7 Ways to Make Your Outfit Look Expensive

You don’t have to spend a million dollars to look like it. These easy (and free!) upgrades will make any ensemble look luxe.


Just Add Gold

Photo by Barbara Donninelli

Call it the Midas touch—simple, structural gold-toned jewelry just has that special something. Wearing minimalist head-to-toe black, or boyfriend jeans and a white tee? Add your favorite statement bracelet, earrings, or ring for instant elevation.


Press And Steam

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Even the most expensive items will lose their luster if they’re wrinkled and creased. To perfect the polished look, press crisp cottons with an iron and use a steamer on silkier fabrics.


Clean Up

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Yes, this seems like an obvious one. But we often don’t realize how much wear and tear everyday items, like handbags and shoes, actually get—and that daily abuse can make accessories look old and dirty way before their time. Keep these items looking brand new by wiping them down with a damp cloth, snipping any loose threads, and seeing a cobbler if you need to buff out any scuffs or scratches.


Pay Attention to Hair and Makeup

Photo by Kenji Aoki

Why is it that some women manage to look polished in a pair of jeans, and others just… don’t? Like the icing on a cake, beauty and grooming are the final touches that make all the difference. If your makeup is done, your nails are manicured (or even just clean and filed), and not a hair is out of place, the attention to detail suggests that you took equal care with your outfit.


Cuff and Tuck

Photo by Jessica Antola

Tucking in a top or sweater creates a clean, complete silhouette in one quick step. Bonus points if you can master the effortless chic appeal of the “half tuck.” Add these other key tweaks to your styling skills as well: Properly cuffing jeans, neatly rolling sleeves, and expertly tying a scarf.


Keep It Stylishly Simple

Photo by Sascha Pflaeging

Inexpensive embellishments, like hardwear, studs, and beading, tend to look exactly that—inexpensive. Sleek, classic pieces that are free of any add-ons, like logos or bling, tend to come across as much more high-end, even if they’re not.


Mix It Up

Photo by Floto + Warner

Pairing different textures, like silk or a soft knit with suede or leather (real or faux) adds instantaneous visual interest to your look, without adding any bells or whistles.