How to Look Expensive on a Budget in Summer: 8 Key Styling Tips

Kerina Wang
by Kerina Wang

Today we're doing a summer edition of how to look expensive on a budget. I'm a firm believer that you don't have to go for the most expensive item to put together an outfit that's cohesive and looks polished, and here I’ll be giving you some tips for how to look expensive.

1. Stick to neutrals

The first tip is not to go for crazy colors. Stick to neutral colors - blacks, whites, grays, beige, taupe.

How to look expensive by wearing neutrals

Here I’m showing you a way that you can wear a body suit. I love the quality; it's super stretchy and comfortable to wear. The easiest way to pair your basic pieces is to match them with the same color. I’m wearing the bodysuit with a pair of black shorts.

I'm a huge fan of these types of dressier shorts for the summer, they're very breathable, lightweight, and cool against your skin, and it's not tight. Because I kept my color palette super basic, I'm going for some accessories: a white shoulder bag with gold chain detail to match my gold necklace and some black and white sneakers.

If you don't want to have the same color on the top and the bottom, make sure you go for a neutral color. No neon greens or neon oranges you. You can wear those colors if you’re going for a trendy Instagram look, but for a timeless, classy, super expensive look, stick to the neutrals.

Wearing a bodysuit with high-waisted pants

Here I’m pairing the same body suit with a white high-waisted pair of pants that are more on the dressier side. Dressier pieces give your outfit a more elevated look 

Wearing timeless designs

2. Stick to timeless designs

One timeless item that you're going to be reaching for time and time again this spring and summer is a white t-shirt. Here I’m wearing it with a beige-colored skirt with slits down the side that is basic yet elevated

How to layer jewelry

3. Layer jewelry

The next step to making your outfit look more expensive is to layer on some jewelry. This doesn’t have to be a particular color, although you can never go wrong with gold. I’ve paired a gold chain necklace with a black crop top and some ripped jeans.

I feel like the jeans part is a bit debatable; some people think that ripped jeans can look elevated and take your style to the next level, and others think ripped jeans are definitely a big no-no when it comes to looking expensive. Ultimately it really depends on you.

Wearing gold jewelry

I also added these gold rings.

Look expensive by wearing a two-piece set

4. Two-piece sets

Two-piece sets are already styled for you, so you don't need to put any more additional effort. Here I have a beige two-piece set that has a halter neck and wide-leg Bermuda pants, which I love so much. This set looks ten times more expensive than it actually is, and you can, of course, wear the pieces separately as well. 

Two-piece set for the summer

This second two-piece is all-black. The top is a high racer back top, and I love the fact that it also came with a pair of high-waisted pants that are very classy looking.

Matching accessories hardware

5. Match accessories hardware

If you have a silver belt hoop, go with a silver necklace, silver earrings, and a bag with silver hardware. This rule also extends to footwear, so I’ve opted for a pair of sandals with silver buckles to complete the look.

Don’t mix prints and patterns

6. Don’t mix prints and patterns

If you are wearing a striped top on top, don't go with a plaid bottom, and if you're wearing a polka dot top, don't go for a floral skirt. Your best bet is to stick to solid colors.

Here I'm wearing a basic taupe color t-shirt which I’ve upgraded by rolling up the sleeves and pulling out the top of the shoulder here to create a fake shoulder pad look.

The jeans are neither a skinny cut nor are they wide leg; for that classy, expensive timeless feel, you want to go for something right in the middle. To accessorize, I just threw on a belt and matched it with a brown purse.

Using a steamer on clothes

7. Steam

The next tip is to get a steamer; you don’t need to go for a very expensive one. A steamer can be the determining factor as to whether your outfit looks kind of sad versus really high-end.

I’ve seen people walking around in expensive linen skirts and dresses that are not ironed or steamed, and there's like wrinkles all over. If you just take five minutes to steam out your outfit for the day, it will instantly elevate the look of the outfit.

Wearing sunglasses to look expensive

8. Sunglasses

Make sure you invest in a pair of sunnies. The fact they block off like half your face gives off a mysterious vibe. Don't get small ones, the more surface area hidden, the better.

How to look expensive by looking angry

9. Look annoyed

The final tip is to look angry. Whenever you see the runway models for high-end brands, they're always looking really annoyed when they're walking down the catwalk. Try looking really angry, and instantly you'll have that model look.

How to look expensive on a budget

Thanks for following this tutorial on how to look expensive on a budget. I hope you like some pieces here and there and like some of the tips I gave you. Let me know if you're going to be recreating any of these outfits.

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