10 Easy Tips to Make your Outfit Look Expensive Without Shopping


Hi everyone, it’s Emily. Today we are going to talk about how to look and feel expensive. In case you haven't seen some of my other videos, I give a lot of tips and ways to live a more minimalist lifestyle in relation to fashion and practice the art of slow fashion. This particular video explains 10 easy tips on how to style outfits to look expensive and chic without necessarily shopping. These cheap ways to look expensive can be used for all styles and budgets! You don’t have to have a Kardashian sized closet!

Some say part of shopping sustainably is not shopping at all. Sometimes it’s about using and loving what you already have and in some cases investing in pieces that are timeless enough to last a lifetime. 

I’ve gathered 10 pointers to make your clothes look luxe, even when they might not be. Some of these tips might seem obvious (but require going the extra mile), while others are a testament to me being privy to the well-dressed women.

So let’s get started!

dress in tonal colors. monochrome fashion trend
1. Dress in tonal colors, like all white or all black. Not only is it incredibly elongating, but a monochrome outfit always looks intentional and put together. (Tip: Just make sure your whites are bright and your blacks match.) Dressing in all neutrals is timeless and looks luxury. You can do this with colors other than neutrals too. 

Prints can look expensive too, but on occasion some brands will use prints to camouflage poor workmanship, so it might not always be the way to go. If you want to dress in print, I would suggest picking one that is a classic. Maybe polka dots, leopard, or plaid. Also, prints that match on the seams give a much more expensive designer look. 

tailoring and fit. fashion blog

2. Tailoring and Fit. This is so important because it’s hard to look and feel elevated when you are fidgeting with your clothes and you’re uncomfortable. The bespoke look isn’t that hard to achieve. Find a good tailor to tweak your clothes. I’ve mentioned this in a few videos, but it is so important to make the most out of your wardrobe and look expensive! It’s the difference between taking an extra two days to tweak a jacket or pant by nipping in the waist or adjusting a hem. 

clothing maintenance. emily westenberger

3. Clothing maintenance. I know this seems like something your mother would say, but taking the extra five minutes to steam or press your look will add instant polish to even your most worn-in wardrobe favorites. This includes streaming your clothes and making sure you are reading your care labels. How you maintain and care for your clothes affects the way they lay on your body. They’ll last longer and make them look high quality. Washing clothes on delicate, air dry, or hand washing clothes helps. 

This applies to accessories too. Keep your handbags polished. Use Windex on patent leather, unscented body lotion on all other leather, re-stuff easily malleable shapes when storing and always, always pack your purses in dust bags when traveling.

add a belt. fashion blog. emily westenberger

4. Add a belt and tuck in for polish. The relaxed look is something I’m always pursuing in my style, but in the case of looking like you know what you're doing, tuck in any shirttails or a baggy sweater hem and cinch your waist with a chic belt for maximum impact

tailored jacket. emily westenberger. fashion trends

5. Adding structure to your outfit. Whether it is a blazer or handbag, it can add a lot of authority to your outfit and elevates the look. Not every aspect of your outfit needs to be structured, but if you add in for example a trouser with a perfectly pressed pleat or a boxy handbag, it makes you look more put together.

cuffed pant. monochrome trend. emily westenberger

6. Styling. This affects how you feel in what you wear. The trick is to make it look like you spent more time on your outfit than you really did. You want the look to look thoughtful and deliberate. So you can simply cuff a pant or tuck in your shirt a certain way and it can make the outfit. A big trend this past spring was wrapping the straps of heels over your pants. This is very trendy, and definitely very fashionable. 

Another tip with styling is to match your shoes and handbag. When in doubt, keeping your accessories in the same color palette will ensure your look comes off as intentional, not haphazard. Dress up denim. An easy way to make a look expensive is add heels and lipstick to your denim. Be sure to keep your denim washes rich and classic. 

gold jewelry. emily westenberger. styling blog

7. Personal style flair. Having an heir of exclusivity translates to more expensive looks. You can achieve this by thrifting for vintage unique items like a unique ring that is your signature. I love gold hoops and vintage rings. They’re my go-to for everyday outfits and dressing up, and I feel like they make my outfits much more unique. With pieces like that it doesn’t matter if it's on trend or brand new. 

Gold jewelry is a great way to look expensive. There is just something about structural, gilded extras—whether a bag or jewelry or both—it gives an editorial look. 

red lipstick. beauty maintenance.

8. Beauty matters. Polished hair and make-up elevate any look. A sleek blow dry, red lips,  and flawless skin are the ultimate finishing touches. Stay tuned for my video/blog to come on weekly maintenance.

It’s very important to find a hairdo that works for you everyday, and allows you to look put together and chic. For me that style is a low pony with a few hairs pulled out. It frames my face and takes 30 seconds, and I think it looks very sophisticated. Beauty also includes adding a thoughtful lipstick that looks good with your skin tone. This almost always elevates my look. 

layering. emily westenberger. fashion blog

9. Layering. A tailored jacket is an editor's secret weapon. It elevates denim, polishes flowy dresses, looks chic thrown over the shoulders and takes slim pants to the board room. It is truly your best friend and is an easy way to elevate a look on a budget.

navy peacoat. emily westenberger. fashion blog

10. Choose timeless outerwear. This one may require shopping, but if you choose the right brand it will last you the rest of your life. Forgo the trends each season and focus on purchasing coats that are forever: classic camel, navy pea, black moto, belted trench, raw denim—every time you reach for a topper, you won't regret it.

That’s my 10 tips!

Comment below if you’d like me to do more videos/blogs on styling, and let me know what makes you look and feel expensive. Check back every Friday for new blogs! Thanks for watching and have a great day!

Watch the full YouTube video here:



What to watch next? 

Here is 7 Iconic Looks and Why They Made History. If you haven’t seen my video or read my blog on How to be Stylish and Shop Sustainably on a Budget, you can click here. You can watch my video and read my blog on My Own Past Fashion Mistakes and How I Would Fix Them here. Stay tuned for my next blog/video on How To Make Your Outfit Look Expensive on a Budget!

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