Wardrobe Tips/ Fashion / 21 Jul, 2020

How to Build an Expensive-Looking Wardrobe on a Budget


Most people tend to believe that you have to drop thousands of dollars on designer pieces to achieve an expensive-looking wardrobe, but that’s actually far from the truth. While an iconic logo adorning a handbag or a pair of killer designer shoes can appear luxurious and appealing, there are other ways to look just as luxe without spending a fortune. For instance, getting your clothes tailored so that they fit better, buying darker colors to conceal flaws, or mixing and matching high and low brands. Over the years, I have definitely fine-tuned my personal style using some of these tricks while staying true to a refined, classic aesthetic. In doing so, I’ve learned that there are even more style secrets to help you look more expensive too. If you are looking to revamp your wardrobe and style this summer, find out how you can do it without blowing your budget below!


fashion blogger mia mia mine wearing a beaded tank top and white shorts with chanel earrings for summerNordstrom Beaded Tank Top (wearing an XS) | Nordstrom White Shorts (similar here, wearing an XS) | Saint Laurent Envelope Bag | Chanel Earrings (purchased mine from Fashionphile) | Alexandre Birman White Heels (better for budget here) | Similar Bracelets (and here) | Tom Ford Sunglasses (similar here, better for budget here)

Maximize Neutrals

One of the first things that comes to mind is how often I rely on neutral colors for an elevated look. A simple palette of black, white, and brown (and the various hues in between) can really go a long way in building up a cohesive, long-wearing collection. Neutrals are not only seasonless, but pieces like a black blazer or a white jeans are pieces that can be worn for years down the road. Plus, these more refined, classic colors are not flashy, overly trendy, or in your face. Instead, they’re mature and demure, which ultimately look more expensive!


mia mia mine wearing a white free people dress with a red chanel bagFree People Dress (wearing an XS) | Chanel Bag | Alexandre Birman White Heels (better for budget here) | Celine Sunglasses (exact sold out, better for budget here) | Styled Collection Gold Bracelets

Know Where To Invest, Save, Or Rent

I’m an avid believer that you need to know where to invest versus save in your wardrobe. For everything else in between – or if you just don’t have the budget, you can always rent. Differentiating between these three categories can make all the difference in the world when it comes to saving on clothes. As I’m sure you guys know, I advise investing in shoes since cheap shoes can fall apart quickly, handbags, timeless jackets (like trench coats and blazers), and classic silk tops. I always save on trendier tops and dresses that I only wear for one or two seasons. Although I don’t rent clothing often, I often recommend going this route for unique cocktail dresses that you’ll only wear once or statement pieces that don’t hold longevity in your wardrobe.


fashion blogger wearing a casual outfit on sale for ltk sale dayAbercrombie Puff Sleeve Blouse (wearing an XS, also here) | Abercrombie Black Denim (wearing a 24S) | The Styled Collection Necklaces (here and here) | The Styled Collection Love Bracelet | Mango Heels (sold out, similar here) | Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Tote

Stalk the Sales

A skill everyone needs to develop is knowing the right time to buy. Keep tabs of your favorite retailers and make note of the types of sales or discounts they offer. When you get an extra special email blast or when an influencer lets you in on a major sale, it’s probably a good time to take action and treat yourself! Being a savvy shopper alone goes a long way in terms of getting those long awaited, lusted-after items – and not paying full price for them. For instance, the LTK Sale Day was a great event to shop and save on basics as well as accessories. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is also coming up shortly, which I’ll be covering on my blog, so stay tuned!


fashion blogger mia mia mine wearing a white beaded tank top from revolveCami NYC Beaded Strap Cami (wearing an XS – size down) | Revolve LPA Shorts (wearing an XXS) | Louis Vuitton Toiletry Pouch 26 | Alexandre Birman White Heels | Quay Sunglasses | Dior Locket Necklace (sold out, better for budget here and here)

Know How to Accessorize

An expensive-looking wardrobe can sometimes boil down to the accessories. One of the biggest mistakes I see is when people over-accessorize. This can sometimes make your outfit look gaudy or busy and take away from that luxe, classic vibe. With that in mind, be selective about the amount of jewelry you wear. I’ll often wear statement earrings or a heavy chain necklace, but rarely ever together. I also love using belts to add structure and shape to my outfits – it often does the trick in pulling my look together.


fashion blogger mia mia mine wearing a linen blazer and white denimRevolve Linen Blazer (wearing an XXS, better for budget here) | Levi’s White Denim (wearing a 24) | Bottega Veneta Bag (in Mist color, budget version here) | Anine Bing Lace Bralette | Celine Sunglasses (similar here, budget version here) | Alexandre Birman White Heels (better for budget here) | Chanel Earrings

Choose Classic Pieces Over Trend Wear

I love experimenting with the latest trends and honestly, they can be hard to resist. However, I think it’s safe to say you don’t need to try everything that’s making waves on Instagram. It’s more important to ensure you have a solid foundation of staple items, especially tailored garments, that allow you to layer in smaller trends. To combat the urge to shop at the start or ending of each season, I focus on reworking old pieces in new ways. I find that a blazer, button-down top, or tailored bottoms always add that expensive, polished touch.


fashion blogger mia mia mine wearing a white lace free people dress

Be Confident

One of the most important style tips I can give to anyone, whether or not your goal is to build an expensive-looking wardrobe, is to just wear everything with confidence. A straight posture, friendly smile, and a little bit of makeup goes a long way. You’ll appear more vibrant – and this helps you to look good in everything you wear!

xo, Maria

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