Luxury on a Shoestring: 19 Tricks to Look Expensive on a Budget

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Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget? Of course, babygirl!

When a person walks in, you can quickly tell what type of a person they are, their lifestyle, and their vibe, all by judging from their outfit, can’t you? Now, some will look extraordinarily classy, while some will look like they didn’t even take 10 minutes for themselves. And I’m telling you, you always wish to be in the former type.

Trust me, each one of you can look like a million bucks without being a millionaire (or even close!) How? Because you don’t have to spend money to look good constantly. You need to have the eye and skill for clothes and fashion.

That being said, if you are thinking about how to dress expensive on a budget, these style tips are here to help you achieve that. Just some quick fashion advice so you don’t look like a dag.

How to look rich on a budget

1. Opt for fitted outfits over slouchy ones


The old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” is one that people should live by. It’s easy to spend a lot of money on things that are not readily noticeable, but it’s also easy to make cheap clothes look sophisticated.

If you want to look expensive on a budget, opt for fitted clothes instead of baggy ones. They instantly add a touch of chicness and polish to any outfit. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my comfy oversized clothes too. But the trick is to throw in a structured piece to avoid looking like a slouchy bear.

For example, team up wide-leg jeans with a snug tank top. Or strut your stuff in a puff sleeve blouse with straight-leg jeans. The key is to find that perfect balance between proportions when putting your outfit together.

2. Go for a monochromatic look

Luxury on a Shoestring: 19 Tricks to Look Expensive on a Budget

When you hit a style rut with absolutely nothing to wear, go single-color!

It’s one of the coolest yet most sophisticated outfit ideas loved and cherished by celebrity personal stylists and designers alike. And why not?

It makes you look taller, slimmer, and of course, expensive! But don’t just throw clothes haphazardly to pull an outfit. There are way too many colors of pink, and not every one of them will go with each other.

  • Choose one color, say pink. Now choose the family of pink you have in your closet. Create piles of warmer pinks on one side and cooler pinks on the other. See if you have enough pieces to pull off an outfit from one pile. You can add basic hues into the mix, like – black, white, and blue to make the attire put together!

3. Find pieces with quality higher than the price

Luxury on a Shoestring: 19 Tricks to Look Expensive on a Budget

If we can learn anything from the old-money trend, it is that timeless always wins. ALWAYS.

So 10 high-quality dresses are much much more precious than 50 cheap ones.

Not saying high quality is always expensive. But you should know that you cannot get a trench coat that would last you 7 years for $20.

Some other handy tips for identifying top-notch clothing without extensive research or a hefty price tag:

  • Investigate the materials used – if it’s crafted from premium fabrics, you can count on better design and longer durability compared to cheaper alternatives.
  • Examine the stitching – a flawlessly even stitch indicates meticulous attention to detail before hitting the market.
  • Consider the garment’s origin – cheaper options often come from China.

Also, try to invest more in timeless pieces like a turtle neck, white button-down, cashmere sweater, white sneakers, trench coat, etc, and classic fabrics like satin, lace, silk, and pure wool.

4. Invest in quality handbags and shoes

Luxury on a Shoestring: 19 Tricks to Look Expensive on a Budget

Put together a killer outfit, but you can still look bland if you don’t jazz it up with accessories. Look at any rich person you want and they’ll never step out without at least one piece of jewelry or a bag.

And admit it or not, people do look at your shoes first. So they better be posh! So, a structured bag (not any flimsy ones) and classy shoes (not the velcro ones) are a few of the non-negotiable accessories you need to make your outfit look put together.

5. Coordinate your handbag with shoes

It may seem small, but let me tell ya, matching your shoes with your handbags and your accessories with your belts can totally transform your outfit and make it look expensive on a budget. Seriously, it’s a game-changer!

Now, I’m not saying you have to go all matchy-matchy with colors, but sticking to similar textures or tones works like magic.

Let me give you an example. If you’re rocking some golden hoops, pair them up with a golden watch, some shiny gold bracelets, and a belt buckle that has a gold buckle.

Or coordinate your handbag color with your shoe color and maybe the belt’s leather color. You get the idea!

6. Overexposing is never classy


If you are trying to look sexy, it’s a hell yes, but overexposing is always a bad idea when you want to look rich on a budget. You need to find the perfect balance between showing some skin and layering up.

Going to a club? Go sexy! Going to lunch? Dress classy!

Here’s a fun little hack to help you gauge if you’re revealing too much: imagine wearing your chosen outfit in front of your grandparents. If you hesitate, it’s time to layer up!

  • For instance, you can pair a sexy crop top with pants or a button-down shirt with a mini skirt.

7. Avoid distress details in your clothes

Luxury on a Shoestring: 19 Tricks to Look Expensive on a Budget

Distressed denim or sweaters can instantly make your outfit look cool and casual instead of rich and decadent. It’s a show killer!

So if you are wearing jeans, go for dark denim or black jeans. And do not even think of frayed sweaters or clothing with loose threads when thinking of looking expensive on a budget.

8. Wear understated jewelry

Luxury on a Shoestring: 19 Tricks to Look Expensive on a Budget

Whoever said that you need to spend big to look chic clearly hasn’t discovered the power of understated jewelry. Simple accessories like a delicate chain bracelet, a dainty pair of studs, or pearl earrings can instantly elevate your outfit without breaking the bank.

Plus, opting for a more minimalistic approach can actually make you look more expensive! So, say goodbye to the days of flashy costume jewelry and hello to the effortless elegance of understated pieces. Trust me, your wallet (and your chic factor) will thank you.

9. Neutral Colors > Funky Colors

Luxury on a Shoestring: 19 Tricks to Look Expensive on a Budget

Enhance your personal style effortlessly by incorporating neutral colors into your wardrobe!

Neutral hues like black, white, beige, cream, gray, camel, and navy are the key to embracing timeless fashion and elegance, which easily co-relates to looking rich.

The beauty of neutral outfits lies in their foolproof nature. When in doubt, opt for a chic little black dress, and you’re guaranteed to make a statement!

Furthermore, neutral shade ranges are suitable for all seasons, making them a savvy investment for those wanting to achieve an elegant and classy look without breaking the bank.

10. Wear 3 Colors At The Max!

Luxury on a Shoestring: 19 Tricks to Look Expensive on a Budget

Cassata looks good but only in your ice cream bowl, not on you!

You can try 3 colors at the max in your outfits. Anything more than that will make you look like a rainbow.

Choose 3 colors, prints or shades at one go to avoid looking messy. Instead, choose 3 classic colors, preferably solid ones and then mix and match them to get an expensive look on a budget.

11. find the proper undergarments

Luxury on a Shoestring: 19 Tricks to Look Expensive on a Budget

You may not see them, but they are just as important as your entire outfit. You know what?

I dare you to find someone who looks classy and elegant with their undergarments peeking through. You’ll find none. Because transparent bra straps or visible panty lines are a big fashion faux pas.

But don’t worry, I’ve got the solution for you. If you’re rocking an off-the-shoulder or sleeveless top, go for a strapless bra. And if you’re daring to wear a backless dress or top, a stick-on bra is your best friend.

Oh, and don’t forget about those pesky panty lines. Try opting for thongs or seamless panties to avoid any fashion mishaps. Now, your outfit will look so neat and put together.

  • There’s nothing better than nude undergarments, period. Find the nude color closest to your body’s skin tone and rock it under the white, thin fabric, or any other color dress without any peeks!

12. avoid too many logos

walking brand billboard with too many logos in an outfit. It is not how to look expensive on a budget

Trust me; this is the easiest pitfall for people who want to look expensive.

You know those people who basically turn themselves into walking billboards, plastered with brand logos to scream that they are rich from afar.? Yeah, that’s not the way to go.

Let me tell you a little secret: true sophistication and class don’t come from showing off how much money you’ve spent on designer labels. Nope, it’s all about the vibe, your own style, and the lifestyle you exude. People can judge that from how you speak or behave in certain situations.

So here’s the deal: keep your outfit low-key elegant. Avoid those flashy logos and stick to a more subtle, understated look. Trust me, it’ll make a bigger impression than any brand logo ever could.

13. Get yourself a great blazer

Luxury on a Shoestring: 19 Tricks to Look Expensive on a Budget

Go from budget to bougie with a killer blazer! A blazer is the ultimate game-changer that can transform any outfit, whether it’s jeans, pants, dresses, or skirts. Simply throw it over and accessorize it as best as you can!

And no, you don’t have to blow your budget to rock this style. As I said before, you gotta find high-quality than expensive designers. Here are some sleek blazer styles you can stock for cheap and save money 😉

Luxury on a Shoestring: 19 Tricks to Look Expensive on a Budget

14. maintain hygiene and smell good

Luxury on a Shoestring: 19 Tricks to Look Expensive on a Budget

You might have felt that anytime a sophisticated person walks by, they smell like they’ve landed from heaven! Was it just natural or did they just trick you into believing that they’re high-class and posh?!

I bet even if you are not that wealthy, leaving a long-lasting impression will do the work for ya! People actually associate others with what they look and smell like. So you better take care of your personal hygiene, your skin, nails, hair, and even feet in the best way you can!

[Related: How To Smell Angelic All Day Long Effortlessly: 19 Tips That Are Genius! ]

15. Keep your clothes ironed

Luxury on a Shoestring: 19 Tricks to Look Expensive on a Budget

Always, always, always make sure that you wear clothes that are ironed and wrinkle-free. Don’t be like young me and roam around the streets in wrinkled denim and tops, okay? It looks pathetic, childlike, and naive.

16. carry a structured bag over flimsy ones

Luxury on a Shoestring: 19 Tricks to Look Expensive on a Budget

Bags have a way of standing out, and you can spot a killer bag from a mile away.

And the bag is one of the critical details one must have to put together an expensive outfit. Instead of droppin’ serious cash, go for a structured bag that’s expertly crafted and screams luxury.

Luxury on a Shoestring: 19 Tricks to Look Expensive on a Budget

17. layering always makes a difference!

Luxury on a Shoestring: 19 Tricks to Look Expensive on a Budget

Ready to take your fashion game to the next level? Learn the art of layering and watch your style soar! It actually makes it seem like you’ve put effort into the attire and not like you had two seconds before leaving the house. Not very Richie-rich, right?

18. Wear makeup, but let it be natural

Luxury on a Shoestring: 19 Tricks to Look Expensive on a Budget

Wearing a little makeup hurt no one. No, I’m not asking you to go overboard on typical days, but looking well groomed with a little BB cream, mascara, and a bomb lipstick shade can make all the difference when you want to look expensive on a budget. It’ll just show that you have put in effort for yourself.

19. try pointed heels


Want to make your legs look longer and fit look on fleek? Pointed heels or even flats are the way to go! They help give structure to your feet and make them look chicer.

Luxury on a Shoestring: 19 Tricks to Look Expensive on a Budget

And this is how to look expensive on a budget, easy peasy, right? Some other useful tips would be:

  1. Always shop on discounts.
  2. Try to find your staples and look for high-quality items at low prices.
  3. Shopping from thrift stores can get you great clothes at low prices sometimes.
  4. Don’t buy fakes of expensive brands that look pathetic and cheap
  5. Do not try every trend on the runway. Some of them are way too extreme for being posh.

Concluding how to look expensive on a budget

In the end, if a woman who knows how to dress for her shape, her lifestyle, and her style can definitely look expensive on a budget without spending a lot of money on a lot of clothes or big brands.

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How to look expensive on a Budget


  1. I have read so much and watched so many videos on how to look rich and all without loads of money and honestly, these are hands down the best tips. So much love to you.

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