6 Ways to Look Expensive on Any Budget

Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget; we’ve all heard of it and some of us live that very life and you know what, it is ALL good. There is no need to spend your whole check on a fit, there are truly more important things, BUT that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style and fashion based on your budget. That said I’m sharing all my tea with 6 ways to look expensive on a budget.

6 Ways to Look Expensive on Any Budget


My fashion “goal” is to make my Pinterest Walk In Closet board a reality; basically I know what I’m looking for. If you’re looking to elevate your look in a way that looks more expensive, you should make a mood board or Pinterest board of looks and pieces that inspire you. I stopped shopping for trends a long time ago. My Pinterest board is what helps me seek out the pieces that I end up finding. There are times where I find something that isn’t “on my board” that would be if I had seen a photo of it, but that is also what makes shopping fun, the unexpected pieces that become instant favorites.

Pinterest is where I find and keep all of my fashion inspiration, but it also helps me from spending unnecessary money on random things I will never end up wearing. Shopping with intention is how you build your closet out and how you learn the art of picking timeless pieces. I’m not a fast fashion girl, so you won’t catch me in MOST of what is seen, I like what I like and I want to wear that all the time, so I shop for things that look expensive that I can wear over and over and over again. People swear I have a million clothes, you would actually be so surprised to see how small my wardrobe is, but the pieces wear well and wear with other things in a ton of ways, so it for sure can come off that way.


The easiest way to look expensive on any budget is by picking pieces that are of a rich material. Velvet, satin, leather, knit, fur, denim, latex (depending on the piece) and sheers are my go to. Depending on the piece they always lean toward looking expensive. These materials wear well, last longer and guaranty you will get your use out of them all year long instead of just for a season.

My closet is literally full of chunky knit sweaters, satin skirts, faux fur coats, velvet dresses and pants. They are easy, effortless and whether it’s a day time occasion or a night time occasion these materials always give me that laid back luxury look that I go for. People have actually been shocked to know that some of my most amazing pieces are from Forever 21 or Old Navy. I always say it’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it and picking something in the right texture or material not only elevates your look, it is an easy way to look expensive on any budget.


If you’re shopping in season, you’re doing it all wrong. Sure there will be some things that you get in season that you’ll be happy you snagged, but all of the pieces you see for full price will be on sale come season end. All of my yummy knit sweaters, that make even the most basic jeans look glam, that can be dressed up or down, that last beyond my original purchase date, I got on sale at the end of the season. HM, Zara, Forever 21, you’d be surprised that I got most if not all of my luxe sweaters for less than $10 just from shopping out of season.

I snagged two THICK, expensive looking, cream sweaters from Zara recently. One is originally priced at $70 and I got it for $9.99. The quality is EVERYTHING, it looks like it could be more expensive than $70, but to know that I didn’t pay a higher price or the retail price makes the wait worth it. You don’t have to pay full price for anything, there are too many coupon codes, influencer discounts and the like to be spending all of your coins.


Now if you’re okay spending a little bit of your coins and you want to actually get designer things, my suggestion is shop sample sales and resale sites. If I have been looking for a pair of shoes or a bag, I always go to my resale sites first because I can get a feel for what the prices are looking like and what I can expect to spend.

Designer pieces, whether dripped in logos or other familiar designs definitely give off that expensive look, but as I get older and search for things that will live beyond a season, I started gravitating toward understated luxury items. I love a good logo mania vibe, but I like a few “if you know, than you know” pieces. My Alexander Wang bag is truly the definition of that. If you don’t know and/or don’t care about the Rocky bags, you would never know who I’m carrying. If you know the studs on a Rocky bag, then you know it’s a Wang bag.

Now to be clear, I didn’t buy that bag to walk around hoping someone would or wouldn’t recognize it, I bought this bag because I’ve been peeping game on them for a minute now, like middle school, high school minute, so a lot of the designer things I want aren’t new, I just pay for my own stuff now.

My favorite resale sites that I trust are:

  • Fashionphile
  • Poshmark
  • Tradesy
  • What Goes Around Comes Around
  • Nordstrom Rack Fig at 7th has a great designer section

Sample Sale brands I swear by:


The moment you limit your shopping to one location is the moment you keep yourself boxed in. I don’t mind driving to go to another area. Nordstrom Rack in Topanga is completely different from Nordstrom Rack at Fox Hills. You have to consider the shopping demographic wherever you go.

If I’m looking for certain pieces, maybe something more luxe, I may go to an area where I feel like I can get that. I don’t shop at one place, I go into all stores that look like they might have something that speaks to that expensive laid back luxury look I go for. I’m not one to discriminate on stores because those times when I venture out are the times I find something that I know isn’t going to be everywhere.


Now this is subjective, not everyone is into only neutrals (white, black, gray, khaki, olive, brown, etc.). I personally prefer them because again they wear multiple ways, they transition through seasons well and when worn and styled properly you will most certainly elevate your look to expensive.

If you’re into color which is absolutely okay too, these tips can still be applied, when buying colorful pieces for sure pay attention to quality and texture. I’ve incorporated a few neon and yellow pieces into my wardrobe, but I bought them in satin, so though they are bright and vibrant, satin gives them an expensive vibe that isn’t always achieved with such loud colors.

Whatever you decide and whatever look you’re going for, you can for sure achieve it without breaking the bank.

What are some tips you use for shopping that have proven to give you a more luxe look?


    • Jazmyn
      February 20, 2020 / 1:48 am

      Thank you so much for reading! It’s the smallest things that make a huge difference.

  1. March 9, 2020 / 12:54 pm

    Agree with your tips 100%! My top tips in my post on looking expensive were re: textures and colors. People are always surprised by how little I paid for certain pieces. You have to train your eye to look for quality

    xx, Coreyiel | TheLuxeMinimalist.com

    • Jazmyn
      March 10, 2020 / 5:09 am

      Yes! Once your eye is trained it makes it so much easier, I love that so much!!

  2. Kesi
    August 28, 2020 / 11:58 am

    Great tips!! I enjoyed this read I’ve been wanting to create a minimal luxury wardrobe and this was helpful

    • Jazmyn
      August 28, 2020 / 12:48 pm

      Thanks for reading Kesi!! It’s so much easier than we think and certainly doesn’t have to be budget buster, you have such a good style already, so excited to see what you do 😉

Leave a Reply