6 Ways to Look Expensive on Any Budget

Want to look expensive on any budget? It’s safe to say, no matter what our bank accounts look like, most of us desire to look our best. Sometimes our best looks like spending a lot, or sometimes it is the illusion that a lot was spent, when in fact that isn’t the case. You know your budget and honestly GOOD FOR YOU for having one. Whatever your goals are as far as looking expensive on any budget, the 6 tips below are my foundation for best practices.

That said I’m sharing 6 ways to look expensive on a budget.

6 Ways to Look Expensive on Any Budget

Know What You’re Shopping For

My personal 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. My idea of looking expensive may not be your idea of looking expensive. 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. In a time where athleisure and work from home style is taking over, having my Pinterest boards has been super helpful to help me navigate and build my style.

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’ve jumped off of the fast fashion train, 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. 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.

Pick Luxe Textures + Materials = Expensive

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 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. 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.

Shop Out of Season and Shop Sales

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. If you weren’t able to snag all of the pieces you wanted for a particular season just wait until the season is coming to a close and get all of the things. Of course, not every item may be available, depending on popularity or trend, the seasons come and go so quickly anyway. By the time you look up, the season is over and things are on sale again.

Sales happen all year ’round though brands love to make us feel like they only come around once in a while. In my opinion, and not suggesting that you need to wait at all, when it comes to shopping sales, if you REALLY want to get the most bang for your buck, middle of the year, aka, half yearly sales, or end of year sales starting with Black Friday. Unless I’m looking for something specific, you can look expensive on any budget by simply not trying to spend more than your means allow.

Shop Resale Sites and Sample Sale Sites

Now if you’re okay spending a little bit 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, you know” pieces. My Alexander Wang bag or even my Brandon Blackwood bags are truly the definition of that.

My favorite resale sites that I trust are:

Sample Sale brands I swear by:

Visit Stores and Malls Outside of Your General Area

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 (Westfield Culver City). 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.

Neutral and Classic Colors

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 or prints 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 😉

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