How to Look Classy on Any Budget
#1. Get rid of worn, ill-fitting, and out-of-date clothing
It’s far better to have a small, highly edited wardrobe of items you love and wear over and over, than a closet crammed full of everything you’ve purchased over the past 20 years. If you haven’t done a good closet edit in a while, this is the place to start. Getting rid of items that are worn, out of style, stained, ill-fitting, or too large or small should be the first step toward elevating your style.
#2. Learn how to dress your unique body and define your personal style.
Learning to dress for my body type has been one of the best things I ever did to help me find the correct outfits for me. It has saved me time and money. After learning the one-third to two-thirds ratio for dressing, I understand balance and proportion for my body. Defining my style came through classes and looking through Pinterest for women whose style I admired, then determining if I would truly wear what they wore. If you struggle with knowing your body type I highly recommend my FREE Key To Understanding Your Body Type That’s what I teach, being able to define your style and find clothes that make you look fabulous. In turn, you will find you save money and walk into your closet and find clothes you want to wear.
#3. Wear properly fitting undergarments.
This is one of the most overlooked items for looking classy. Perhaps that’s why they are called foundation garments, they are the foundation of your look. It starts with your bar – if you’ve never been professionally fitted, I highly recommend having it done. Nordstrom, Soma, and several other places offer this service. Remember to take care of your bar also – washing it on delicate and allowing them to air dry. Plus make sure you tighten the straps after wearing them for a while to bring the “girls” into position. There are different thoughts on when to replace bras – some say every 3 months, and some say twice a year. My thought is you will know by looking in the mirror.
#4. Have your clothes tailored
Tailoring is one way to make an outfit yours. Some stores provide this service, such as Nordstrom. I have a seamstress to that I can take my clothes and it makes all the difference. When your clothes fit they flatter your body.
#5. Know what to splurge on and what to save on.
Trendy items are not something you want to invest in. These “fast fashion” items are not made to last and will usually only last one season. If you’re going to purchase these items go to inexpensive stores. With regards to things you will wear on special occasions perhaps look at renting it – it saves your closet, it keeps it out of the landfill, and hopefully saves you money. Incorporating trend into your wardrobe is a great way to keep your look current, just be careful not to overdo it or you can look a little silly.
Investment pieces are so worth it. I have had classic wool blazers that have stayed with me for years. Learn your labels and how to discern quality garments. Look for quality fabric, details, seams, fit and tailoring, and lining. It’s worth it to invest in quality pieces if you will wear them often over many years; but if it’s a trendy item or something very memorable that you may only wear a handful of times, you probably don’t want to spend so much. Buy pricier products from second-hand consignment shops or online feBayebayPoshmarkmark.
#6. Know your fabrics.
What you wear can make you appear cheap. Having been raised by a seamstress it is so distressing to me to look at the way the seams are sewn haphazardly, as well as uneven hems. Part of this is quality but a lot is due to the fabric. If you’re wanting to look classy find fabrics that will hold up. Wool, cotton, and linen are always great fabrics to choose from.
#7. Take care of your clothes, but don’t over-wash them.
Did you know that over-washing breaks down fabrics? I didn’t know this until I began learning about fashion. Don’t wash them unless they are stained or dirty. Also, learn to use the instructions provided on the tags.
Learning to hang up your clothes on good hangers will also help your clothes to last longer. (think Mommy Dearest if you get the urge to use a wire hanger)
And while we are on this subject let’s talk about taking care of your shoes. When you first get a pair of shoes, polish them and/or spray them if they are suede to protect them. They will last much longer. Also as the shoe bottom begins to get softer, take a magic marker (the color of the shoe) and go around the edge. It will make the shoe appear new again. This is also a great tip for filling in nicks in the heels that we get when we scrape the heels.
Another tip is to update your handbag. If you invest in a leather handbag make sure that you apply a leather cream or wax to help protect the bag. Whether you spent a lot or a little on an item of clothing, taking good care of it will extend the life of the garment and keep it looking its best.
#8. Wear tasteful accessories.
Classic accessories can make an outfit look tasteful and professional Fashion jewelry is fun and can create a statement with an outfit. However, make sure you’re investing in a few key pieces that are understated and tasteful that you can wear often. Examples would be classic gold or silver small hoops.
Another thing to consider is your eyewear as well. Make sure your eyeglasses and sunglasses are current and work for your style.
#9. Avoid wearing logos on your body.
Wearing big logos and fake designer items looks try-hard and cheap. It’s far more tasteful to wear a quality piece from a generic designer.
#10. Practice good grooming habits.
Keep your nails and hair clean and groomed, take care of your skin and teeth, and learn to apply your makeup. This doesn’t mean you have to spend hours at the salon. There are lots of tutorials on YouTube (my Stepping Out With Confidence Community has a complete section on Beauty Tips.
The exception to this is your teeth, but this goes along with the cost per wear. If you can afford to straighten crooked teeth or fix your dental work, it’s a worthwhile investment in your appearance that will last a lifetime.
What would you add to this list?