How to look expensive (when you’re on a budget)

dressing classy on a budget

The holy grail of dressing once you are past 30 is to look smart, elegant and stylish without actually spending much nor putting too much effort in…. but how do we look like this without spending a fortune? It’s presumably relatively easy to look a million dollars if you have a massive budget to hit Bond Street, but for the rest of us mere mortals follow my easy tips to ensure we look more high end than high street…


  • Wear natural fibres; wool, cotton, leather, silk, linen, suede. Whatever you buy and wear doesn’t have to be expensive but if you buy these fabrics wherever possible, your clothing will look better quality than if you buy synthetic fabrics. I’m all in favour of a mixture of fabrics but in general items you have in natural fibres will last longer and last better. A merino wool jumper from M&S or a leather jacket from Zara won’t break the bank will look like an expensive and quality item.


  • Wear different shades of the same colour – this tonal dressing always looks elegant especially if you wear a neutral colour. Depending on your colouring this could be navy, gray, black, camel or chocolate brown.  The darker the colour you go for, the more streamlined you will look.


  • Carry a plain bag – either in leather or suede. When it comes to handbags pleather or suedette isn’t enough – it needs to be leather or suede. Not having any logo or metal ware could mean the handbag is from a brand so exclusive it doesn’t even need to have any branding on it or it could be from M&S, John Lewis or Aldo… either way it will look great but without the need to have cost a fortune.


  • Replace cheap buttons with more expensive buttons from a haberdashers. An easy and very inexpensive way to elevate an item.


  • Mix low end high street with high end high street i.e.. don’t wear an entire outfit from one place – mix it up i.e.. top from Cos, trousers from H&M, shoes from Kurt Geiger and jacket from Monsoon… also a mixture of newer pieces with some older staples always works well.


  • Add one designer element into the mix – the easiest and most cost effective and lowest cost per wear is if it is an accessory such as a handbag, pair of sunglasses or a watch (with subtle logo).


  • Have regular mani-pedis and keep hair well maintained with regular cuts and/or colour.


  • Metallic items – be it jewellery, shoes or bags always add a touch of luxe to an outfit. Silver or pewter if you have coolish colouring or yellow gold or copper coloured if you have warmer colouring.


  • Get items tailored to get them to fit just so and keep them stain free. Have items that require it dry cleaned regularly and use an iron or steamer every morning


  • Keep shoes heeled and soled, clean and scuff free.


My personal recommendations for high street shops that deliver great style, modern trends and classic pieces all at fantastic prices would be H&M and Zara. For other shops that help you to look expensive on a budget click the below link:

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