It's no secret that here on The Budget Babe, we're all about finding ways to look stylish on a budget. But what are the secrets that make an outfit look expensive? Here are 8 secrets to make your outfits look expensive, from the one accessory you should be wearing to the most expensive looking color to look for at fast fashion chains.
8 Secrets To Make Your Outfits Look Expensive
1. Carry an expensive bag.
Probably the easiest way to elevate your look is with an expensive designer handbag. You could be wearing a t-shirt and jeans, but the moment you add a Chanel bag, your look is taken to the next level. While a designer bag is by no means a requirement for good style, it's a simple and effective way to amp up your style, especially when you're not feeling particularly stylish, or you're in a hurry and don't have time to craft the perfect look. I'd pick a mid-level priced bag by Rebecca Minkoff or Kate Spade over a fake Louis Vuitton any day. In fact, I think a fake designer bag is the surest way to downgrade your style quotient. You don't have to spend a fortune to find an expensive-looking bag; a vintage Coach bag or J.Crew leather bag are both good options.
Nicky Hilton-Rothschild Photo Credit: Mr. Blayze, PacificCoastNews
2. Go monochrome.
When in doubt, wear all black. Or all burgundy. Or all white. Monochrome always feels elevated and chic. I've noticed over the years that the most stylish celebs tend to wear mostly neutrals, too. It's okay to avoid bright colors if they're not your thing. And it's easier to mix and match. When you're buying fast fashion and have the choice between black and another color, you're better off going with black as it will look more expensive most of the time.
Victoria Beckham Photo Credit: STPR / PRPhotos.com
3. Wear nice shoes.
You can tell a lot about a person by their shoes. Keep those white sneakers bright white, polish your leather boots, and replace worn out flats if you want to make your outfits look more expensive. You can always add a statement shoe to any outfit to take it up a notch, too. Just look at Sarah Jessica Parker, the queen of shoes, wearing a pair of glitter Mary Janes with a sweatshirt and jeans. Instantly elevated. Now you have no way of knowing whether her sweatshirt is from Kenzo or H&M. The shoes make the look.
Sarah Jessica Parker Photo Credit: RGK, PacificCoastNews
4. Don't show too much skin.
As a general rule of thumb, your clothes will look more expensive when you leave a little something up to the imagination. If you're wearing a mini, wear something more covered up on top, and vice versa. Olivia Palermo always looks impeccable no matter what she's wearing and tends to follow this rule, as seen here in her short skirt and army jacket.
Olivia Palermo Photo Credit: PacificCoastNews
5. Pick structured pieces.
Structured pieces are the most flattering and therefore the most expensive looking. You don't have to wear a stuffy suit to take this tip to heart - consider pairing a structured blazer with jeans. Or a button-down shirt with a flowy skirt. Structured bags tend to look more expensive, too, which is something to consider even when you're purchasing inexpensive accessories. A classic tote or clutch with clean lines will elevate your look quicker than a hobo. Even an expensive leather belt can do wonders when paired with a fast-fashion dress.
Miroslava Duma Photo Credit: PacificCoastNews
6. Fit is everything.
You've heard it a million times, but fit really is the single most important element to making your clothes look expensive. I'm always struggling with this myself. I'll think I look good but then cringe when I see a photo of myself - too broad shoulders, wrong length skirt, a shirt that's puckering - these signs of a poor fit will curb your style quickly. Take advantage of tailoring services to have your clothing altered to fit your body. Stores like Nordstorm offer tailoring for cardholders. These bold separates look stunning on Kerry Washington because the fit and proportions are just right.
Kerry Washington Photo Credit: RGK, PacificCoastNews
7. Pick classics.
They're called classics for a reason. Something like a timeless trench coat will always look more expensive than a trendy bomber jacket. You can mix and match your classics with the latest trends for endless looks. Here, Alexa Chung layers a trench over jeans and sweater to elevate her look. Even her sneakers are classics, proving that classics don't have to be stodgy. Yes, they're sneakers, but they've got that iconic feel that makes her whole look seem more expensive.
Alexa Chung Photo Credit: PacificCoastNews
8. Wear a fancy watch.
Call me old-fashioned but it seems like a nice timepiece can still make your outfit look more expensive overall. This applies to women and gents alike. Reese Witherspoon looks ladylike from head to toe in this photo, but I want to draw your attention to her jewelry - subltle with a lot of shine, and a really nice watch to boot! You don't need a Rolex; something from Michael Kors, Kate Spade or Tory Burch will do.
Reese Witherspoon Photo Credit: TED, PacificCoastNews
What are some of your secrets to making an outfit look more expensive?