Do you struggle to get dressed, let alone put outfits together? Don’t worry. This list will help you get started on how to look expensive on a budget and make you feel your best every day!
Because whether you have the money or not, the latest designer trends might be the last thing you want to spend on. And we know you’d rather invest and watch your money grow. Thankfully, you don’t need to pay top dollar to look stylish. So, let’s dive in.
12 Ways how to look expensive on a budget
Below are several ways to help you dress expensive on a budget. Use these tips to guide you when you get dressed every day. And remember them when you go shopping as well.
1. Utilize neutral colors
There is a place for bold colors in your wardrobe, of course. But when it comes to looking classy and stylish, wearing neutrals is one of the best tips for how to dress expensive on a budget. So, choose black, navy blue, beige, grey, white, muted green, brown, or taupe to anchor your outfits.
Neutrals don’t go out of style. This means you won’t need a lot of pieces in your wardrobe. And you can easily style them with bright and bold colors if you want.
2. Invest in timeless pieces
The key is quality over quantity. Buy versatile, classic pieces that won’t go out of style any time soon. So, as tempting as it is, keeping up with trends is the fastest way to overspend and fill your wardrobe with clothes that don’t fit your personal style or go together well.
Next time you’re out shopping, save your money and maybe get a great pair of jeans that will last you for a few years rather than going for whatever is on-trend right now. And maybe it’s time to break up with the trendy lifestyle influencers that might be making you broke too!
3. Wear clothes that fit well
Another way to look expensive is to make sure you wear clothes that fit your body well. First, choose pieces that flatter your figure and are well-tailored. Then, before buying anything, try different styles to find the one that fits you best.
Because, as you know, two pairs of pants can be labeled the same size but still be different in length or width. And, of course, a good fit is a must for a polished look.
4. Take care of your clothes
Another tip on how to dress expensive, that you can easily do, is to take care of your clothes. This includes making sure they’re freshly ironed or at least not wrinkly. And make sure you are checking and following washing recommendations, especially for fabrics like silk, wool, or cashmere.
It’s also best that you hang dry most clothing items as dryers break down the fabric, which causes it to shrink and look worn. And if you wear a lot of button-down shirts, pay attention to the collar area because it can get stained with makeup or lotions. So, you can wash or soak them immediately after wearing them.
5. Opt for structured clothes over slouchy
We all love to be comfortable and want to do that with oversized clothing. However, slouchy clothes can easily drown you with all that extra fabric, which can end up looking frumpy and shapeless. Choosing structured clothing over slouchy is another way how to look expensive on a budget.
Structured doesn’t have to mean uncomfortable and tight. Instead, it refers to items that have shape even when you’re not wearing them, such as a blazer, jeans, or a structured dress. They help keep a well-balanced proportion for most body types.
6. Pay attention to fabrics
The fabric used to make a piece of clothing also speaks to the item’s quality. And some fabrics look and feel more luxurious than others.
Next time you're out shopping, invest in natural fabrics like cotton, silk, Tencel, wool, and linen. Natural materials are also sustainable and durable, which makes the clothes last longer and better for your budget.
7. Good grooming goes a long way
Taking good care of yourself is how to look expensive on a budget! This means making sure you have clean nails and are well-groomed. And prioritize staying hydrated, exercising, and getting the right amount of sleep because your skin and overall appearance show how well you take care of yourself. Get motivated to take better care of yourself with our 30-day glow-up challenge!
8. Keep your makeup simple
Most often than not, simple makeup makes you look more polished and expensive than full makeup with 15 different beauty products. Additionally, beauty products can be costly, so keeping your everyday makeup simple is an easy way to trim your budget.
Less makeup is also good for your skin, and it saves you time in your morning routine. Try out our minimal makeup routine to get started!
9. Style your hair
If you’re looking for ways on how to look expensive, know that unkempt hair is not part of the equation. So, first, take care of your hair and trim it regularly to get rid of any split, damaged ends. And then, for elevated style, try to learn a few simple and understated hairdos.
Go for classic styles that rest at the nape of the neck, like a short hair cut, a side or center part, low ponytail or a bun, a simple French twist, or a French braid. If your hair is natural, twist-outs and braids are great styles. These hairstyles can make you look elegant, expensive, and put together in minutes.
10. Carry a structured bag
Handbags and purses are some of the first accessories that other people tend to notice about you. And a structured bag pulls together and elevates your style, which would definitely make you feel like a million bucks.
So, opt for bags that have edges, flat surfaces, and hold their shape. They’re an easy accessory that can transform your outfits without much work on your end.
11. Don’t forget about shoes
A whole outfit can be built around shoes, and a fabulous look can also be ruined by untidy shoes. Keeping your shoes in good shape is another way how to look expensive on a budget. Make sure your shoes are polished and in good repair.
Get a shoe polish kit and moisturize your leather shoes. And treat them with waterproof sprays to protect them from rain, snow, and spills. Treating and cleaning your shoes also help extend their life – good news for your budget because you won’t need to replace them often.
Bonus tip on footwear: opt for pointed-toed shoes for a longer, leaner look. Pointed-toed shoes elongate your legs and give the illusion that you are taller than you are.
12. Wear the right amount of accessories
There is no one rule for accessories if you’re looking for ways on how to dress expensive on a budget. Dainty, minimalist, and simple jewelry is great for everyday wear. But a pair of hoop earrings, a cool bangle, or a chunky can also elevate an outfit.
So, the trick is to wear the right amount of accessories and match them with your style and body type. This means you only need one statement piece for that extra visual effect.
Savvy ways to save and look expensive
There are many tips and ways on how to dress expensive on a budget, but the most important is paying attention to details. Checking if the buttons on your clothes are mismatched or missing, for instance, doesn’t cost a lot of money. And since we’re all about saving, check out these savvy ways to elevate your wardrobe while staying within your budget.
1. Organize your closet
Organizing your closet is one of the ways you can achieve your goal of dressing expensively. Go through your clothes and declutter your closet. Toss items that are out of style. The same goes for items that don’t fit you or are beyond repair and make way for a wardrobe that's expensive and chic.
2. Create new outfits with what you already have
One of our tips on how to look expensive is to avoid slouchy clothes. But if you already own lots of oversized pieces, experiment and create new outfits. You can pair slouchy items with structured pieces for a flattering look.
Do this by wearing a day dress with a tailored blazer or an oversized sweater with fitted trousers. There are tons of ways to upcycle your clothes to give your wardrobe a new and fresh look!
3. Buy items on sale
Clothing items go on sale all the time. And with a little bit of planning, you can take advantage of seasonal sales and save money. You only have to remember one rule: when demand is high, prices are high, and when demand is low, prices are low.
So, if you’re looking for a winter coat, the best time to buy is at the end of the season when stores are clearing inventory to make way for next season’s items.
4. Buy one piece at a time
Take the time to evaluate and organize your wardrobe to see what you need. According to CreditDonkey, most adults spend around $161 a month on clothes. If you’re not sure how much you spend, then it might be time to add a “style” category to your budget and set a certain amount each week or month for new clothes, accessories, or handbags.
Also, try to buy one piece of clothing at a time and be intentional and mindful of what you’re buying. This way you can own a stylish wardrobe on a budget.
You can look expensive, even on a budget!
We hope these tips on how to look expensive on a budget help you create a stylish wardrobe. Remember to pay attention to details, and that simple and clean goes a long way. Lastly, it’s how you feel about yourself that’s most important every single day!
Learn to craft a budget that suits your needs and includes room for style with our completely free budgeting course! For more practical financial tips, be sure to follow Clever Girl Finance on YouTube, and tune in to the Clever Girls Know podcast!