, while others look plain cheap. Organic cotton, linen, cashmere, silk are great sustainable options for a luxurious and long lasting wardrobe. Below are some personal favorites from my wardrobe!
4 Things to Avoid to Look Expensive on a Budget!
While any of the items above can help you look expensive on a budget, there are a few things you’ll want to avoid (in my opinion!)
- Slouchy or Skin Tight Clothing
- Too Many Logos
- Busy Patterns
- Trendy Outfits
Ways to Save and Look Expensive
- Shop Secondhand
When looking for quality, timeless items (that are typically way out of budget), try shopping second hand. I’ve bought several items from second hand websites and local resale stores that are new with tags still on them. This is a great option for purchasing investment pieces for your wardrobe.
- Organize Your Closet
Getting dressed is so much easier and stress free with an organized closet. Being overwhelmed by your wardrobe is frustrating and cause you to avoid putting effort towards getting dressed. This is the process I followed to declutter my closet last year!
- Make New Outfits with Items You Already Own
Less is more. When you get the urge to buy new clothes because “you have nothing to wear”, try shopping your own closet first. This is another reason why I implemented my very own capsule wardrobe. With a capsule, I always have something to wear.
- Take Your Time
When it comes to buying new clothes or handbags, buy one at a time. With things like investment pieces, it can feel like you need to get everything all at once. But that can be costly! Instead, evaluate your current wardrobe, make a list of your needs, and make goals for when you will purchase new pieces!