How to make your clothes and accessories look more expensive

Just because you're not a millionaire, doesn't mean you can't look like one.

There’s just something about an expensive piece of clothing: the fabric feels richer, it fits better and it lasts longer. And then there’s that special kind of high you get when wearing it, knowing that you’re clad in something luxurious. Although we would love buy cashmere coats, Italian leather boots and designer handbags all day and everyday, most of us don’t have a bank account big enough.

But just because you don’t have a six figure salary doesn’t mean you can’t look totally chic. If you know what to look for and how to wear the things you already own, you can look like a million bucks regardless of how much you spent. Here are our top tips to making your clothes and outfits look more expensive.


no hardwear - edited

Ditch the hardware

Literally cut it off.

Why? Well, inexpensive hardware and embellishments look cheap. These elements of clothes, handbags and shoes are a lot more expensive to produce. Especially when they’re made well. Since most high street stores have to cut costs to keep prices low, the quality of hardware or embellishments is quite low. Gold hardware quickly loses it’s colour and silver tarnishes. It’s not quite the right shape and it feels flimsy.

As a result, hardware and embellishments are one of the easiest ways to tell if something is expensive or not. So what do you do? Either avoid buying it or cut it off (neatly).

My favourite pair of black t-bar sandals originally came with a tacky gold bar across the toe. I unpicked the stitching that held it on and now I have a basic and much more expensive looking pair of shoes.

Image source: Instagram user talisa_sutton


construction - edited

Pay attention to stitching and construction

Quality, high end clothing is all about the craftsmanship. Loose threads, wonky seams and poor stitching are tell tale signs of lower-quality, cheap clothing. When you’re out shopping, always pay attention to workmanship and how well it’s been sewn. Don’t buy anything that’s been poorly constructed – ever. While you may love the colour of that $10 top on the sale rack, if the stitching isn’t right, it will look raggedy after a few wears and it will make everything else you’re wearing look cheap too.

As for things you already own, always cut off loose threads and repair any damaged hems or seams immediately before the problem gets worse. If you’re not an expert with a needle and thread, there are some great DIY videos on YouTube that will help you get it right.

Image source: Instagram user apairandaspare


fabric is everything - edited

Fabric is everything

Not only are premium fabrics nicer to wear, they last longer. Synthetic fabrics like rayon and viscose break more easily, are prone to shrinking in the wash and they can pill after just a few wears. Nothing screams cheap like a misshapen, pilling jumper.

Always look at the label and make sure the clothes you’re purchasing are made from natural fibres like wool, cotton, silk, hemp and cashmere. These fabrics are more breathable, durable and they look more high end.

There are two exceptions to the synthetic versus natural rule. Although linen is a luxurious, natural fabric, I would avoid it because of its tendency to crease. Also, imitation suede can often look just as good as the real thing so synthetic fabric is not necessarily a no-no.

Image source: Instagram user apairandaspare


buttons - edited

Don’t buy cheap looking buttons

Just like with hardware, a cheap button is a dead giveaway that your clothes aren’t expensive. When you’re shopping, always take a look at buttons and make sure they’re not flimsy and plastic looking. If you already own something but you aren’t too impressed with the buttons, consider replacing them with something a little nicer. You can find some really beautiful replacement buttons at Lincraft or Spotlight.

Image source: Instagram user harperandharley


length of shirt - edited

Length matters

Sleeves and legs that are too short for you look tacky. The odd length looks as though the a clothing has cheaply tailored or that the manufacturer was trying to skimp on fabric.

Ideally, you’d want to have all your pants and shirts tailored to the right length for your body. Since that can be a bit pricey, there are plenty of handy DIY YouTube tutorials to help you. If all else fails, always opt for things that are a bit too long rather than too short.

Image source: Instagram user harperandharley


minimally - edited

Dress minimally

Have a look at the truly stunning and ultimately chic outfits you love. You’ll probably find that many of them are very simple and minimal. Simple outfits let expert tailoring and luxurious fabrics do the talking and allow pieces to truly shine. Dressing minimally will always look more expensive than piling on scarves and bangles. After all, in the wise words of Coco Chanel, you should take one thing off before you leave the house.

Image source: Instagram user friendinfashion


bb basics - edited

Splurge on basics

But buy cheap trend pieces.

Have you ever heard someone say: “don’t spend $100 on a white t-shirt, it’s just a white t-shirt”? I have and it’s so wrong! Think about how often you wear a white t-shirt. Once a week? Maybe more? Exactly.

It’s baffling that some people will drop $500 on a distinctive, sequined party dress that they’ll wear once and leave sitting in their closet for the rest of forever. But when it comes to buying a t-shirt that you wear with almost everything, $50 is just too much.

If you invest in the pieces you wear almost daily, it’s not hard to look effortlessly chic. Buy one high quality white tee, a pair of plain but designer jeans and a real leather jacket. Once you have those three pieces, you’re set.

Image source: Instagram user beginningboutique


monochrome - edited

Stick to monochrome

Generally, basic monochrome pieces look more elegant and sophisticated than brightly coloured ones. This is particularly true when you team monochrome pieces together. Plus, you can get a lot more wear out of staple black and white pieces.

Image source: Instagram user friendinfashion


kim kardashian - edited

If you love colour, keep it all one tone

If you’re not ready to give up on colour but still want your outfit to look high end, dress all in the one tone. Selectively styling an outfit so that you’re wearing just shades of blue or shades of grey will help to make your overall outfit feel more premium.

Image source: Instagram user kimkardashian


simple accessories - edited

Add plain or expensive looking accessories

Accessorising with a plain leather handbag or branded jewellery is another way to make everything you’re wearing look a lot more high end. A simple (perhaps very inexpensive) outfit topped with a Tiffany’s key necklace or Chloe bangle will immediately appear far more premium than it is.

Just remember to keep your handbags free of hardware (unless it’s top quality) and don’t overly accessorise. Just a few key pieces is more than enough.

Image source: Instagram user kaity_modern


the daily edited image - edited

Add a monogrammed accessory

Back in the day, monogrammed accessories were reserved for those who could afford to pay the extra to have their Louis Vuitton leather goods personalised. Not anymore. Companies like The Daily Edited and Mon Purse are all about personalised and monogrammed leather accessories that are relatively affordable. Nothing will make your outfit look more expensive than a monogrammed leather clutch under your arm.

Image source: Instagram user thedailyedited


classic pieces - edited

Don’t jump on the trend bandwagon

Pieces that are very obviously part of a current trend like suede fringing, jogger pants or flares will date quickly and will leave you looking very last-season. Your clothes and outfits in general will look a lot more expensive if you stick to buying classic pieces that transcend current trends. You’ll also get way more wear out of a classic piece of clothing than that “it-was-cool-at-the-time” bomber jacket.

Image source: Instagram user showpo


gigi statement lip - edited

Beauty counts too

You’d be surprised at how much good grooming can affect the perception of an outfit. This doesn’t mean you have to start caking on your makeup. But a statement lip or polished ballerina bun can add that little extra element your outfit was missing.

Image source: Instagram user gigihadid


Latest fashion stories

Latest clothing deals:

Showpo Showpo

40 - 60% off sale

Save 40 - 60% off sale dresses, tops, swimwear and more at Showpo. New styles have been added to sale. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Zaful Zaful

Up to 70% off + free gifts

Enjoy 12.12, get up to 70% off and free gifts at Zaful. Hurry while it lasts. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Zaful Zaful

Up to 90% off + extra 10% off Christmas sale

Get up to 90% off at Zaful and an extra 10% off by using the promo code. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Sunnylife Sunnylife

20% off sitewide

Use promo code to get 20% off sitewide. Hurry while it lasts. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Skechers Skechers

Up to 50% off sale

Enjoy up to 50% off shoes for men, women and kids from Skechers. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Quay Australia Quay Australia
Exclusive

10% off orders over $75

Use the code to save 10% off when you spend over $75 on sunglasses at Quay Australia. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Simply Wholesale Simply Wholesale
Exclusive

15% off all products

Save 15% on electronics, home decors, fashion, furnitures and much more at Simply Wholesale.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Supre Supre

Tops for $10

Get tops for $10 at Supré. Hurry while it lasts. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Quay Australia Quay Australia

$25 for sunnies

Get sunnies for $25 at Quay Australia. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Glassons Glassons

Up to 60% off sale

Enjoy up to 60% off sale clothing, shoes and accessories. Conditions apply.

Last verified

Kathmandu Kathmandu

20% off driMOTION gear

Enjoy 20% off driMOTION gear at Kathmandu. Limited time only. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Kathmandu Kathmandu

Extra 20% off sunglasses

Enjoy an additional 20% off sunglasses. Limited time only. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Kathmandu Kathmandu

Up to 50% off adult shirts, shorts, & pants

Get up to 50% off adult shirts, shorts, & pants at Kathmandu. Limited time only. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

THE ICONIC THE ICONIC

Up to 70% off sale

Enjoy up to 70% off clothing, shoes, accessories and more at THE ICONIC. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Dissh Dissh
Limited time!

Further 20% off sale

Enjoy an extra 20% off sale dresses, skirts, playsuits and more at Dissh. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Be Me Be Me

$40 site-wide or $33 each for 3 styles

Applies to Beme styles only. Exclusions, T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Boohoo Boohoo

50% off absolutely everything

Shop dresses, tops, shoes, accessories and more and enjoy 50% discount. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Meshki Meshki

Up 70% off site-wide

Get up to 70% off site-wide, excluding outlet collection. Hurry while it lasts. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

General Pants General Pants
Today only!

30% off almost everything

Use the code to save 30% off clothing, shoes, accessories and more. Not valid on e-vouchers and any other promotions or offers. Exclusions, T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Styletread Styletread

Up to 50% off over 1000's new and further markdowns

Shop shoes and bags for men, women and kids from adidas, Puma, Skechers, Tony Bianco and more at Styletread. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

ECHT ECHT

Up to 50% off: Outlet Sale

Score up to 50% off tanks, shorts, sports bras and much more. Hurry while it lasts. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Zaful Zaful

Save 20% off site-wide

Save 20% on dresses, tops, swimwear and more at Zaful. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

ChicMe ChicMe

Up to 88% + extra 15% off flash sale

Items down up to $4.99. Use promo code to get extra 15% off. Limited time only. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

ChicMe ChicMe

Up to 80% off sitewide

Different styles for as low as $4.99, plus more deals just for you. Hurry while it lasts! T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Newchic Newchic

Up to 75% off: 5th Anniversary Sale

Enjoy up to 75% off new dresses, hoodies, boots, bags and more. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Charles & Keith Charles & Keith
Limited time!

FREE standard delivery on all orders

Enjoy FREE standard delivery on the new Cylindrical heel pumps, sneakers and more at Charles & Keith. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Crossroads Crossroads

30-50% off selected styles

Enjoy 30-50% off dresses, tops, pants and more at Crossroads. Prices as marked. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

ChicMe ChicMe

Extra 15% off site-wide

Enjoy an extra 15% off already reduced sale clothing, shoes, accessories and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Forever New Forever New
SALE

Up to 50% off sale styles

Enjoy up to 50% off sale styles including dresses, tops and coats at Forever New. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

eBay eBay

Up to 50% off selected items

Take up to 50% off selected items at eBay. T&Cs Apply

Last verified

Rivers Rivers

Up to 70% off sale

Enjoy up to 70% off sale at Rivers. T&Cs Apply

Last verified

BestDeals BestDeals

Up to 25% off selected items

Enjoy up to 25% off selected items. T&Cs Apply

Last verified

Rivers Rivers

Up to 50% off storewide

Take up to 50% off storewide at Rivers. T&Cs Apply

Last verified

ChicMe ChicMe

72% off site-wide + 20% off when you buy 4 items

Enjoy 72% off site-wide plus get 20% off when you buy 4 items at ChicMe. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Lorna Jane Lorna Jane

Up to 60% off sale

No returns or refunds. Exclusions, T&Cs Apply

Last verified

MINKPINK MINKPINK

15% off your first order

Treat yourself with 15% off your first order when you sign up at MINKPINK. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Farfetch Farfetch
Limited stocks

Up to 70% off designer fashion & accessories on sale

Valid on select sale styles only. While stocks last. Exclusions, T&Cs apply.

Last verified

ParlourX ParlourX

Get 6% sale on all goods

Conditions Apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

City Beach City Beach

Spend $200 and save $40

Spend $200 on your purchase and save $40. Conditions Apply.

Last verified

Popular Womens Clothing & Accessories coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
6 Dec 2019 Up to 90% off + extra 10% off Christmas sale MER****
5 Dec 2019 20% off sitewide LET****
11 Jul 2019 10% off orders over $75 FIN****
10 May 2019 15% off all products FIN****
6 Dec 2019 Further 20% off sale PAR****
Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site