🕤 7 min read
We have all seen those people on our morning commute, the ones who look like they have stepped straight off the pages of Vogue magazine and accidentally found themselves on the Tube. The kind of people that look sleek, chic and smell like a combination of Chanel No5 and success.
Well, this is how I aspire to look (on the surface at least). Nobody needs to know about the biscuit crumbs at the bottom of my handbag and the HP sauce in my hair from the bacon roll I inhaled while I was running to get to work on time.
So, how do you fool people into thinking you have it all sussed and you’re as put together as your sensational fashion sense? The good news is you don’t have to break the bank to look a million bucks. We are here to help you look bougie on a budget so you can look and feel like the best version of yourself and save money in the process.
10. Use Colour Wisely
A simple place to start is with the colours you choose to wear. Sticking to a neutral colour palette with blacks, whites, nudes, and browns is a simple way to have a coherent and sophisticated look - not to mention it makes getting ready in the morning easier. Keep any prints simple and timeless - you can’t go wrong with a Breton stripe or a little tartan.
All-white has always been a firm favourite of mine, but while it looks exquisite, one foot out of place while marching down Oxford Street with a grande mocha, and your outfit can go from chic to disaster in a second. If, however, you manage to avoid spilling your breakfast lunch and dinner down your clothes, nothing says “I have my life together” like a pristine, all-white outfit.
9. Find the Fit for You
It may seem like I am stating the obvious, but buy clothes that fit you well! Often we make the mistake of buying clothes that are either too big, too small or unflattering. Spend time getting to know and falling in love with your figure so you can easily find the clothes that make you feel good.
As a general rule, structured garments tend to look more polished and sophisticated than slouchy styles, so next time you are feeling fancy, put away the hoodie and reach for a blazer instead. ‘Looking expensive’ is as much a mindset as the garments we wear. Choose clothes you feel comfortable and confident in, and get out there and pretend the high street is your runway.
8. Choose the Right Fabrics
Like the colours we choose to wear, fabrics can also make or break your outfit. Avoiding synthetic materials such as polyester and opting for natural fabrics (silk, leather, cotton or linen) goes a long way to making your outfit look and feel much more expensive. The only issue here is that it is often more expensive - initially, at least.
While, at first, it may cost a little more to invest in pieces crafted from natural fabrics, they last much longer than their synthetic counterparts and are much better for the environment. So next time you are looking for a classic white button-down shirt, opt for the cotton option over the polyester one and know that you won’t have to repurchase in the coming months once it has lost its shape, starts missing buttons or discolours.
7. Start a Capsule Wardrobe
I have banged on about capsule wardrobes so much that you are probably fed up with listening to me by now (along with the rest of the office), but hear me out - they are great. They eliminate the stress of getting ready in the morning, are a more affordable way to look your best, and are a much more sustainable way of loving fashion.
Capsule wardrobes force you to think carefully about your purchases and not waste money on fleeting trends. This is great for when you want your outfits to look more expensive, as impulse buys are often not the most sophisticated purchases. Capsule wardrobes usually stick to a neutral colour scheme and include timeless pieces - the foundation for 'expensive style'.
6. Take Care of Your Clothes
Now, this may seem like another obvious point, however, some people (myself included) still need to hear it! Take care of your clothes! Often we don’t read the label on our garments, and we end up with shrunk and misshapen clothes in a much unhappier shade of whatever colour they originally were.
Care for each item of clothing individually - treat leather accessories with protectant creams, follow care instructions carefully (especially where silk and wool is concerned), and opt for a steamer instead of an iron to keep your clothes looking their best. Become sewing savvy so you can repair garments instead of tossing them and give your clothing a fresh new look when you fancy a change.
5. Quality Over Quantity
It is easy to be tempted by sales and low prices, however, unless you are getting a high-quality item that will last you years to come, you are not necessarily bagging yourself a bargain. Try not to purchase “one-off” items or garments that will only be on trend for a matter of weeks, instead opt for classic and timeless pieces.
When people think of ‘affordable’ clothing, fast-fashion companies are often the first to come to mind, however, in the long term, these cheap purchases become more expensive. Not only are you more likely to impulse-buy, but the items themselves are usually much lower quality than their more expensive counterparts. A plain white tee at fast-fashion prices may seem tempting, but if you need to replace it after a few wears, the figures soon add up. Instead, spend a little more on high-quality clothing that won’t need replacing as often.
4. Shop Smart
Now that we are sales-smart, we need to start shopping smart. There is no denying that higher quality means a higher price tag, but if you know where to look, there is a good chance you can find the same items for a fraction of the price. I love using Vinted to find high-quality bargains and swap clothes that I no longer wear. It is a great way to make a little extra money and update your wardrobe for next to nothing. Charity shops are another great alternative - a good rummage, can find you some incredible hidden treasures, and it all goes to a good cause.
Another great way to save money while shopping online is to set sale alerts for items you love. Some shopping sites allow you to set a sale alert on an item, so if you have been thinking of splurging on something, sit on it for a little while before taking the plunge, and you may receive an email when its price drops. It is great to spend some time thinking through your purchases anyway, to avoid frivolous impulse buys.
3. Hair & Makeup
It's not all about the clothes. Hair and makeup are just as important when it comes to 'looking expensive', and once again, minimalism is key. Keep hairstyles simple with sleek buns and loose waves, and please, please avoid hair bobbles that clash with your outfit (this is more a personal ick than a style tip, but one that I think is still relevant).
Natural hair colours and makeup works best with this look. Sticking to minimal makeup looks or no makeup at all will ensure you look effortlessly chic. There is something about showing off our natural beauty and feeling confident in our own skin that screams 'girl boss'.
When it comes to accessories, less is often more - think minimalistic, sleek and understated designs. For jewellery, layer simple gold chains and pendants, choose rings that don't look like you won them at the arcade, and go for elegant matching earrings.
Look for high-quality accessories, after all, they often serve multiple purposes than simply looking good. Sunglasses should have the correct UV protection, and where shoes are concerned, comfort should always be the priority.
Style tip: For an easy way to keep your outfits coherent, match your shoes to your bag and remember, a pointed toe will always be the more sophisticated footwear option.
1. Invest in a Good Quality Handbag
Our bags are always there for us. Whether we're on our way to work or running errands, they are always on hand with tissues, lip balm or whatever else we need to get us through the day. For an accessory this important, it makes sense to invest in quality.
Not only are they the most useful part of our outfits, but they also have the potential to transform your look and make a statement. Pure Luxuries London handbags make the perfect choice for their durability, sustainability and beautiful designs. Crafted from gold standard leather with 100% cotton linings and all-metal zips, they look every bit as bougie as they feel, and they won’t break the bank.
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The idea of ‘looking expensive’ is very much a trend in itself. In reality, there is no single way to look expensive, and the best way to dress is by wearing what you love, what makes you feel comfortable and what expresses your individuality. So, whether you follow each of the tips above or simply incorporate some ideas into your personal style, I am confident you look incredible!
Do you have any style tips of your own? We would love to hear from you! Share your thoughts on our social media, and don’t forget to use the hashtag #mypureluxuries to show off your own personal style and be featured on our page.