How to Look Expensive

How to look and dress expensive with easy to follow tips and tricks!

Would you like to improve your appearance and learn how to look expensive on a budget?

It is possible and also easy! In this article, you’ll learn how to look rich and classy without breaking the bank.

I’ll show you how to dress expensive with just a few simple tips! You’ll feel more sophisticated, pulled together, and successful. Feeling those things will also help boost your confidence (another way to looking expensive)!

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I’ve broken these how-to tips down into categories to make it easier to apply to your own wardrobe and lifestyle.

By improving all aspects of your appearance, you’ll have an expensive look. We’ll cover clothes, clothing care, color palette, accessories, jewelry, occasions, grooming, and personality.

Let’s get started!

How to Look Expensive


Most people think they need to buy designer clothes to achieve a rich look. That couldn’t be further from the truth! You can buy clothes that look expensive that aren’t. By purchasing basics that don’t cost a fortune and then layering in more quality pieces where it counts, you’ll achieve the expensive look.

Mix and Match Pieces

Purchase separate pieces that can be mixed and matched in other clothes in your wardrobe. Change your thinking from purchasing one outfit or a single top because it’s cute. Look for separates that work with the rest of your wardrobe. Before making a purchase, I always consider how many other things in my closet it will coordinate with. If I can’t coordinate it with at least three other items, I don’t buy it.

Natural Fibers

Inexpensive clothes are often made of manmade fibers. If you want your clothes to look more expensive (and last longer), opt for natural fibers such as cotton, linen, wool, and silk. Not only do these clothes look better, you’ll feel better with natural fibers against your skin.

Invest in KEY Pieces

There’s no need to spend $100 on a t-shirt or $500 on a pair of jeans. Buy basic pieces (tees, tanks, cardigans, leggings, jeans, skirts, and slacks) for less money and splurge on key pieces such as a cashmere sweater, blazer, leather jacket, trench coat, or p-coat.

Go for Style not Trend

When you purchase fast fashion to stay on top of the latest trends your wardrobe you getting on a fad treadmill. Trendy clothes are out of date almost as soon as you hang them in your closet. Then you feel like you have to get on the next trend, and the next…every time buying cheap clothes to obtain the current fad.

Instead, go for clothes that fit your style. They will last longer and you’ll be building a wardrobe that you can have for years to come. Learn how to find your own style (guide + worksheet).

Buy Clothes that Fit

When you’re shopping and you’ve found a great deal, it’s easy to overlook the fact that it’s a size 6 when you really need a size 8. You might also ignore that a blouse is too tight across the bust or pulls at the back. If you want an expensive look, don’t buy those items! Only buy clothes that fit properly and look good on YOU.

Clothing Care

This is an area a lot of people overlook but it is vital to achieving an expensive look. It’s important to keep your clothes in good condition.

Don’t wear clothes that are ripped, stained, frayed, faded, pilled, wrinkled, lint or pet hair covered.

Here are some must-have tools you need to maintain your wardrobe. A money invested in these items will save you a lot of money in the long run and you’ll look good wearing clothes have been cared for.

  • Steamer - this is hands-down my must-have item on this list. A hand steamer not only removes the wrinkles from clothes without iron lines, it can also freshen them up and help save on dry cleaning costs.

  • Lint Brush - Nothing makes an outfit look cheap faster than when it’s covered in pet hair or lint. You may love your pets but you don’t need to wear them all day. Invest in a lint roller or lint brush to keep stray hairs at bay.

  • Pill Remover - No matter how much you try to avoid it, pilling does happen on some garments especially sweaters. Easily remove pills with a fabric shaver. Available in full size or travel size.

  • Iron and Ironing Board - Sometimes a good old-fashioned ironing is just what your garment needs (I’m looking at you white button-down shirt!). So, even though you may have a steamer, it’s worth buying an iron and ironing board. I’ve always hated full size ironing boards because they take up so much space. My favorite is this portable tabletop ironing board.

  • Sewing Set - If buttons, snaps, or zippers have popped off or broken…fix them! Also repair rips, worn spots, or holes. Keep a small sewing set on hand to make repairs and keep your clothes in good condition. If you don’t know how to repair something, a quick YouTube search will show you how.

Color Palette

The colors you wear can also make a big impact on having an expensive look. Choose neutral shades such as white, cream, grey, or black for basic pieces.

Then, add pops of color to your wardrobe with a few key garments such as a blouse, blazer, skirt, or tee. Be sure these pops of color are the best colors for your skin.

Don’t know which shades are most flattering on you? Take the Color Me Beautiful Color Quiz


Of all of the things you buy to make your wardrobe look more expensive, you may be surprised to hear you should invest the majority of your money in accessories. Accessories will make or break your wardrobe.

You can be wearing something completely plain such as a tee shirt and jeans but if you add a quality leather belt, handbag, and shoes - they will completely elevate your outfit and make it look expensive.

Tips for Accessorizing

  • But the best quality accessories you can afford.

  • Instead of buying lots of inexpensive accessories, save up and buy just a few.

  • Purchase entry level designer pieces such as a Chanel or Gucci. You can purchase a belt, pin or scarf and incorporate them with the less expensive clothes in your wardrobe.

  • Try other high end designers that are well known but not quite as expensive as Chanel or Gucci. They will also give your outfit an expensive look. Some of these designers to look at are Kate Spade, Tori Burch, Lilly Pulitzer, and Trina Turk.

  • Try and coordinate your accessories for a cohesive look. For example, if you are going to carry a red bag, get a pair of red shoes and red belt. You’ll be creating set which has a very expensive look when worn together.


Inexpensive costume jewelry is one of the biggest giveaways that your outfit is not expensive. Rather than spending your money on lots of colorful jewelry, invest in pieces that last the test of time.

You don’t need to have jewelry that matches every outfit. Decide on a metal you prefer, silver or gold. Then buy just a few key pieces in that metal.

Brands such as Lagos, David Yurman, John Hardy and Tiffany create beautiful jewelry that you can wear every day and with every outfit. If you splurge on these items, you’ll feel special wearing them and they will be jewelry staples for years to come, I promise!


Here’s an important tip - overdressing does not make you look expensive. In fact, it can have the opposite effect and make it look like you are trying too hard.

Dress for the occasion. For example, if you are going to a soccer game or picnic, don’t show up in heels and dressed to the nines. What would people usually wear to a game? Jeans, a tee, comfortable shoes, and maybe a baseball hat or sunglasses.

You can still look pulled together and expensive wearing casual clothes.

In addition, dressing for the occasion will put people at ease around you. Appearing friendly and approachable is an important part of looking expensive.

Good Grooming

You don’t have to wear pricy clothes to look expensive. Simply taking the time to care for your personal hygiene is half the battle. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on taking care of yourself either.

Good grooming doesn’t mean plastic surgery, botox, or over-the-top treatments…it means just taking care of your body and your appearance.

Tips for good grooming

  • Shower/bathe daily

  • Get hair cut on a regular basis (every 6-8 weeks) If you color your hair, maintain it regularly.

  • Style your hair every day.

  • Have a good skincare routine so that your skin is glowing. Healthy skin is the best makeup!

  • If you wear makeup, a natural look is best. Overdone makeup does not look expensive.

  • Keep nails trimmed and manicured. This doesn’t mean you need spend money on mani/pedis, you can do that at home. Chipped nails do not look expensive.

  • Be sure to brush your teeth and floss regularly. Nothing is more expensive looking than a beautiful smile!


The easiest way to look expensive is to exude a beautiful personality from the inside. You can look like a million bucks, but if you are mean, condescending, and rude…you will look cheap.

Nothing makes a person look wealthier than confidence, kindness, and a smile.