How To Look Expensive – 15 Simple Secrets To Looking Rich On A Budget

how to look expensive elegant and classy woman

This post may contain affiliate links. See full disclosure.

Have you ever been to Monaco? I haven’t.

I’m making the presumptuous assumption that if you’ve googled the phrase ‘how to look expensive’ and somehow stumbled across this article, you’re likely not one of the roughly 16,000 millionaires that make up over 30% of Monaco’s population – one of the most expensive and the wealthiest places on Earth. And although I could be very wrong, I digress.

When I imagine Monaco, I imagine hoards of stylish, beautiful people strolling around looking as rich and as opulent as the city itself.

You see French, (Monaco has a deeply weaved relations with France) have all but mastered the art of how to look expensive. Albeit, I don’t believe intentionally.


But for those of us not lucky enough to have been born French, or rich enough to be Monegasque (a native of Monaco), how does one acquire this je n’ais ce quoi (an indefinable quality that makes something distinctive). How does one develop the skill of how to look rich or how to look expensive, even on a poor girl’s budget?

How to look expensive on a budget?

You look expensive on a budget simply by refining your appearance, paying exceptional attention to detail, and following very simple yet powerful unspoken style practices of the rich.

Here are 15 simple style tips you can use to refine your image, exude affluence, and look expensive (even on a budget).

RELATED: 101 Things That Happen When You Become A Well Dressed Woman

1. Be Impeccably Groomed


They say “the devil is in the details”. Nothing could be farther from the truth when it comes to maintaining a refined (and expensive-looking) image. Your grooming should be on point at all times. That means for example, keeping your eyebrows shapley and nails manicured at all times.

2. Sleek Your Hair


Opting for a sleek and controlled hairstyle such as a French chignon or bun is an easy and yet dramatic way to up the ante of any look for daytime or night time. Sleek hair helps refine your entire look and helps to make you look expensive.

RELATED: How to Be a Classy, Elegant and Sophisticated Woman

3. Wear Minimal Makeup


While a beat face is fabulous, natural beauty is so chic. If you want to look expensive, instead of caking on the cover-up, take care of your skin and minimize your makeup application. Especially for the daytime. Your makeup should be understated and used only to enhance your natural beauty and features.

4. Keep Jewelry Simple

Italian fashion blogger

Especially so with cosmetic jewelry. Opt instead for fine pieces. A timeless watch, for example, exudes sophistication. Other classic pieces include simple diamond stud earrings or a solid gold tennis bracelet.

5. Invest In Accessories

Classy black woman with Chanel designer handbag

You can easily get away with inexpensive clothing finds when you pair them with high-quality accessories. Additionally, you’ll get a lot more bang for your buck or cost per wear with these items (you’ll wear them often). Invest in the best quality shoes and handbags that you can.

6. Invest in Good Undies

french style bloggers

For your clothes to look impeccable, they need a smooth foundation. Great undergarments are absolutely essential. Invest in seamless panties and supportive bras. Additionally, control undergarments like Spanx are incredible for women of all sizes and shapes.

7. Think Outside The Cotton Box


Cotton is by far the most common material in most wardrobes. To look more expensive and refined, diversify! Opt for other natural fabrics such as silks, leathers, linens, and wools. You’ll have to spend a little more for your dry cleaning each month, but these fabrics will help you take your wardrobe to the next level.

8. Be Perfectly Pressed


Wrinkled clothes are a clear sign to the world that you don’t really care about your look. Taking an extra few minutes to straighten out those wrinkles is just polite. A great steamer makes things quicker and causes less stress on your clothes.

9. Tuck It or Belt It


Tucking in your shirt gives you a real “I’ve got my stuff together” vibe. Adding a belt is another small detail that helps to make an outfit look more polished.

10. Embrace Neutral Colors

School of Affluence Anna Bey

You can never go wrong with neutrals including black, white, and shades of beige or gray if you want to look expensive. Additionally so, pastels such as light pinks and baby blues. These neutral colors can easily make an article look more expensive as opposed to other colors.

11. But Also Keep Things Vibrant

Well dressed woman dressed in stylish outfit.

High-end designers often make items in rich, very vibrant colors. The keyword here, rich. Unless the colors are intentionally pastel, avoid dull looking colors. Also, avoid unnaturally bright neon colors.

12. Oh My Monochrome


Monochromatic color palettes look incredibly elegant as it creates an elongating effect. Additionally, a monochrome outfit always looks intentional and put together.

13. Keep It Structured

Classy woman doing her make up.

Structure is a key indicator of high end and expensive-looking garments. Look for items with clean lines and well-formed shape. Think Victoria Beckham. Classic garments with classic lines such as turtlenecks, a-line dresses, or pencil skirts also tend to look quite refined.

14. Get It Tailored


Every well-dressed woman should have a personal tailor. Take your clothes to your personal neighborhood tailor/seamstress to have your garments nipped and tucked to fit perfectly.

15. Layer Up


Ever hear of the “third piece rule”? Sometimes all it takes to achieve the perfect outfit is the addition of a third piece. Instead of a simple top and bottom (not including shoes), a third piece adds a touch of sophistication to a basic look.

So you see, developing the skill of how to look expensive isn’t hard at all. And it certainly doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Tell us in the comments, what style tips did we miss for how to look expensive?


  1. Save this to your Level Up of Style Tips board on Pinterest.
  2. Join over 2.1 million monthly viewers by following us on Pinterest. 
  3. Sign up as a Bombshell Insider to get freebies, exclusive content, private event invites, and more. 


  • […] RELATED: How To Look Wickedly Expensive on a Poor Girls Budget […]

  • Namu says:

    The tips seem very helpful but wrong French does kind of ruin that elegant, sophisticated image. It’s “Je ne sais quoi” 😉

  • Joana lekia Nelson says:

    Very inspiring and educative.

  • Lisa McCullough says:

    Don’t forget to teach the ladies table manners, and how to enjoy the finer things in life, not just grooming. Love what you are doing, keep it up. Lisa

  • >