How to Look Expensive for Less

How to Look Expensive for Less

How to Look Expensive for Less

Fun fact: you don’t have to spend a lot of money to look chic and pulled together. There are many easy, inexpensive tips and tricks you can quickly implement to achieve a more expensive look. Spending a ton of money on all of your wardrobe pieces is unrealistic, wasteful, and doesn’t give you an equal return. Instead, learn what to spend on, where to save, and how to put your pieces together for maximum impact. For this post, we’ll show you how to look expensive wearing the pieces you may already have and share the 12 pieces you need to elevate any look.

Get Your Pieces Tailored.

We talked at length last week about the power of alterations and shared the seven most popular alterations for women. If the only thing you do after reading this list is tailor your garments, you will be light years ahead of most people.

Ditch the Prints.

I may not be popular for this one, but I speak the truth.  Ditch the cheap prints from cheap stores and you’ll look more expensive. Instead of a wardrobe filled with prints, focus on texture and pattern. What’s the difference between a print and a pattern? A print would be considered a floral, swirls, circles, or splashes of color. A pattern is distinct, like stripes, herringbone, windowpane, etc.  This is not to say that all prints are bad.  A floral print can be lovely, but I would wear it in a dress not a separate.

and …

No more sparkles.

I know. I know. So many people love sparkles, and that’s fine. But, if you want a high-end look, get rid of every sparkly, bedazzled and bejeweled garment in your wardrobe, especially if that piece of sparkle is on stretchy fabric and even more especially if that sparkle is on a stretchy fabric that also boasts a print. It will never look expensive, no matter how much money you spent on it. If that’s what you love, by all means go for it, but you won’t be able to achieve a sophisticated style if you hang on to bedazzled garments. The exception? Some embellished collars, tone on tone sequin, and the rare vintage find.

Work with Neutrals.

A wardrobe that mixes neutrals together is elegant, sophisticated and timeless. Not only will you get more wear out of your pieces, but you’ll also have them longer, so you’ll get the most out of your money.

When in Doubt go Monochromatic.

On days when you’re starved for time, wear all one color. An all black, grey or (gasp!) white look is an easy way to look great with little fuss.

Match Your Hardware.

If your bag has gold hardware, be sure all of your hardware is gold. If your bag has silver hardware, wear all silver. By doing so, your look will be cohesive and elevated.

Go from Gym Bun to Chignon

This whole “messy bun” trend makes me crazy.  It’s not cute, or chic. It looks sloppy, like you just came from the gym.  Rarely do I see it done in a sartorial way.  I see women in my Barre class with better pulled back hair than some women I see in offices.  Take a few minutes and learn how to do a classic chignon.  Wear it at the nape of your neck and you’ll look lovely.  This is one of my favorite tutorials. In fact, all of her videos are awesome.

Focus on Grooming Details

Keep your eyebrows shaped, your nails groomed and keep up with your hair care. These small details are what make you look pulled together even in your gym clothes.  Want to kick up your style factor?  A classic red lip will instantly bright your face.  It’s an easy, modern update.

12 Pieces to help you look more expensive, all under $150.

How to Look Expensive for Less - tailored pants, camel coat, white shirtTailored Pants: VINCE CAMUTO Straight Ankle Pants, $74; Camel Coat: Camel Belted Trench Coat, $100; Crisp White Shirt: Halogen® Crisp Stretch Poplin Shirt, $69

How to Look Expensive for Less - Striped Shirt, Dark Jeans, LBDStriped Shirt: H&M Top with Zips, $17.99; LBD: Pendleton Shaped Sheath Dress, $100; Dark Jeans: Paige Denim’Skyline’ Straight Jeans, On Sale, $99

How to Look Expensive for Less - Casual Blazer, Pointed Pump, Easy FlatsCasual Blazer: kensie Three-Quarter-Sleeve Blazer, $89; Pointed Pumps: Ivanka Trump Tirra Pumps, $120; Easy Flats: J. Crew Gemma Flats, $135How to Look Expensive for Less - Structured Bag, Red Lip, Neutral SunglassesStructured Bag: Zara Office City Bag, $69; Red Lip: Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Liquid Lip in Cameron, $24; Neutral Sunglasses: J. Crew Ryan Sunglasses, $128

Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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  • Just speaking in front of 450 people this morning. 32 weeks pregnant.  Chances of me losing my train of thought half way through is 100%.

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