How to Look Sophisticated on a Budget

How to look polished and sophisticated

You don't need a lot of money to appear well put-together, classy, and sophisticated. In fact, money can't buy a well-developed sense of fashion. If you're on a budget, but you want to look more sophisticated, here are seven ways to look like a million bucks for way less:

1. Handbags

Quality handbags are worth the investment, but keep an eye out for sales. You should choose a sturdy, durable handbag with a classic design, such as a top-handle bag or a cross-body one. Make sure to choose a neutral color, such as black, beige, or brown. Steer clear of bold, funky colors that won't match with a lot of different outfits. Once you've purchased a handbag, you can keep it in good shape by using window cleaner on patent leather or leather ointment on regular leather bags. A classic handbag is a must in any sophisticated wardrobe.

2. Coats

Look out for classic coats in neutral colors that never go out of style, such as a belted trench coat, black leather jacket, raw denim jacket, and a black pea coat. Once again, check for these jackets at discount designer stores or during sale season.

3. Shoes

Try to land some classic, high-quality shoes on sale, and keep them in good condition. You should also invest in some name-brand sneakers as well as leather sandals, heels, flats, and boots. Look for European brands at discount clothing stores or thrift stores. Once you've purchased your staple shoes, keep them in good condition by polishing and cleaning them on a regular basis.

4. Watches

Dress up your wardrobe by sporting an expensive watch, such as a Cartier, Skagen, Timex, or Swiss Army piece. Watches tend to go on sale during and right after the holidays, so you can easily snag a high-quality designer watch at a great price. Keep your watch looking shiny and new by polishing it on a regular basis.

5. Sunglasses

If you want to appear sophisticated, find some high-quality sunglasses to wear, preferably in a classic design. Ray-Bans are a great brand to invest in, and you can find them cheaply online, especially if they are gently used.

6. Jewelry

Use inexpensive jewelry to accessorize your outfits. You should choose jewelry that looks expensive but doesn't come across as fake. For instance, instead of purchasing a large necklace made from rhinestones, opt for a classic set of pearl earrings and necklace. Similarly, choose stud earrings made from cubic zirconia that give the impression they're actually diamonds. When it comes to jewelry, less is more. Choose clear crystals, darker metals, and jewelry that has some weight to it.

7. Classic attire

When it comes to skirts, dresses, pants, and shirts, stick with the classics. This means investing in a fitted pair of jeans, pencil skirts, white button-down blouses, scarves, blazers, and cardigans. Make sure each piece you buy fits you well. If it doesn't fit you perfectly, take it to the tailor.

References
  1. "9 Ways to Make Your Clothes Look More Expensive & Fashionable," Money Crashers, September 1, 2019.
  2. "How to Dress Rich on a Real Girl Salary,"Glamour
  3. "How to Look Rich and Classy," Glam Radar, February 17, 2016.
  4. "How to Look Rich and Feel Rich When You Are Not," The Balance, March 31, 2017.

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