Looking chic isn’t defined by how much you spend. Even if you don’t shop at Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys you can look elegant without breaking the bank. Even with a head to toe H&M or Forever 21 outfit you can still look like a million bucks if you master these tricks!
Choose the right fabrics
Most of the time, what gives away a cheap item is the material. Picking the right fabric is essential if you want your outfit to look more expensive than it really is. There are some fabrics such as lace and shiny silky fabrics that you need to spend the extra money on. Affordable lace items, for example, always look cheap. Because it’s such a delicate fabric, replicating it cheaply will not be the same as opting for the higher-end version. As for affordable fabrics that look more expensive than they are, cotton, linen and even some cashmere blends are a great option. Denim is also a great choice. H&M makes great jeans for example. Try choosing thicker denim as it looks more expensive than thin stretchy jeans.
Beware of some prints & patterns
Unfortunately, some patterns, just like fabrics, will give itself away as a cheap piece. Florals are definitely one of them! Forever 21 does lots of florals especially in spring/summer, but they always look cheap. No matter what the fabric, the floral pattern somehow makes it look inexpensive. That’s because of three factors: The colors, and the print size and the print repetition. So when choosing a floral item, focus on low contrast earthy tones, medium prints that are not too sparse nor too crowded. Stripes are always a safe choice from the high street. They always look chic even if they don’t cost a lot.
Keep it neutral
When in doubt, stick with neutrals. Whether it’s head to toe white or black (yes, I consider black a neutral color), or even earthy shades, there’s nothing more elegant than a neutral outfit. I love wearing my H&M white skinny denim, with a simple beige button down and some heels for a chic put together look. It’s my go-to safe choice. Neutrals, always make fabrics look more expensive than they are, which will make your overall outfit look higher end.
Choose your accessories well
Even if you have a $1,000 dress, if you choose the wrong accessories, they can make it look tacky. When I buy affordable accessories, I always pick timeless non-trendy pieces, that are minimalistic. Whether it’s a pair of earrings, heels or even a bag. Simple designs look more luxe than trendy multi-colored options. Even with your makeup, keep it simple and natural accentuating one feature at a time. Think a no-makeup makeup face with a daring lip or a nude lip and a bold liner.
Alterations are your little secret
When it comes to formal wear especially, well-fitted clothes always look more elegant than baggy oversized ill-fitting attire. Having tailored made clothes are pretty pricey and most of us can’t afford it, but there’s a way to make Zara’s items look like they were tailored for your body…. and the secret is: alteration! As a petite, I alter my clothes pretty frequently to get the right fit, but anybody can do it. If a blazer is a little baggy in places or the pants are a little too long, find a good tailor and get your clothes altered to fit you perfectly, thus looking more expensive than they are. There’s nothing sexier a woman in a well-fitted dress or a man in a perfectly fitted suit.
This has to be the most important tip of them all. If you are confident in any outfit and absolutely owning it, you will make any outfit look better! The key to looking chic on a budget is to act like you are wearing Chanel head to toe! Fix your posture, open up your chest and lift your chin up. Gisele ain’t got anything on you girl!
These are my tips to looking chic on a budget. Remember that you don’t have to spend a lot to look like you did.
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