How to Look Expensive on a Budget

First, a disclaimer! I’m not necessarily saying you or anyone needs to look ‘expensive’ but sometimes you want to turn your look up a-notch and here are some great ways I have found and researched that help to do just that! Below are simple ways to make you look elevated in your style while looking clean, sophisticated and like a million bucks!

Tip #1: Layer

One of my favorite go-tos for an important meeting or lunch with the executives is to pair a turtleneck under a classic blazer. Turtlenecks are making a welcomed comeback in recent fashion for their conservative yet professional feel. They are no longer an uber-safe choice but instead, one that looks elegant while modest. Pairing under a classic color blazer, such as black, gray or navy can make you look and feel confident and prepared. Next time you want to be seen AND heard, reach for a turtle neck and blazer combo and you’ll fit right in with the big wigs on millionaires row.

Turtleneck & blazer: a go-to for a polished look!

Tip #2: Pay Attention to Colors

Color plays a HUGE role in how we interpret life and situations and the same goes for your wardrobe. There is such thing as expensive colors and they include beige, khaki, off-white, gray, and military green. Colors that look more expensive happen in nature while ones like neon, magenta, bright pigments tend to look a bit on the cheap side. Although neon is making a trend this season, if you are looking for statement pieces, go more basic. Try to find neutral, natural colors and invest also in wearing that color throughout your outfit from head-to-toe for a monochromatic look. Pastels are also a great option if you want to appear expensive, just make sure they are soft and the clothing is still in great shape!

Go for a monochromatic look in a neutral color like this one!
Loving this same-color jacket over the dress– super chic!

Tip #3: Get Creative About Where You Get Fashion

In order to look great on a shoe-string budget, get creative about where you get your clothes. You don’t need to go out and spend retail prices and spend a fortune, there are many more fun and inexpensive ways to get great items for your closet. Resale stores and those based around consignment often have upscale options for way less. One of my faves is blue / A GOODWILL BOUTIQUE / in downtown Akron. They are a Goodwill store and inside of their boutique, they carry the best of the best from all good donated. You can find some killer brands there like Burberry, Kate Spade, Armani, Free People etc for such great prices and they often have manager’s specials!

I’d also suggest searching for or hosting a Clothing Swap with your most fashionable friends. Have everyone bring a bag of clothes, shoes, accessories they no longer want and everyone swap! I live by Clothing Swaps and it’s another great source for fashion on the cheap!

Tip #4: Give your accessories some attention

This isn’t Shawshank redemption and people can see your feet so really give some TLC to your shoes! Having statement shoes or ones that are classic can help you appear put-together from head to TOE. If you’re still sporting some old shoes, throw them out or donate them! You can tell a lot by the shoes someone wears and make sure yours are comfortable and in great shape i.e. no holes, no stains, no dirt and you’ll look even more like a million bucks.

Speaking of accessories, invest (on the cheap if possible) in a great structured bag without any logo. Of course, it’s great to see the “G” of a Gucci bag but sometimes the most expensive brands do not make their logo known. Opt for a classic structured purse in a neutral color and it could pass for an uber expensive one right out of a brand-name store.

Tip #5 Fake it with Confidence

Having confidence in yourself is one major way to look like you have it all. Stand up straight, shoulders back and walk like you own the place. Someone with confidence can even make a paper bag look expensive so start there! If this is one of a troubling spot for you and you normally don’t feel very confident, start in the mirror. For a few minutes a day look into your own eyes and point out something you like about yourself. People who are wealthy on some level believe they are worthy of wealth. One criterion for getting what you want is knowing you deserve it, so start believing you are capable and worthy of looking and feeling expensive…because you are! Even just saying the word “confidence” when you walk in the room can make such a difference. Try it!

Sport whatever you chose with CONFIDENCE

Sport whatever you chose with CONFIDENCE


Even if you’re not a multi-millionaire (just yet) you can still dress and act like one. Hey, maybe all that effort will help you actually have the confidence to go for your dreams and make all that money someday. In the meantime, utilize my tips above and fake it ‘til you make it!