How to look expensive, chic and elegant on a budget.


While I’m all for making my outfits look as effortlessly chic, elegant and refined as possible I’m actually not hugely fond of the term look expensive. It conjures up images of women dripping in jewels and ‘look at me’ labels which is most definitely not my style! But what is my style is anything that polishes my outfit. So in today’s video I’m talking how you can very easily elevate your outfit ideas and feel more stylish without breaking the bank.

Those style hacks that instantly make me feel more chic and refined and look expensive even though they’re on a budget or even better free to do. So that’s what I wanted to delve into today.

Those little style hacks and fashion tips I reach for on a daily basis, often without realising I’m doing it, that I’ve tried to put into words today:)

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Adding an oversized coat, blazer or loose fitting trousers even has a magic effect on your outfit ideas. And it’s something I see at the runways time and time again both from the designers and all the fashionistas. Going oversized with one element of your outfit has the uncanny effect of making the whole look feel more expensive and chic.

I’m not even sure why this works so well, it just does, so it’s something I integrate into my own outfit ideas. In this video I mention it’s easiest to do this with your outerwear. In Summer a blazer or a lightweight jacket and in Winter I’d size up on a beautiful wool coat. I probably wouldn’t ever attempt this with a dress, though I’ve seen others do this well it’s not the easiest look to pull off so I’d personally play it safe with those layered elements.


It’s not what you wear, but how you wear it.

Try and think slightly differently about how you wear your pieces and you’ll find that it can often have a positive effect on your outfit. Could you wear your coat over your shoulders, tuck your bag under your arm, knot your belt rather than doing it up properly? A few quirky styling tweaks can ultimately change an outfit from feeling safe to super chic and stylish. And of course none of which cost any money at all which is always a bonus.

Avoid too much print
Whether you’re trying to look expensive or not, avoiding too much print is an easy way to create the perfect capsule wardrobe. Aside from say polka dots, most printed fabrics are going to date pretty quickly in your closet. The most affordable way to begin a capsule wardrobe would be to stick with a palette of neutrals. That way everything is going to mix and match together, the pieces won’t look dated in 5 years time and as a happy bonus they’ll also look more refined and elegant as a result. You might also like my ‘How to style neutrals’ blog post and video


Matchy Matchy
Yes it might be pretty old school to match your shoes and handbag together, but just because something’s old it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value! And this is one style hack I reach for often when i want to look expensive, elegant and effortlessly chic.

I don’t obsess however about finding ‘exact’ matches on the tone, just a simple shade or train of thought. So for example I’d pair a light grey toned handbag with a deeper grey toned pair of shoes. They don’t have to match perfectly but trying to tie them in together a little can have a dramatic and positive effect on your outfit ideas.

Pleats are a stylists go to when it comes to elevating a look and I’ve actually seen a flurry of the style on the high street recently. Perhaps it’s about the effort needed to create those pleats in the first place that ultimately makes the outfit look more expensive?

Like I mention in this video I do think carefully about the type of pleated items I buy. I recently bought a lovely pair of pleated trousers that feel very flattering, but I know to be careful with skirts and dresses. Not being stick thin pleats can make me feel more hippy than I actually am so I have to search out the most flattering shapes. But they are out there, it’s just a matter of finding the right style for your body shape.

All White
The one that never fails to elevate your look! We’ve all probably heard of this style hack for making your outfits look expensive and chic but as I often say it’s a classic for a reason. It works! I love this in Spring/Summer for obvious reason but though not hugely practical I love doing this in Winter too. Yes it’s a lot harder keeping white trousers clean but I do love that look so I’m happy to dodge puddles! Any ‘one colour’ look has that magic effect of polishing your look so whatever colour or non colour you have a lot of in your own wardrobe I’d certainly be making some tonal looks out of those.

Be a better shopper
2020 has turned us all into dab hands at online shopping, but there’s definitely some ‘formats’ i follow as such to find out those hidden gems online. Searching via the fabric content can shave hours off my shopping stress online. It just immediately cuts out all the polyester rubbish I’d never add to basket.

Searching via the fit I’m after ie: oversized can be really helpful and even by finishing detail like ‘pleated’ or ‘pleats’ can get you where you want to be a whole lot faster. Though my job as a fashion blogger means I have a lot more clothes than is considered ‘normal’ I still want to be careful with the pieces I do purchase. I don’t want throwaway fashion, I want my wardrobe to last and be as kind to the planet as possible And certainly when I’m thinking about how to look expensive and making my outfits feel more elegant, refined and stylish it’s as much to do with the fabric content I buy as anything else.

Once you really start to consider the pieces you purchase, from the fabric content to the style, fit and even where and how it’s been made you really start to see a positive knock on effect in your outfit ideas.


I’m a huge fan of accessories but when I’m wanting to elevate a look and make it feel more expensive I try and only add 1 or two pieces of jewellery. Now this is hard for me especially in Summer as I love to layer my necklaces and jingle with bracelets! But while that look will give you a lovely bohemian style vibe it won’t particularly give you the polish you’re after for this type of elegant look. So when I’m wanting to feel elegant, classy and chic I make a conscious effort to keep my jewellery to a minimum. And save all my bangles for the beach instead!

I really hope you’ve enjoyed all my style tips and fashion advice on how to look expensive, classy and effortlessly chic. Take the phrase with a pick of salt but hopefully the tips give you the right ideas to elevating your looks. Don’t forget if you’re not already subscribed I would really appreciate the support. See my YouTube channel here.

Thanks again for reading/watching. All the best, Jess x

#lookexpensive #chic #elegant


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