I know that looking expensive is not the most important thing. Our family, our friends, our health, and our happiness are way more important. But since my blog is about style and fashion, I know you’re here because you care how you present yourself. So I’m going to teach you how to have a better eye for quality and, with a few post-purchase changes, you can make even the cheapest clothes look and feel more luxurious.
1. THINK ABOUT THE DETAILS
Even the chicest outfit can be brought down by distracting details, like frayed jean hems or scuffed shoes. Meanwhile, a few polished details can take a simple outfit to new levels. You can also add a few pairs of ‘fun’ shoes to your wardrobe—whether its different colors, textures or patterns— and cycle them through your favorite ensembles. You’ll be surprised how many people think you’re rocking an entirely new outfit!
2. GO MONOCHROMATIC
Dressing monochromatic means wearing the same color from head to toe. Monochromatic ensembles, especially an all-white outfit, automatically look more expensive. Try mixing shades of white, beige, and cream for a luxed-up look.
Here are a couple of tips for wearing monochromatic outfits:
- If you’re wearing one shade head-to-toe (instead of different shades of the same color), try breaking it up by mixing textures. For example, pair denim on bottom, with a nice silk blouse and a leather jacket. But just by bringing in different textures will bring more visual interest to your outfit.
- When in doubt, wear all black – it’s the easiest color to dress up to look expensive, and it will always be in style.
3. UPGRADE YOUR BUTTONS
Another super easy way to look more luxe is by simply upgrading your buttons. These could be buttons on blazer, jackets, and coats. A dead giveaway of a cheap jacket are those cheap, plastic buttons. And the opposite also applies. A good sign of a quality jacket are nice buttons. So hop on Amazon, find buttons you love and sew them onto your $20 blazer!
4. WHEN IN DOUBT, SIZE UP
The French girl way to make even cheap clothes look luxe is by sizing up in your clothes. This well help you achieve a slouchy, but intentionally-oversized look. Give it a try with basics like a tee, a blazer and high-waisted jeans.
5. INVEST STRATEGICALLY & OCCASIONALLY AVOID TRENDS
There are some luxury items that you’re just going to have to bite the bullet and pay up for. But in the end, it’ll be worth it. The goal is to invest in well-fitting, timeless items that you’ll pull out season after season, instead of an uber hot trend that’ll be gone in a season. One article of clothing that I recommend thoughtfully purchasing is a quality black leather moto jacket. This will give any outfit an instant edge, whether it’s your weekend tee and jeans or a romantic dress for a night out. Another timeless piece that packs a punch is a long camel coat. You could even throw this coat on over a basic jogger set and it will instantly dress it up! If you really want to make your clothes look more expensive, focus on purchasing classic pieces that never go out of style.
6. MIX IN PRICEY-LOOKING ACCESSORIES
If you tend to shop the bargain aisles for your main clothes, it’s okay to splurge on accessories to elevate your entire look. Or, if your budget is tight, accessories that look expensive can achieve the same goal. Accessories are a great place to allot some of your clothing budget because they can change an entire outfit.
A good rule of thumb for purchasing accessories that look expensive is to go for something that isn’t too obviously fake. For example, I’m not going to buy a huge necklace made of cheap gemstones that is meant to look like “real diamonds” because I can’t afford it; it’s out of my price range, and it’s not realistic. Instead I’m going to wear a nice pair of cubic zirconia stud earrings are more realistic. They are actually going to help me look more expensive when worn because they’re not obviously fake.
7. CHOOSE GOOD UNDERGARMENTS
The most important layers when you are trying to look more expensive are the ones you can’t even see. Investing in trustworthy shape wear will help you feel comfortable when wearing skirts, dresses or trousers. You guys! I wear shape wear in jeans and white tee just because it smoothes everything out. I think there’s this misconception that “Only the Kardashians wear shape wear” or “I can only wear it in a body-con dress” NOT TRUE. You’d be shocked by the number of people on the streets wearing shapewear under their normal clothes just to help smooth things out.
8. FIND A GOOD TAILOR
I often find that women are hesitant to have their clothes tailored because they think it’s expensive or unnecessary, however in my experience, that can’t be more untrue—a simple tailoring fix (such as nipping in a waist or letting down a hem) usually costs between $15 and $20 – but it makes your clothes look like a million bucks.
My friend’s husband is an Investment Banker in NYC, so he has to dress up for work and look really nice. But get this, he buys all of his dressy, button down shirts at... COSTCO! COSTCO He’ll then take all these cheap costco shirts to his tailor and have them tailor-fitted to his body, so now they look custom made. He's a genius.
Designers have the luxury of fitting models who are one specific size and shape. Well ya know what? The average woman has a whole lot more measurements and is not that same size and shape; therefore, clothes are rarely a perfect fit right off the rack. By investing $20 on tailoring a bargain shopping score, you will help elevate your look and appear way more expensive than it may have actually been.
9. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR GROOMING
If you really want to make your clothes look expensive, make sure the rest of your look matches. It’s much easier to make clothes look luxe if you match them with a chip-free manicure, well-kept hair, and clean, neutral makeup.
This doesn’t mean you have to hit the salon every day or even every week. I’m lucky if I get there every 8 weeks (helloooo roots!) Instead, it’s about a clean, classic aesthetic. Drop the bright make-up and trendy manicure, and instead, opt for classic, neutral shades.
Whether your monthly clothing budget is $20, $100 or $2000, the old saying is true: Fashion fades, but style is forever. Don’t let a smaller clothing budget fool you into thinking you’re not stylish. And if you have a large budget, don't think that automatically affords you luxurious style. By paying attention to the quality of even your budget finds, you can be confident that you look and feel great!