When you can't spend a fortune on clothing

How to Make Cheap Clothing Look Expensive

by Lauren Romano


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Many of us aren't running out to spend thousands of dollars on an article of clothing, but that doesn't mean we don't want our outfits to look like a million bucks. The good news is that the inexpensive clothing and accessories that are lacking a high-end designer label and hanging from the clearance rack could end up looking like you dropped some serious cash on them and all that's required of you is a good eye, some effort, and maybe making a minor change or two here and there. Ready to upgrade your wardrobe? The following seven tips can help you get started when you want to improve the look of cheap clothing.

Replace buttons and zippers

Replacing the cheap-looking buttons or the flimsy zipper could make a big difference when it comes to making inexpensive clothing look like it costs much more. However, if you're not skilled in changing out the aforementioned, have a tailor do it for you for a minimal cost. The buttons and zippers shouldn't just look better, but they should also be able to stay in place without coming loose.

Choose the right underwear

Wearing poorly-fitting underwear or underwear that doesn't allow for a streamlined appearance is one way to take an otherwise great look down a few notches. For example, you shouldn't be able to see panty lines whether you're wearing a $20 dress or one that's $5,000. What you're wearing underneath makes just as big of a difference as what you're wearing outwardly.

How to Make Cheap Clothing Look Expensive

Get rid of wrinkles

When clothes are wrinkled (regardless of their price), they're going to look cheap. Even if you're planning on wearing a $10 shirt with a $15 skirt, there should be not a wrinkle in sight. Sure, you can iron some of your clothes or throw them in the dryer, but getting an inexpensive garment steamer can save you a lot of time and hassle, and an at-home dry cleaning kit can save you on dry cleaning costs.

Keep a disposable razor and lint roller handy

What exactly does a disposable razor and lint roller have to do with improving the look of cheap clothing? When you have pilling, fur, hair, and various other stray pieces all over your clothes, it's certainly not going to do much to elevate your look. A disposable razor can help remove pilling while a lint roller, which you should also carry around with you throughout the day, can help remove everything else.

Get clothing properly tailored

It doesn't matter how much you paid for clothing if it doesn't fit you properly. There are those who feel that it's a waste to get cheap clothes tailored, but it's one of the best ways to make those inexpensive pieces look like you paid a lot more for them. Considering everyone is different, a single article of clothing is not going to fit everyone the same way or look the same on every body. However, when you get clothing tailored, you're transforming those pieces into ones that are meant specifically for you and your frame.



Put on expensive jewelry

Jewelry isn't just an accessory. Instead, jewelry should be considered an investment. While there is lovely inexpensive jewelry, there are pieces that you can just tell are expensive and incredibly high quality. Even a couple of these pieces could completely transform a cheap outfit into one that looks like you got it from a luxury designer. Opt for classic jewelry that never goes out of style and can go with quite a few outfits. When made well, they could hold up for years to come, even long enough to be passed down to future generations if possible.

Pair them with expensive clothing

Certain expensive clothing pieces can give the illusion that every article you're wearing costs a small fortune, and they can last for years as long as you treat them well. To always ensure you can use these pieces to elevate cheap clothing, don't buy ones that are "in the moment" and trendy. Buy classic staples like a well-made pair of jeans and a gorgeous trench coat that you can get a lot of use out of, that will look fabulous on you, and that you can easily pair with inexpensive clothing.

Lastly, here is one of the most important tips to adhere to if you want to improve the look of cheap clothing. You need to really look at what you're buying in the first place. There's a big difference between inexpensive fashion that's worth the purchase and pieces that are so poorly made that it actually looks cheap and as though it's going to fall apart after one use. Look at the seams, tug at the straps, and evaluate the item thoroughly on the inside and out to determine if it deserves a place in your closet.


Take the Next Step:

  • Discover why cheap shoes are a bad buy.
  • Try these tips for being frugal without looking poor.
  • Stop forgoing your favorite beauty treatments just because you're on a tight budget. Check out the TDS Guide to Beauty on a Budget and learn the tricks to pampering yourself for pennies.
  • Stop struggling to get ahead financially. Subscribe to our free weekly Surviving Tough Times newsletter aimed at helping you 'live better...for less'. Each issue features great ways to help you stretch your dollars and make the most of your resources. Subscribers get a copy of Are You Heading for Debt Trouble? A Simple Checklist And What You Can Do About It for FREE!

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