9 ways to make basic clothing items look more expensive

9 ways to make basic clothing items look more expensive
  • I learned how to make basic outfits look more expensive when I studied fashion in college.

  • A simple change, like tucking a shirt and wearing a belt, can make a difference.

  • Tying a silk or satin scarf onto a purse elevates the accessory and adds some class to the look.

You could spend your hard-earned money on a $5,000 Prada bag or a $700 Versace T-shirt to upgrade your personal style. Or, you can save that money for the rising costs of food and learn how to elevate your basics.

After all, how you wear something is much more important for looking chic and fashionable than how much it costs. I studied fashion in college and learned tons of tricks for making basic, affordable clothing look more upscale.

Here are some of my favorite style tips.

Instead of stacking jewelry, I keep my accessories simple.

woman wearing a simple gold necklace with a winter outfit
I take a minimalist approach when it comes to jewelry. MS_studio/Shutterstock

Although stacking jewelry has been a big trend in previous years, wearing several rings and necklaces can become overwhelming and ultimately cheapen an outfit.

Instead, I try to stick to one dainty piece. Less-flashy, simplistic jewelry tends to appear fancier and elevates outfits.

Tuck your shirt in and highlight it with a belt for a more refined outfit.

Woman with white blouse tucked into trousers
A tucked-in shirt can look elegant with a belt and trousers. Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

When a shirt with a longer hem is left untucked, it can come across as shabby. To avoid this, I usually tuck it in (partially or fully) and add a belt.

The simple change immediately balances out my silhouette, making the outfit look more put together. Plus, it can be replicated across many styles, including T-shirts, button-downs, and lightweight blouses.

You can make a basic T-shirt feel classier with wide-legged pants.

woman walking down a street wearing a black leather jacket over a black t shirt and white wide leg cargo pants
The added intrigue of the wide-leg silhouette elevates the whole look. LightField Studios/Shutterstock

It's pretty easy to make basic T-shirts look more polished, but it all depends on what pants you pair with them.

Instead of wearing the top with skinny jeans or tight slacks, I opt for pants with a wider silhouette. This gives the casual shirt a sleek upgrade.

Instead of multicolored outfits, I opt for monochrome looks.

woman walking down the street wearing a black monochrome outfit
An all-black look is classic. Ekateryna Zubal/Shutterstock

Wearing one color might sound boring, but it often makes outfits appear sleek and put together.

Instead of pairing light pants with a dark shirt (or vice-versa), pair darks with darks and lights with lights for a chic look. The balance is unbeatable.

I add statement jewelry or fun shoes if I really want to spice it up.

I typically pair a casual outfit with a long coat.

woman walking down a london street wearing a long plaid coat over jeans and a black shirt
Wearing a long, tailored coat can make jeans (and even sweats) look nicer. Mauro Del Signore/Shutterstock

A long coat — no matter the price or color — instantly makes my outfits feel more expensive.

Instead of wearing a puffer coat or a carpenter jacket with an already casual ensemble, I opt for a tailored coat that goes below the waist.

Leather, wool, and other fabrics that contrast with what's underneath are the best options because they make the jacket the statement piece.

Tying a scarf around a cheaper bag is an easy way to elevate the accessory.

paisley scarf tied around the strap of a small black bag
I find affordable silk scarves at my local thrift store. Amena Ahmed

Adding a silk or satin scarf to your handbag or purse adds a pop of color and makes the bag look more expensive.

I like to thrift my scarves for the highest quality at the lowest price. But they're typically available across several price points, sizes, colors, and prints.

You can always upgrade a basic outfit with fancy shoes.

man wearing jeans rolled at the ankles and nice brown loafers
Investing in one nice pair of shoes is an easy way to polish up dozens of outfits. Tinxi/Shutterstock

I've always been one to splurge on shoes because I don't need that many of them and can elevate endless outfits with a single pair.

When I don't feel like dressing up, the shoes instantly add a luxurious touch to a casual outfit.

Some trending styles include mules, kitten heels, chrome sneakers, and ballet flats.

Wearing the right undergarments can make a big difference.

close up of a woman's black bra visible through a tan waffled tshirt
Unless you're intentionally trying to show off your bra, it's best to go with a lighter color.Amena Ahmed

Flashy or detailed bras have almost become an accessory of their own, but there's a time and a place for the see-through trend.

Wearing a lightweight or light-colored shirt with dark undergarments can make the top look cheap or low quality. Instead, opt for skin-color or seamless bras, undershirts, and underwear.

Basic upkeep is the most effective way to make all your clothing look more expensive.

woman wearing an off the shoulder white button-up with jeans and fun accessories
Properly laundering and mending your clothes can go a long way. Anna Zhuk/Shutterstock

When a sweater has a snag or a T-shirt is wrinkly, it can jeopardize the overall quality of the ensemble. I usually snip loose threads and steam my clothes when I want them to look more upscale.

Following the correct washing and drying instructions can also improve the longevity, quality, and color of your clothing while keeping the pieces looking sharp.

Read the original article on Business Insider