How to Make An Outfit Look Expensive

New York City
September 25, 2017

I’ve always been a firm believer that you don’t need to overspend in order to look and feel great. Fashion is supposed to be fun – at every price point – and our budgets shouldn’t limit how we present ourselves to the world. I love mixing in designer pieces here and there, but so many of my outfits are actually quite affordable. It’s all about balance, and a few tricks to elevate any outfit – no matter what it costs. If you’re looking to make something look more expensive, I hope my tips below will assist!


Honestly, to me, finding a good tailor is almost as important as a good doctor. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve taken a piece in to have it completely transformed by my tailor. By taking a blazer that’s too boxy and making it fitted, or cropping a pair of trousers to hit right at your ankle, you can make pieces look completely catered to your body.


I learned to sew when I was young, and I’m always one for switching out details on a cheaper piece. Often times things like buttons or belts are what gives away the cost, so simply switch them out! Similar to switching knobs on a dresser for something more personal or lux. How easy is that?!


Accessories are where I tend to invest – especially with bags and shoes. By buying classic YSL, Chloe, Miu Miu or something similar, you’re making an investment in all future outfits. It’s amazing what a quality accessory can do to a simple outfit. As you know I adore NET-A-PORTER because they – without question – have the most gorgeous accessories to last a lifetime. For example, this YSL bag that I have on in these pictures – can we talk about how sleek and timeless it is?! And these Miu Miu patent leather heels that I can wear with literally anything. They’re what I like to call, “elevators”, an essential every woman needs in her wardrobe – that one piece that can elevate your look from ordinary to extraordinary.


When wanting an outfit to look expensive, I pay close attention to the material. Poorly done faux leather, distressed anything, and too shiny material can give away the cost.


There are certain classic styles that look more costly, so when you want to elevate an outfit, stick to those. A power suit, or any matching set for that matter, is a bold move that looks nice. I also love draping a jacket over my shoulders since it instantly makes the outfit look more chic. And when it doubt? Dress like a French Girl – their style always looks divine.


The power of a steamer is similar to that of a tailor. I carry a travel steamer with me everywhere, and make sure my pieces look crisp before heading out the door. A steamed $30 dress will always look better than a $300 one that’s wrinkled.

Any other tips I’m missing, loves?

Shop the post

| Acler blazer (similar) | Acler pants (similar) | YSL bag | Miu Miu pumps |


Love those simple yet very true tips!

Love this outfit! That colour suits you so well.

If I purchased a YSL handbag to match my navy, black and burgundy blazer, I’d be more broke than chic. Be reasonable.

this color is PERFECT on you! xo


I read the comments before the article because the link I followed to the article was messed up. In doing so, it seems as though people focused on only one point out of several you mentioned. Adding an expensive handbag was the only pricey suggestion in the article. The other ideas were excellent ideas to make cheaper clothing look more expensive. Very well written and I love the ideas! Brilliant!

This is genious thinking – buy an extremely expensive handbag and at the same time don’t spend a lot of money!

Loving the deep green! <3


Grear tips
Will surely use them, incredible photo scenes.

Saida - She talks Glam

Great tips Jenny, thanks so much for sharing. I loved the idea of switching the details to make a piece of clothing look more luxe! I am resorting to “dressing like a French girl” lately as I find it both fail-proof and chic. Big hugs from England,

Saida | She talks Glam

Absolutely! With you on that one!

As a child, my mother was my fashion inspiration and she taught me so much about timeless chic. She often shopped in Paris then (the 60’s) and my love of fashion began by seeing the beautiful clothes and shoes she chose to wear. Later when we lived in North America and things like fully lined dresses or pants and beautiful buttons were harder to find, she taught me about switching out cheap-looking buttons or belts, always ensuring your heels were not worn down, *never* wearing anything with a button off or a hem that needed mending, investing in excellent undergarments (including slips so as to ensure perfect drape on an unlined outfit), and so much more. It was about the small details as much as the whole. What a fabulous era that was in fashion!

The tips you’ve shared with your readers here are spot-on, and you look supremely chic in this gorgeous green outfit. Thank you.

Thank you for sharing your story, I adore all of the sentiments your mother does as well.

Ayesha Pathan (@Theaaeeshaedit

This post is brilliant really good tips especially the part about sewing and switching parts like the buttons!x

This is very helpful!

You look so stunning in green ! That bag is just incredible, and i love you in a suit !


Yessss steaming! I remember when I first discovered the magic of a steamer, lol. Definitely doesn’t take much time or cost a lost, but makes a huge difference in the end.

– Michelle –
MICHELLE X PAN | A surrealist fashion blog

I agree with you — and also about the steamer! I have one and can’t imagine life without it.


These tips are so helpful! And I agree; fashion should be fun at any price point! Love this emerald look you’ve put together to get us all in the fall mindset 🙂 xoxo


Green looks amazing on you, love the sunglasses

After looking at these pictures I know I’ve underestimated how elegant forest green is! Definitely planning on adding this color to my wardrobe for fall and winter! Also I loved what you said about accessories and I have always preferred investing in shoes and bags just like you!

P.S. I love your new short hair and it would be so great if you could give us some info on what kind haircut you got (layers, asymmetrical, etc). I have short hair and I love it but haven’t quite found the perfect cut, and I believe yours is it!

I love this suit on you. so cute

La Bijoux Bella | by mia

Love ❤️ the deep dark emerald green colour … classy and effortless Lydia beautiful! 🙂

❤LA BIJOUX BELLA❤ | BY MIA | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

These are all such fabulous tips! I love that one about switching out buttons. I actually did that recently with a high street blazer that I have – I switched out the buttons and it looks so much more luxe! I also think investing in accessories is so much smarter! Plus, nothing beats a good steamed outfit!


Great tips Jenny! Love the carry-on steamer suggestion – wrinkly clothes truly are nothing pretty to see hehe. Totally in love with your outfit too <3

x Kristjaana

Great tips! I never thought to switch out details on my cheaper pieces, but I definitely will be doing that now!

xo, Carey

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