You don’t have to spend a lot of money to look expensive! In fact, you could spend a ton of money on your wardrobe. But if you make these mistakes, your outfits will still look cheap. So if you’re shopping on a budget, there are several ways to make your outfits look more expensive. I’m rounding up 17 ways you’re making your outfits look cheap and what to do instead.

For 15 fashion hacks for the fall and winter, check out this post HERE too.

17 Ways You’re Making Your Outfits Look Cheap

Mistake #1: Not Washing Your Clothing Correctly

An easy way to make your clothes look cheap is to not wash them properly. You want to make sure you’re reading the care instructions. I know this can sometimes feel overwhelming. But once you check it once, then you won’t have to moving forward.

If you spent hundreds on a high quality clothing item like a cashmere sweater, it definitely won’t look like a nice cashmere sweater, if you wash it improperly. You can create a delicate basket in your laundry room for items you know need extra care in the washing machine. That way, they don’t get lumped in with things like t-shirts etc. that don’t require any special care.

You also want to separate dark clothing from your lighter colored clothing. Washing clothing like black and white items together could make your whites not as crisp white anymore.

Mistake #2: Not Storing Your Clothing Properly

chloe tote, 17 ways youre making your outfits look cheap

The cheap, plastic hangers and hangers with a very straight edge will easily misshapen your tops. These hangers are great to use to hang clothing, and I also use these to hang pants. When in doubt, fold your clothing. This is especially true for your sweaters.

Another tip is to store your handbags with stuffing, so you don’t get any unwanted indentations on them. For things like winter coats, they can get really dusty when you’re not wearing them in the warmer seasons. So you’ll want to get them dry cleaned or store them in a garment bag to keep them fresh.

Mistake #3: Avoid Wearing Clothing That’s Too Sheer

Don’t assume sheer blouses are always inexpensive. Expensive blouses can also look sheer. For example, a silk blouse that was expensive can still be see-through, making it look way cheaper than it actually was.

The see-through situation can happen in leggings too. You definitely don’t want them to be too sheer on your backside.

Sheer blouses have definitely been on trend with pretty lingerie underneath. But if it’s unintentional, that’s where it can look cheap.

Mistake #4: Wearing Too Many Logos

The next way you’re making your outfit look cheap is by wearing too many logos. If you like to spend money on name-brand or designer pieces with logos, I would limit the amount of things you’re wearing or carrying with logos to one or two per look. You don’t want to be a walking billboard for a brand.

Mistake #5: Your Clothing Doesn’t Fit Properly

This mistake can go either way – either excessively baggy or too tight. One of the most common ways a blouse can look too tight is if your blouse has buttons and looks like it’s gapping. In the bust, your buttons will look stretched out. You want them to lay flat.

You’re better off sizing up and getting areas taken in, then the other way around. I know tailoring doesn’t fit in everyone’s budget. I definitely don’t want to have everything tailored. So that might be something to consider when you’re trying to decide if you should purchase that item or not.

Mistake #6: Wearing Wrinkled Clothing

Don’t stress over every single wrinkle. Clothing naturally wrinkles to begin with, so it’s hard to prevent every one of them. For example, if you’re sitting at a desk most of the day or riding in a car, some areas of your outfit may wrinkle from that. I wouldn’t worry about those. You can always keep a wrinkle-release spray at work or in your car, if you’re concerned about those situations happening.

I’m more referring to the places where wrinkles don’t naturally happen. Or when pieces come out of the laundry and need a good overall steam. I take this steamer with me when I travel, and use this one for days when I’m steaming multiple pieces of clothing.

Things that usually need a good steam:

  • Collars and cuffs
  • Fabric belts around paperbag pants or dresses
  • Creases where the blouse was folded

Mistake #7: Not Maintaining Your Clothing

cashmere sweater, 17 ways youre making your outfits look cheap

The next way you’re making your outfit look cheap is by not taking proper care of your clothing. Look out for any sort of pilling or wear and tear on your clothing. Pieces like a cashmere sweater naturally pill over time. But it’s really affordable to keep up with the maintenance of something like that with a fabric shaver.

You can use this on your winter coats, furniture or clothing. Any areas that are more prone to friction are more prone to pilling.

Mistake #8: Wearing Shoes That Are Scuffed Up

This can happen a lot with heels, sneakers and boots. You can usually take them to a cobbler, and they can really make them look newer and cleaner. This service is usually under $40, and prevents you from having to buy another pair of shoes.

Mistake #9: Buying Jeans That Are Too Busy

straight leg jeans outfit

You want to pay close attention to the zipper, and make sure there’s no weird coloring or green undertone. Also, you want to pay attention to the whiskering on jeans. This is usually around the upper thigh area. It can make your hips look wider because of the horizontal lines.

When it comes to jeans, the simpler the jean, the more expensive and high quality it’s going to look.

Mistake #10: Avoid Clothes You’re Not Comfortable In

You could be wearing a designer dress. But if you don’t feel like a million bucks wearing it, you’re not going to look like a million bucks. This also happens when you’re wearing heels you’re not comfortable or confident walking in. If you don’t usually wear heels, and then wear a three-inch heel on a special occasion, it’s probably going to show.

Mistake #11: Avoid Low-Quality Seams

Many times you can tell the quality of a clothing item by the seams. If it has uneven seams or the seams are pulling out in spots that will cheapen the overall look.

I see this a lot where something gathers in the waist, and the seam is completely uneven. Sometimes I even notice a certain pattern in a piece of clothing that looks uneven.

Mistake #12: Scratches on Your Sunglasses

If there are obvious scratches on your sunglasses, that’s going to give them a very cheap, low-quality look. It doesn’t matter if they’re $20 sunglasses or $200 sunglasses, you want to make sure they’re not scratched. So try to store them properly in a case or sunglass storage bag to keep them from getting scratched up. Also love this cleaner to give my sunnies a good clean.

Mistake #13: Not Cutting Hanger Loops and Unnecessary Tags

The next way you’re making your outfits look cheap is by leaving unnecessary tags or the hanger loops on your clothing. You can easily cut the little elastic loops off and just use non-slip hangers for storing them.

Tags can easily show through on sleeves or shirts, especially if they’re darker in color. So just snip those off, if they’re showing through your clothing.

Mistake #14: Avoid the Cheap Stringy Belt Loops

You usually see these on dresses with a tie-waist. I talk about what to do if you have those in THIS VIDEO here.

Mistake #15: Not Cutting Loose Threads

The next way you’re making your outfits look cheap is by not cutting those loose threads on your clothing. Give your outfit a once over to make sure there isn’t any loose threads on the pieces you’re wearing.

Mistake #16: Wearing the Wrong Undergarments

eyelet white dress, 17 ways you're making your outfits look cheap

You want to make sure your bra straps aren’t showing. That will cheapen the look overall. Also pay attention to whether or not your outfit would look better with shapewear underneath or something more seamless. To avoid any panty lines showing through, I usually stick to seamless, nude underwear (AMANDAJOHNxSPANX for 10% off).

Other favorite undergarments:

Mistake #17: Wearing Cheap Belts

The final way you’re making your outfits look cheap is by wearing cheap belts. I recently posted a Zara haul, and had major complaints about a belt that came with a skirt. The skirt was so beautiful and pleated, and the belt totally took away from the elegance of it. If a piece is coming with a belt, don’t have high expectations for the quality of it. You’re much better off switching it out for your own belt.

Do you have a tip to share that might cheapen a look? Let me know in the comments below!

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