You can look well put together, regardless of how much money you have in your budget to spend on clothes.
The key is to follow some basic rules of high-low dressing and stick to a plan when shopping.
1. Keep the foundation of your wardrobe basic and classic. Certain items, like a solid color tank, well-tailored pants, a pencil skirt, and a lined blazer can be the anchor for a number of different outfits.
2. Don’t wear stained or rumpled clothing. Wash your clothing when it’s dirty, and before you put it on, determine whether or not it needs to be ironed or steamed. You can find reasonably priced irons and steamers that will keep your wardrobe looking fresh and polished.
3. Streamline your look. Avoid wearing too much cheap jewelry or pieces with too much embellishment. Instead, opt for a few key pieces that elevate your look, such as a pair of pearl stud earrings or a single bracelet that enhances the outfit.
4. Let neutral solids carry the look. There is nothing wrong with choosing a bold color or print for each outfit, but color and print trends come and go with the seasons. Solids such as black, white, gray, or navy look good with almost everything. A white shirt, a pair of black pants, and a navy skirt can be paired with almost any color to provide you with endless options for your wardrobe.
5. Keep your underwear under wraps. Don’t let your bra or panty lines show, or you’ll cheapen the look of your outfit. Make sure that you have appropriate, well-fitted undergarments to go with all of your outfits.
6. Choose pieces with simple lines. No one will know where you purchased your basic black skirt if you stay away from ruffles and other stylized details that call attention.
7. Replace cheap looking buttons. If you purchase a blazer or blouse with cheap looking plastic buttons, swap them out for more expensive looking buttons you can purchase from a craft store or online.
8. Make sure everything fits. The small investment in having your clothing tailored can take you from looking like a bag lady to a well-heeled woman with confidence.
9. Choose simple accessories. Your handbag and shoes don’t have to cost a fortune, but simple lines leave the impression that they do. Keep them clean and polished.
10. Choose natural fabrics over synthetics when possible. A crisp white cotton shirt will give you a more expensive look than a polyester shirt that bunches and pulls at the seams.
11. Dress in tonal pieces. A head-to-toe monochromatic look shows confidence and allows the focus to be on you. As a bonus, it’s typically slenderizing.
12. Choose classic outerwear. A basic solid trench can give any outfit a pulled-together look, and it can be worn for many years without looking dated.
It doesn’t matter where you shop or how much–or little–you spend; your wardrobe can look expensive if you know how to select the right pieces.
Before plunking down your hard-earned money on a new top or pair of pants, determine whether or not it will enhance your look or drag it down.