10 Simple Fashion Upgrades That Make You Look Expensive

Look Expensive on a Budget
PHOTO: @victoriabeckham, @leoniehanne

A nice-looking dress, a designer handbag, stylish sandals, and tortoiseshell sunglasses- all you need for a perfect summer day outfit. On the other hand, you might take a few steps back considering the premium pricing of your selected products. There is no doubt that designer clothes and accessories bring a unique luxurious appeal to any woman’s attire. However, you don’t have to empty your wallets to look good, as you can easily look expensive on a budget. How? The answer to this question would point towards choosing the right items in terms of shape, style, color, fabric, and fit. Look for quality fabrics (avoid polyester), sophisticated silhouettes, neutral colors, and timeless designs. Let us find out how you can dress expensive on a budget. 

Ideas to Look Expensive on a Budget

If you have a smaller budget and you want to find cheap clothes that look expensive, then you need guidance. Not every product you will find at a low cost can offer the ‘expensive-looking’ factor. Most important of all, looking expensive is not always about the clothes or the accessories in themselves, rather how you put them together in one coherent outfit. Therefore, you should look at the following pointers to look expensive on a budget.

      1. Go With Tailored Clothes

Tailored clothes have a sophisticated appearance due to their smart fit and timeless appeal. Tailored clothes are chic and comfortable, especially if you choose neutral shades and an oversize fit. For example, ankle-length creased pants in light beige color could help in creating rich looking outfits. A cotton shirt dress in beige with long sleeves and buttoned cuffs or a long shirt dress with flared design in black can also serve as a minimal designer-inspired outfit. You could also try Zara’s timeless blazer and pair it with a beautiful 100% silk top from Shein or a v-neck sweater vest on top of a poplin shirt or on its own.

      2. Try on Neutral Colors and Monochrome Outfits

The next promising suggestion to look expensive on a budget is to choose neutral colors. Neutral colors have a graceful appearance and complementing them with the right accessories can easily help you know how to dress classy on a budget. You can also move a step ahead of neutral colors and go with monochrome outfits in other colors as they have a dominating appeal. Try wide-leg pants with a Zara bodysuit or a button-down shirt. Another option is a satin skirt in black with a classy one-shoulder bodysuit from Shein. You have many versatile outfit choices when it comes to neutral colors, and the possibilities are endless. If you’re looking for a more casual or vacation appropriate outfit, go for a monochrome outfit built from a two-piece set of a short, high-waist skort in light yellow and a linen-blend oversized shirt with dropped shoulders, in the same color. Add a simple white t-shirt and sneakers and you’ve got the perfect summer casual look.

      3. Avoid the Cheap Alternatives

Many people often make the mistake of choosing cheap clothes and preferring quantity over quality, which makes them end up with an overloading closet and many not-expensive-looking outfits. That does not mean you have to give up on affordable clothes, however, it is important to check whether the cost savings you make on your purchase can offer you value in the long run. Most of the time, cheap clothes come with low-grade fabric, bad fit, and unappealing cuts or designs. So, it is reasonable to opt for cost-effective alternatives on websites like Shein, Zara, H&M, ASOS, if they are made from good fabrics and have good reviews. For example, an exquisite 100% Linen belted culotte jumpsuit from Shein, or a classic sleeveless, knee-length dress in brown from Zara, and a soft-knit alpaca wool blend sweater from H & M also look expensive on a budget.  


      4. Less Is More

Well, there is no reason to dive deeper into talks of sustainability in fashion because we all already know how important it is. Just think of purchasing fewer clothes as a new way to organize your wardrobe and aligning everything with your style. Rather than looking towards stuffing up your wardrobe with clothes you find with good deals, you should look for quality. A halter-neck cutout dress in black with knitted fabric and ruffle detail at the neck definitely helps you look expensive on a budget. Cropped cigarette pants in beige or a belted-shirt jumpsuit in brown can help you keep your wardrobe chic and minimal. Also, make sure your look is minimal, not too colorful, not too many pieces of clothes, and up to 3 accessories.

      5.  The Classics Always Rock

If you have any doubts about purchasing rich-looking outfits, then go for the classics without any hesitation. The classic pieces have a distinct appeal which makes them look sophisticated. Furthermore, many renowned designers are visiting the classic trends in fashion to create new designs. With so many options in the classic trends such as a white poplin top with a vest and blazer or straight leg jeans, you are likely to end up with an item that will help you look expensive on a budget. Other promising choices would include a tweed blazer or dress, cable-knit sweaters, a shirt dress, tailored trousers, or mom-fit jeans.

      6. Dupes Are Sometimes A Good Idea

The dupes of designer clothes and accessories are also a great way to look expensive with a smaller budget. Dupes help you recreate some of the expensive designer outfits with ease at low costs. You can get a cutout solid split-hem dress like Hailey Bieber or the workout attire of Kylie Jenner with Shein’s backless sports bra and matching pair of leggings. Keep in mind that buying dupes is tricky, because they can often look cheap, so make sure you choose an item after you read reviews and check the material it is made of.

how to dress expensive
PHOTO: @haileybieber

PHOTO: @kyliejenner


      7. Avoid Cheap Jewelry

One of the biggest no-no’s to avoid if you want to look expensive on a budget is to avoid cheap jewelry. There is nothing more cheap-looking than fake diamonds or pearls, or a gold ring that turns green after one use. You could easily find cost-effective gold-plated jewelry and even sterling silver on websites like Asos and H&M. Also, you should try to avoid wearing too much jewelry at once, and stick to classic designs such as a multi-layered necklace or a chunky bracelet. 

      8. Buy Classy Footwear           

The choice of footwear is also an important answer to the question ‘how to dress classy on a budget’. You should try to go with classic choices such as mules, leather sandals, loafers, kitten heels, and ankle boots. At the same time, you should try to stay away from plastic shoes, well-worn shoes, and poor-quality dupes or flip-flops.

      9. Level Up your Accessorizing 

Accessories play a huge role in accenting the look of an individual. So, you need to be careful while selecting accessories. Most importantly, be prepared to spend a little more than you thought on accessories because they make all the difference. Pick up two classic bags in black and brown that will match any outfit, along with a pair of classic sunglasses. You can go with sophisticated handbag designs such as a shoulder bag, a basket bag, and an everyday tote. You don’t need more than a few bags to complete your accessories wardrobe so choose classic and high-quality designs.

      10. Grooming is Necessary

Grooming is an essential requirement to look expensive on a budget and you must be attentive to your looks. Make sure that you are getting a haircut at an interval of every three months. Make sure your hair is not out of control and looks nice, and if you have a bad hair day just go with a classic low bun. Groom your nails and feet, you can do it at home so it doesn’t cost much. In addition, you should also follow a good skincare routine with affordable yet efficient products from companies such as The Ordinary. With a cost-affordable skincare routine, you could easily maintain a glowing look. Finally, go a little easy on the makeup and stay away from bright pink lipstick and false lashes.   

Tips to Look Expensive on a Budget

Here are some tips to help you purchase expensive-looking clothes.

  • Research is important when you are on the hunt for clothes that look expensive. Look for high-quality fabrics such as cotton, linen, silk, wool, etc. Also, read the reviews of the customers that purchased the item you are into to make sure it is worth purchasing.
  • Check the online sizing charts for avoiding any chances of product returns or ending up with the wrong fit.
  • Always have a particular set of references (from Pinterest or Instagram) that can help you recreate outfits with rich-looking clothes on a budget.  
  • Looking expensive doesn’t mean spending a lot of money. Buy fewer items and invest in items that you will use all the time, like a bag. You can find high-quality affordable options today on Shein (premium lines), H&M, Zara, and others.


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