How to Look Expensive Without Spending Too Much Money


Spring 2024

Check out the latest digital issue.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get the latest on what’s moving the world delivered to your inbox.

Trending Articles

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to look like a million bucks. It’s about how you carry yourself and your attitude. Comfortable, sleek clothes can help boost your confidence and make you feel put together without breaking the bank. It doesn’t take a lot of time, effort, or money to look sophisticated, so here are a few tips for looking expensive on a budget.

Invest in Staple Pieces

Paying more money for higher-quality staple pieces might seem counter-intuitive, but having fewer higher quality items that last several years is better than having a cheaper item that you need to replace all the time. Consider staple pieces like basic tees, a quality pair of denim, a neutral tote, and a leather jacket, things that you won’t get tired of. You can slowly collect these items over time, you don’t need to spend a lot of money all at once.

Keep it Neutral

Keep most of the pieces in your wardrobe neutral. Black, whites/creams, greys, browns, and taupes are all versatile, and look effortlessly expensive. You also get more outfits from fewer pieces of clothing. Neutrals never go out of style either, so you can keep them season after season. 

Keep it Structured

Look for clean lines and well-formed shapes and cuts in clothing. Having a well-tailored pair of pants, skirt, or blazer that you can wear over and over with multiple items is key to always looking put-together. Take time to find pieces that flatter your body shape. 

Monochromatic Colour Palettes

Besides being easy, monochromatic looks are elegant and have an elongating effect. It looks like you were intentional and put effort into the look, but it’s not much effort at all. 

Add Textures

If you have a capsule wardrobe, invest in one or two pieces that are different materials such as silk or linen. These fabrics instantly make your outfit look more expensive but can be neutral, so it complements multiple outfits. 

Avoid Large Prints and Patterns

Patterns are fun and all, but when it comes to dressing sophisticated, loud prints are not the way to go. Busy patterns can be distracting, while solid pieces have a soothing effect don’t keep your eyes darting back and forth.

Keep Accessories Minimal and Chic

Less really is more with accessories. Much like with clothing, invest in small dainty pieces you can wear every day. A simple gold chain necklace or a pair of small croissant earrings can be worn with most outfits. Keeping bags and sunglasses simple will also help achieve that expensive look. 

Minimal Makeup

Having a beat face is great, but simple clean makeup, especially during the daytime is chic. Use makeup to enhance your natural features and focus on your skin.

Keep Your Hair Styled

Although it might take time, hair is something you can do to look put together without spending much. Want the look of a Brazilian blowout without the price tag? This hair dryer brush will do the trick (it might take some practice, but it’s worth it). If you don’t have time either, sleeking your hair back into a bun is an easy way to refine your look.

Helen Jacob | Contributing Writer

Trending Articles

Home Décor Inspiration: The Wendy K Home

Flight attendant-turned-interior design DIYer, Wendy is a Toronto-based social media influencer with an envy-inducing home. Having moved from one house to a downtown condo —