Make your outfit look more expensive using these 10 steps

This post will answer the how make your outfit look more expensive than it is questions with 10 easy style steps you can take.

Image by Anine Bing

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I had a “friend” ask me once where I shopped.

She said I always looked cute, but she didn’t think I spent a fortune on my clothes, but it looked like I did.


Thanks?? I think??

Truth is I don’t spend a ton of money on my clothes. My husband would beg to differ. I try to buy decent quality but I don’t buy designer labels. I’ll purchase the occasional Target item, but I try to steer clear of fast fashion for the most part. I’m somewhere in the middle when it comes to price range, but that’s all relative and doesn’t factor into how the overall look comes across. 

The key to looking like you spent more on an outfit than you did is how you put it all together. If you’re wondering how to make your outfit look more expensive than it is, I’ve got 10 great tips for doing so. 

They are simple, don’t require you to purchase or spend much, and can be achieved by anyone no matter your clothing budget. 

1)Buy classic pieces to make your outfits look more expensive

As you do for a capsule wardrobe, lean on your staples. When you want an outfit to look luxe, wear those basics that you spend more on because they will last you longer. They are timeless and of higher quality, so they can withstand the test of time and many wears. And, they elevate your style. I have a list of places to buy such garments in this blog post. 

2) Practice high low dressing

This is when you wear your expensive items with your lower-priced ones. You pair your dressier things with casual ones. Add your special event items with everyday wear such as jeans and a t-shirt. 

The higher price item will always elevate the lower-priced one and make for a more expensive look.

3) Wear well-fitting garments

You should have your clothes tailored to fit your body if they don’t fit well off the rack. It doesn’t matter what you spend on an item, if it doesn’t fit you well, you should have it altered so that it does. Well-fitting clothes ALWAYS look more expensive than they were. 

4) Add a structured, classic handbag to your outfit

I love purses and have loads of them for different outfits. But when you’re trying to pull off a classic tailored look that has an expensive air to it, always grab a structured purse in a classic neutral color with minimal hardware. It can take your target t-shirt and teen store jeans to new heights. This doesn’t have to be an expensive bag, but it has to be simple and classic. 

5) Change the buttons on a blazer or jacket

To create a luxe look, replace plastic buttons on your inexpensive blazer with vintage, wooden or metal ones. It’s easy to do, and if you’re handy you can sew them on yourself. It will be a one of a kind piece and it will look like you spent a fortune on it.  It can be our secret.

6) Wear the appropriate undergarments

You want to keep things smooth and held in place under your clothes. Always check that your underpinnings are not creating bulges, rolls, or bunches. When undergarments don’t fit, they can create issues that don’t exist on your body. Make sure you have the correct undergarments for your garments, it can make all the difference and deliver a more luxurious look.

7) Add a brooch to make your outfit look more expensive

This is an easy way to change up the look of a jacket, blazer, blouse, or pants. You can place a brooch on the lapel of jackets, the pockets of your blazer (a different one over each pocket), the knot of a scarf, or at the top of an oxford shirt. These placements create a luxe look with the click of a pin. I’ve found some real treasures at Vestiaire Collective. They have beautiful brooches at a whole range of prices. 

8) Make sure you have a V shape at your neck and or a cinch at your waist

This is something I encourage all my 1:1 clients to incorporate when getting dressed. It makes your outfit look more polished and intentional and will always elevate your look. I have an entire post on this subject if you’d like to know more.

9) Wear all black

This is the easiest way to look chic and like you paid more for something that you did. It’s sort of like blending in but in a standout way. Add minimal neutral accessories to continue the sleek look. Throw on dark shades and voila, you look like you stepped off your yacht, instead of your family truckster with crushed Fritos under the seats.

10) Add a classic coat/blazer/jacket

A third piece is something that can tie your entire outfit together and elevate your look. Think jeans and a t-shirt, then add a camel coat and you have a stunning outfit that looks like you spent a lot of time, money, and energy pulling it together. It’s the easiest and best cheat, especially in the winter months when often all people will see is your coat.  One of these looks shows all black, camel coat and a structured purse. This is three of these ideas in one look to show you how you can layer on these ideas.

So the real trick to making your outfit look more expensive than it is: simplicity. All these tips are about keeping your look clean, neutral, not flashy, and minimal. You most likely don’t want to dress like this all the time, but for the days you want to, now you’ve got some fun tips to try out. 



I show women over 50 how to get noticed, stay relevant, and be connected through their wardrobe. Getting dressed is something you have to do each day, why not make it fun.



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