You’ve likely seen the “quiet luxury” fashion trend dominating social media right now. This basically consists of timeless and minimal outfits made up of high-quality pieces that cost more in the short term but serve as wardrobe investments for the long term.
However, in a cost-of-living crisis, it’s challenging to participate in this trend when just one “quiet luxury” item may set you back a whole month’s rent.
The good news is, just because you’re watching your pennies, doesn’t mean you can get the “quiet luxury” look for less. It’s all about learning how to elevate an outfit without breaking the bank. And as a savvy shopper and self-professed lover of champagne style on a lemonade budget, I’ve got you covered.
How to Elevate an Outfit: 12 Top Tips
Once you know the basics of how to elevate an outfit, you can apply it to every look that you put together, no matter what the occasion.
1. Choose Plain Pieces
Prints and patterns may be cute, but they come across as fun and youthful. To look expensive, opt for plain items in a solid colour.
The exception to this rule is horizontal stripes. This type of pattern is considered classic and chic, having derived from the French Breton. That being said, stick to two colours in a horizontal stripe pattern for simple yet elegant style.
2. Focus on Neutrals
If you love colour and want to wear a rainbow, don’t let me stop you. Even so, consider that neutrals have the power to take a basic outfit to the height of sophistication because of their versatility and ability to transcend seasons.
Think black, white, grey, navy and beige, for starters. Whether you want to wear one neutral head-to-toe or a mixture, opting for this colour palette will keep your outfits modern and refined for maximum impact.
3. Wear Designer Perfume
Learning how to elevate an outfit isn’t just about the clothing you wear. There are other things you can wear to ooze luxury, such as a beautiful-smelling perfume.
I never feel fully dressed until I’ve sprayed my favourite designer perfume. Just one spritz can be potent enough to attract the attention of every passerby and make them think you live an affluent lifestyle.
parfumdreams have a range of amazing designer perfumes for less at https://www.parfumdreams.co.uk, no matter what your personal taste.
4. Prioritise Wardrobe Staples
Think about what is considered timeless fashion-wise and incorporate more wardrobe staples into your looks. I’m talking:
- High-waisted blue jeans
- White and black t-shirts
- White button-up shirt
- Black faux leather leggings
- Neutral straight-leg tailored trousers
- Neutral oversized blazer
- Neutral turtleneck jumper
- Beige trench coat
- Black faux leather jacket
- Blue denim jacket
…to name but a few!
Mix and match these wardrobe staples to tap into the “quiet luxury” trend and always look stylish, no matter what the season.
If you need help with identifying wardrobe staples and creating relevant outfits, check out my virtual styling services.
5. Fit is Everything
An ill-fitting outfit is a surefire way to make it look cheap — and fast. Make sure you always try on items before buying them (or take them back if they don’t fit correctly).
If in doubt, always go a little bigger. The oversized aesthetic is a big part of the “quiet luxury” trend.
If a piece needs a quick adjustment, it doesn’t hurt to drop by your local tailor, which will ultimately add both value and longevity to it.
6. Embrace the Tuck
Following on from the previous point, there is a contemporary way to make sure your outfits fit better and provide a flattering, elevated silhouette. And it’s called the humble tuck.
The top tuck involves folding your tee, shirt or jumper under and into your bra to reveal your high-waisted skirt, shorts, jeans or trousers. Then you can also roll up your sleeves to three-quarters of the way and tuck them under to make blazers and shirts look more stylish. Likewise, you can tuck the hem of your jeans under if they’re a little long so that your shoes peek through.
Either way, the tuck is a straightforward way to style your clothes for improved fit and comfort, and give off an effortlessly classy vibe.
7. Invest in a Steamer
How to elevate an outfit 101: ensure it’s wrinkle-free. Sure, this can be difficult if you’re wearing linen, but this rule applies to most other scenarios.
Even just by grabbing a cheap and cheerful hand steamer from Amazon*, you can smooth out the fabrics of your clothing for a much cleaner, more expensive aesthetic. Trust me.
8. Opt for Demure Jewellery
For so long the fashion consensus has been that we must accessorise an outfit extensively for it to be “finished” and “well put together.” Well, no longer.
There is such a thing as “over”-accessorising. Avoid this by sticking with unfussy jewellery that lifts the outfit without dominating it. Think a delicate necklace and/or bracelet, small earrings and/or a few carefully chosen rings.
Gold is also having a moment over silver and I’m here for it. It epitomises ageless luxury.
9. Belt Up
Speaking of accessories, wearing a belt with your jeans, denim shorts or denim skirt can help polish it off. This quick addition looks like you know how to elevate an outfit even if you’re new to the practice.
If it’s a designer belt or dupe — even better. That said, stay away from any garish logos or patterns and opt for neutrals that complement the colours already present in your outfit for the best results.
10. Clean Leather Bags Only
Another top tip in terms of how to elevate an outfit is to implement a faux, vegan or real leather bag with a simple and classic silhouette, i.e., the tote or shoulder half-moon.
Keep your bags shiny and clean to increase the priciness of your outfits. How? Store each one in a dust bag and follow the instructions that came with it on how to provide the proper care.
11. Don’t Neglect Your Nails
I used to bite my nails which cheapened my whole aesthetic. Now I make sure to get a manicure or wear false nails to seamlessly take an outfit from drab to fab.
Sure, you have to spend the time and money to get your nails done, but it pays off every time you get dressed and leave the house with how dignified you look.
12. Add Sunglasses
Lastly, finish off every outfit with sunglasses and it will enhance the opulence of it instantly. This is especially the case if you choose a designer pair or a dupe.
Granted, this tip probably won’t apply if it’s raining or snowing outside. But, you can still use it for those sunny and/or cloudy days (who wants to be squinting from glare?).
Pin this article for later:
Final Thoughts on How to Elevate an Outfit
You don’t have to miss out on the “quiet luxury” trend just because you don’t have the funds to facilitate it. You can still adopt it with the resources you already have by following the above tips.
Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest can be great sources of inspiration, or you could keep coming back here to read more articles about champagne style on a lemonade budget. I’m here for you always!