Looking for tips on how to look expensive and look chic every time you go out, without spending a lot (i.e. even if you’re in a budget?).
I am aiming to abandon old bad habits and embrace this new decade with a more pro-forward glance into my future and the person I want to become when I grow up.
When you’re in control of how you look, you appear in control, calm, and put together.
For this post, we’ll go over styling your outfit to make you look more elegant. We’ll go over the small details that you should be paying attention to from now on.
Table of Contents
9 Things That Makes You Look Cheap
If your goal is to look more expensive (i.e. not look cheap even on a budget), then avoid wearing any of the following clothing and accessories.
- Showing too much skin
- Wearing clothes that don’t properly fit
- Too many designer logos all at one
- Cheap, fading jewelry
- Clothes that are wrinkled or that have holes in it
- Cheap-looking belts
- Having underwear appearing under your clothes
- Designer knock-offs
- Worn out clothes
Now that we got out of our way what NOT to do, let’s dive into the best ways to look expensive on a budget.
Below are 7 surefire tips that can make an outfit go from BLEHHH to WOWZA in a matter of seconds.
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How to Make your Outfit Look Expensive
- Iron Your Clothes
- Use Tailored Outfits
- Wear Minimal Jewellery
- Opt for neutrals
- Try monochrome outfits
- Invest in quality items
- Pay attention to grooming
- Wear sunglasses
- Change the Buttons
- Invest in quality underwear
1.Iron Your Outfits
Let’s start with the basics.
This could easily be something your grandma would say, but taking the extra five minutes to steam or press your look will add instant polish to even the most worn out pieces.
Repeat after me: your clothes being ironed matters!
In fact, it makes a HUGE difference!
Having unwrinkled, well kept, clean clothes is what differentiates us as powerful women to that scruffy teens we used to be that hardly brushed our hair.
“Wrinkled clothes are a clear sign to the world that you don’t really care about your look.” – from the book How To Get Dressed,by Alison Freer
I honestly HATE ironing my clothes. So I would usually avoid it and cross my fingers, hoping that no one would notice my unkempt blouse (or that they’d somehow assume that it got untidy on my way to work).
But I then remembered my mother had given me a clothes steamer that I had forgotten to try out and OMG, it was life-changing (seriously).
My clothes have never been so ironed. It is crazy how fast and easy it works (and a bit addictive to watch the wrinkles go away, especially with hard to smooth fabrics such as linen – my absolute favorite summer fabric).
So yes, girl, take those cheap clothes to a tailor before you take them home. It is worth every penny. This is one of the best ways to look expensive on a budget.
2. Use Tailored Outfits
One of the biggest differentiators between expensive and inexpensive clothes (obviously besides the quality of the fabric), is how these high-end clothes fit people.
This to say, if you want to look expensive, it’s time to say goodbye to those overly-long pants that insist on getting dirty.
No no, it is time to make your clothes work in your favor by visiting your tailor (see, if even rhymes).
Simply put, get everything tailored to perfectly fit your body.
This is a recent habit I picked up after watching endless fashion YouTubers who ALL recommended this same tip. It’s crazy!
So I gave it a go.
Even with inexpensive clothes from Zara, tailoring my clothes has made a HUGE difference in making me look expensive.
This makes me look like I am wearing high-end outfits. It also differentiates me from other people who have purchased the exact same clothes as me from these fast fashion stores.
Little fun fact: My entire life I was led to believe that expensive clothes were purposely made to fit someone better, but no. Turns out the people who buy high-end clothes also take them to their tailor.
Who would’ve known.
3. Don’t forget your jewelry (and be minimal)
Add some minimal accessories to easily look more put together.
Fashion changes every week.
Last year it seemed everything was becoming so small they would soon disappear. Now, 2022 has barely started and I can already see some size exaggerations, be it from extra-big puffy shirts to the return of big sunglasses and bags (yay).
But it’s freaking hard to keep up!!
That is why I made the decision to be more minimal back in 2020 with my life and my style in general.
That said, I am noticing chunkier necklaces making a return, exactly when everyone was telling you to opt for minimal.
Whatever the season or trend, one thing is certain about minimal jewelry: they are timeless and elegant. And no fashion trend will ever be able to turn our minds around it.
In fact, I would always recommend buying timeless jewelry. And that is where minimalism comes back in: you can never go wrong buying delicate jewelry to elevate your look.
And don’t underestimate the power of minimal jewelry. When it comes to accessories, what they say remains true: less is more!
Extra points if the jewelry is gold because gold instantly equals expensive and chic.
Other things to add that will boost your overall style: a classic watch (try to leave digital watches for other occasions); small scarfs for your neck, or a leather purse.
Pro Tip: Avoid plastic jewellery (or even costume jewelry). Instead, focus on classic pieces such as a pearl earrings, small, golden hoops, delicate necklace.
4. When in doubt, opt for NEUTRALS
Ok, so I have been obsessing over neutrals since the years started.
And considering the number of compliments I’ve been getting , I don’t think this obsession is going anywhere.
Plus, it is so much EASIER to instantly get dressed when your closet is filled with neutrals.
Neutrals instantly give you a more classic vibe, no doubt about that.
Moreover, you don’t have to break the bank to look expensive in neutrals. When I started out, I bought a lot of my neutral items from fast fashion stores such as Zara and Massimo Dutti, which were great for my ”neutral phase initiation”.
Now that I learned to appreciate the art of neutrals, I am opting to buy at better quality stores, (more on that below)
At La Belle Society, we absolutely LOVE monochromatic looks. It makes everything look more chic.
Not only is it incredibly elongating, but a monochrome outfit always looks intentional and put together.
One surefire way to look cheap is to pile on a ton of different colors and patterns.
While we absolutely love a splash of bright, colorful outfits, wearing a monochromatic outfit from head to toe creates an idea of money and style.
You don’t have to wear head-to-toe black, but an outfit made from similar tones and colors will help you look expensive.
The goal is to pair great basics together with pieces that look expensive.
5. Consider Quality Items
When it comes to dressing up more elegantly, it really is all about the details.
Some people mistakenly thing that dressing up in logos will make you look expensive, but this couldn’t be more far from reality.
So if you do take my tips on going for a more neutral vibe, then an important matter to take at hands is to think like the Italians: quality fabric matters!
In case you don’t know, Italians are a great example of classic, timeless stylethat looks darn good for centuries.
There is a good reason Italians are so picky when it comes to fabric: these guys know what is good!
Cris comes from the land of cashmere and linen and it was a matter of time until this started having an effect on me. He would dress up in a basic black sweater, but the touch of it felt amazing and it made him look dapper AF.
When it comes to dressing elegantly, do it like the Italians:
- Less is more
- Stay away from trends
- Quality fabric over quantity clothes
- And whatever you do, under any circumstances, you should never wear white socks!
Add a structured jacket, like a stylish blazer, to look timeless, elevate your look, and make it look more expensive.
7. Pay Attention to Grooming (i.e. Take Care of Yourself)
Last, but certainly NOT least (and something that makes it or breaks it whenever we decide to be look like a million bucks).
If you really want to make your clothes look expensive, make sure the rest of you is always put together.
This to say, it’s going to be easier to make clothes look expensive if you match them with a nicely-trimmed hair. Going further, a blowout or using a straightener can also make a huge difference, chip-free nails, and clean, neutral makeup.
Basically, none of the items in this list matter if you don’t pay attention to your grooming.
Have you ever heard the phrase ”it is all in the details’?’
Well that certainly applies to grooming.
It won’t matter if you’re dressed head to toe wearing your ironed, neutral, linen shirt if your nails look chipped and your hair a hot mess full of split ends.
Be sure to pay attention to your grooming throughout the day.
This means take care, for example, that your teeth are brushed and fresh, your hair is combed, your makeup is reapplied, etc.
Stylish dark sunglasses is one of the easiest way to look expensive and stylish without any effort.
Not only are sunglasses perfect to protect your eyes from the sunlight, but they can also make the most boring of outfits look super classy and elegant.
If you suffer from dark circle, sunglasses will also help hide them.
Be it if you like a pair of cat-eye sunglasses, or if you prefer classic, or always trendy tortoise shell frames, sunglasses have a huge power to make you appear put together and elegant.
Just keep in mind not to go for anything too fancy or decorative to maintain that classic vibe.
One of the biggest differentiators from our teenage years is the quality of our underwear.
This to say, if you’re still wearing undergarments with holes, that don’t match, and that look cheap you are missing out one of the coolest things about being an adult.
I honestly love wearing beautiful underwear, even if it doesn’t show. I feel sexy at all times and it’s always a nice surprise at the end of the day when I undress (Cris appreciates it).
Ready to make your clothes look expensive?
We hope this post will inspire you to look more expensive and look super stylish, even if you’re on a budget.
when everything else fails, remember this: less is more. You can easily look expensive with a pair of jeans, a white shirt (without wrinkles), a quality leather bag, and statement jewellery.
Create the cool girl aesthetic by using a pair of sunglasses to add a ZING of style to your outfit.
Lastly, if you afford some spending, invest in a quality pair of shoes, a little black dress, a high-quality coat for winter, and a a blazer for Spring.
Were you able to find tips to elevate your wardrobe in this article?
Don’t forget to save this post for later so that you always refer back to it whenever you want to look more expensive to make a bold statement.
Other posts that will interest you:
- Fashion Faux Pas That Parisian Women Will Never Make
- 8 Best ways to care for your clothes so that they always look brand new
- Learn to dress like a French woman and look effortlessly chic, year-round