How To Look Expensive
As the venerable Karl Lagerfeld said “Luxury is the ease of a T-shirt in a very expensive dress”. Truer words were never spoken. The luxe look is not as simply achieved as spending big or decking out in labels. Rather, it is a mastery cuts and palettes; a considered curation of elements and textures. Dressing to look expensive is a learned art of the minimalist, and a compulsory credit in street style 101. Now put down the Amex and take note.
Selecting and styling the ideal pieces as well as carrying and keeping them to their full potential are key to creating an expensive look, a luxe aesthetic and a wardrobe to envy. Going hand in hand with nonchalance and effortlessness, a luxe look hits the sweet spot of perfectly put together without having tried. As for the elements you need in your repertoire, an effective capsule wardrobe speaks for itself, and the pieces which make a minimalist’s hit-list are those that elevate an outfit from high street to high fashion.
Trust us – here’s how.
A nip here and a tuck there, a pleat on the waist and a dart by the hip – nothing says expensive like pieces with a bespoke made-to-measure feel. Pair with relaxed fits in equal measure, for example lived in denim and your boyfriends shirt, for a “have just come from the tailor” look.
2 A perfect fit
Does the blazer reach the top of the hand? Do the trousers skim the floor? Can the shirt tuck in without escaping? If no, make them. Once tailoring is mastered, every length should be just so. Of course, the minimalist is also a resourceful stylist. Oversized pieces can be saved with a sleeve roll and a belted waist – balanced proportions are everything.
3Respect the iron
If the goal is to look expensive, then never leave the house looking a crinkled mess. Cotton should be crisp, silk should weightless, and wool should take its intended shapes effortlessly. Conversely, luxe is all about attention to detail, so a classic pressed crease in trouser legs or the sharp fold in a shirt sleeve will always elevate.
4 Beware of the logo
We love the glisten of the metallic Louis Vuitton or Givenchy logo on an investment bag, but the minimalist collects designer pieces out of love, not envy. In-your-face logos and showy monograms bought to exhibit affluence will often do so at the expense of good taste. Let a classic high-quality piece speak for itself, so the label doesn’t have to.
5 Essential accessories
A timeless leather bag, a classic timepiece and fine jewellery, carefully curated according to your signature style – these are the essential accessories that elevate every outfit.
6 When in doubt, wear neutrals
Fresh, simple and elegant, a neutral palette is almost always luxe. Think the spectrum of dusky pinks and almost-whites, paired with contrasting separates, or worn together in an always-classic head to toe tonal look.
7 Think texture
Natural leather rather than patent, washed silk over satin. Texture has an important role in dressing to look expensive and the right combinations can take a look to the next level. Start with denim and cashmere for example and experiment from there.
8 Sound foundations
Whether the trousers are Versace or Zimmerman, they will look chain store with the dreaded VPL. Those skilled in the art build an impeccable outfit form the foundations up. The out of place bra strap, mismatching sock and torn stockings – it looks uncomfortable, tacky and never expensive. But where a bralette is to become part of the look, it is done strategically, and deliberately.
9 The most important: invest wisely
Like Sydney real estate and David Jones shares, the idea is to invest and reap the benefits for years to come (no financial advice intended!).However, cost and value are very different things, so your wardrobe needn’t and shouldn’t be top to bottom designer. Choose quality and classic pieces that you will wear again and again. Those high-quality timeless pieces, worth the original outlay, are guaranteed to go the distance and be available at hand to inject luxe into the most basic of ensembles. Promise.