20+ Expensive-Looking Wardrobe Staples
Updated: Jan 16
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One of the guiding principles behind The Fine Refine is "Shop Smarter". Throughout the years I've applied this motto to my personal care, my home, and most of all to my shopping and styling habits.
So in the pursuit of curating a wardrobe that looks more expensive than it really is, I have found 20+ items that don't necessarily need to be designer-grade to elevate your look.
These items will ALWAYS elevate your look and make you seem more put-together.
01. Pearl Earrings
Nowadays, fake pearls look just like real pearls to the untrained eye, and let's face it no one is checking out your earlobes under a magnifying glass... No one that matters anyway.
Related: How to Find Quality Clothing at SheIn and Romwe: 15 Hacks
02. Diamond or Cubic Zirconia Stud Earrings
Just enough bling to look expensive but not enough to look gaudy. Modesty is key here, keep them on the smaller side because larger stud earrings can easily look cheap.
03. Black Dark Sunglasses
Whether they are from the gas station or designer, dark sunglasses are almost symbolic of elegance.
Related: How to Always Look Put Together
Wear a blazer over anything to instantly give your entire outfit a good polishing. The more structured the blazer, the more expensive it will look.
TIP: avoid shiny cheap buttons, switch those out if you can.
05. Midi Skirts
A midi skirt is like a mini skirts classy older sister.
Related: How to Develop Elegant Style
06. Structured Basics
Take your basics up a notch. Ribbed and structured fabrics add textural interest and design to an otherwise plain basic shirt, making it seem more expensive... even when it's not.
What started as Burberry's raincoat lining has now become a signature pattern for this luxury brand. Adding a little touch of tartan-check will instantly elevate any outfit. My favorite way to incorporate it: Scarves!
Related: Shop Smarter: Shopping Checklist and Saving Tips
08. Denim Jacket
This all-season staple is the perfect addition to dress-down a nicer outfit making it suitable as a daytime look.
Denim is the king of casual without looking cheap.
09. Quality Belt
Easiest way to upgrade any outfit is to add a quality belt.
10. Wide Leg Pants
These triple-threat pants make you look expensive, taller, AND slimmer. Tip: Make sure these are high-waisted to make you look as long and lean as possible.
Related: 70 Easy Swaps to Look More Expensive
11. Classic White Button-Down Shirt
I own about 5 white-button downs and I have never paid more than $40 for one. These are such a staple! If you want to take it up a notch and make it look even more expensive try a Linen White Button-Down shirt.
12. White Dresses
White airy dresses just scream Summertime Chic. These are also easily dressed up or down and can be found just about anywhere!
13. Trench Coats
My favorite trench coat is from H&M (Bought it in store January 2023!), and no one can tell it was only $60. That's the magic of a great well-fitting trench coat.
14. Square Neck Tops
When it comes to necklines the square necks give a more defined and structured look than scoop necks.
Related: How to Define your Personal Style
15. Neutral Sneakers
A white or a sneaker is a white sneaker no matter what brand it is. An expensive white sneaker adds the same design impact to your outfit as a slightly less expensive white sneaker.
16. Maxi Dresses
Maxi dresses just make you feel like you are floating, the movement of the fabric and the length they give you make Maxi Dresses one of the most universally flattering clothing items ever.
17. Minimalist Sandals
Sandals with lots of straps, studs, glitter, ties, and colors are the easiest way to cheapen your look.
Opt for minimalistic sandals in nude or neutral colors.
Related: Where to Shop for Quality Basics
18. Pointed Toe Shoes
Whether they're slides, flats, or heels... a pointy toe shoe is almost synonymous with classic elegance.
19. Dark-Wash Jeans
Avoid ripped jeans and uneven stains. Dark wash jeans look most expensive when compared to other washes and styles.
20. The Little Black Dress
You should already have this in your closet and I know you're no stranger to the versatility and potential LBD's add to your wardrobe.
21. Small Hoop Earrings
Smaller hoop earrings are all the rage right now but they are, in fact, a trend and if you read my posts on shopping smarter you NEVER break the bank on trendy items.
Related: How to Look Taller: Know your Lines
Vertical stripes over Horizontal Stripes.Vertical stripes add length to your body making you appear slimmer.