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7 Easy Ways To Look More Elegant on Any Budget

Looking classy and elegant has nothing to do with your budget and everything to do with the details. Great style is available at all price points and within every woman’s reach. Not every woman’s style recipe includes elegance, but if yours does, read on for 7 ways to level up your look on any budget.

 

blinde woman wearing classy blazer and white jeans

7 Easy Ways to Look More Elegant on Any Budget

 

Focus on classic

Garments in classic shapes tend to look more elegant than items with a lot of detail. Tailored clothes in proportion to your body give the classiest look. Neutral colors are a foolproof way to look more elegant. If your soul craves vibrant color, just wear one in a simple shape and pair it with a strong neutral.

 

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Check your posture

Proper posture makes you look slimmer, more confident, and yes, more elegant. No one wants to walk around with a book on their head, but the older we get, and the longer we spend on our devices, the more we’re likely to slump. A strong core and back muscles make it easier to stand and sit up straight. Many of us seem to lead with our chin these days so a quick fix is to bring your chin back, then elongate your neck by lifting from the top of your head. You’ll feel taller and look better instantly.

I’ve seen a bevy of posture correctors lately but can’t speak to their effectiveness. I do know that awareness is the first step and I find that even a racerback bra reminds me to straighten up.

 

Grooming

Impeccable grooming makes any woman look more elegant. Chipped nail polish, dry and flakey skin, less than clean hair, and smudged makeup can destroy a classy look faster than spinach in your front teeth. Talon-like nails, no matter how creatively they’re polished, don’t look sophisticated. Clean, unvarnished nails can be just as elegant as an expensive manicure from the salon. While we’re at it, be lighthanded with your fragrance because the ones that leave a trail for hours are cloying, not elegant. Be sure your glasses are clean because smudged lenses aren’t classy.

Related – How to Choose the Best Eyeglasses

 

Clean and polished

Clothes with hanging threads, loose buttons, fading, tears, or deodorant staining under the arms don’t help you look classy. Be sure to also check the backs of your shoes and heels for wear and tear. A good cobbler can work miracles as can a quick swipe with a shoe shine sponge. I love these magic erasers for cleaning up the sides of the sole on my sneakers, etc. Wrinkles are expected with linen but otherwise be sure your clothes get ironed or steamed after laundering. Invest in a good lint brush and use it.

 

Proper fit

Make sure your clothes fit you properly. If they pull, pucker or gape, they need to be altered or changed. Jeans that squeeze and pinch in all the wrong places don’t look elegant, they look painful. Buy and wear what fits your body now. Clothes that fit like saran wrap are not elegant so look for clothes that skim rather than cling. The bottom line is if you want to look more elegant, only wear clothes that fit you properly.

 

Add Structure

Things that droop and sag are not elegant, and that goes for your handbag. Carrying a structured handbag adds instant polish to any outfit. Crossbody bags are very popular these days because they keep your hands free. Opt for a small structured crossbody with a long enough strap that it doesn’t crush your top.

 

Keep it Classy and Simple

Less is always more elegant so keep details to a minimum. An embellished blazer calls for a plain bottom and simple jewelry. A subtle look is always more elegant. Opt for one bracelet over a stack and if you wear a statement necklace keep other jewelry to a minimum. Busy patterns and complicated garments may be fun and creative, but they’re not easy to make elegant so opt for simple.

 

Is elegant part of your style recipe?

What other ideas can you suggest?

Thanks for reading and be sure to wear what makes you feel confident.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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48 Comments

  1. Lee Grant says:

    As a retired physical therapist, your comments on posture are spot on! An upright posture does make you feel better, improves your looks, is healthy for your neck and spine, and it presents yourself to others as confident, strong, open and interactive. It also makes you safer as you see and perceive more, and you are less of a ‘target’ for any would be nefarious intent!

  2. Love all the classic looks. Here in the Southwest and now the Mid-West too where summer temps will start hitting 100-110 degrees would love to see looks with out jeans, blazers & sneakers. How to still look professional? Yes we still are outside, into cars, buildings, shopping etc. Linen, bermuda shorts, capris, sandals, etc!

  3. Excellent advice Jennifer!!

  4. SUSAN BLAKEY says:

    Posture, yes! Great reminder.

  5. You post had so many great points for looking eloquent.
    The one I need to work on is:
    Stand up straight and tall.
    My Mon said that all the time.
    She was only 4’11” but held her self very tall.
    Thanks for the wonderful advice 🤗

    1. I even feel better when I stand up tall!

  6. All good tips! Nice jacket btw.

  7. Super tips, Jennifer! Hopefully not to sound like I’m knit-picking but under ‘grooming’ particularly for the summer season: a) With many of us wearing sandals, I feel one should take note re the care of their feet as well. Toe nails included. b) Consider shaving your armpits as not to distract from that pretty sleeveless top. c) For those of us who have a short hair style they might want to do regular tidy-ups with a shaver, to clean up unwanted hairs at the nape of the neck that often grow that otherwise a turtle neck would cover up … ☺. -Brenda-

    1. I agree, Brenda! Those are great reminders.

    2. Karen Lacina says:

      Can’t agree more!!! Nothing ruins a look than unattended, dry, dirty heels in a pair of sandals!! It’s easy to forget about the bottom and heels of your feet but keeping a pumice paddle in the shower for a quick buff on heels is a game-changer!!

  8. Some very well dressed women will walk into a place and just plop down in a chair. It ruins their whole look.
    I’m not into elegant dressing but a lot of things cross over. I like casual, loose and comfortable outfits. I live a lifestyle where suits and heels and expensive silk just doesn’t work but I love to see other women dressed up. I’m into fishing, crabbing, golf, outdoor festivals, concerts on the green, and picnics. I act elegant though.😃

    1. Eve,

      I agree with you. We live in a beach community and everything is very casual. Due to warmer weather loose and casual works. However, when we get together we enjoy looking our best.

    2. I think we can be elegant in casual clothes. As you say, our carriage and body movements make a big difference.

  9. Great post. All of these suggestions echo my mother’s take on how we should appear in public and at home for our selves.

    1. I think our generation appreciates elegance more than younger ones.

  10. Janis Walling says:

    The tip of what shoes to wear with leggings was perfect for me! I have avoided wearing leggings to the greatest extent because of not knowing what to do about shoes! Thank you!

    1. I’m glad it resonated for you

  11. A smile is a very good accessory, as well. 🙂

    1. One of the best 😀

  12. I agree with your advice except “structured handbag”. I’ll pass on that idea. Give me a buttery black leather hobo bag any day.

    1. Ooh, I too love a really nice leather hobo bag. I have a collection of them!

  13. The world’s most elegant woman, Coco Chanel, was said to have advised the following when dressing with accessories:
    “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”

    This has worked for me!

  14. Thanks for all these great reminders. I’m very aware of my slumping and trying to get a handle on it. I admire those with good posture.
    Where should the cross body bag rest – at the waist, above or below? I have a large bust and love the ease of the bag but don’t want to draw too much attention to that area.

  15. Hi Jennifer
    Loved your post this morning …..I have a zoom yoga class this week and the instructor mentioned it was on posture and how we slump as we age.
    I agree to add manners to your list but my hint is kindness. A little goes a long way and always take time for yourself. Your daily blog is my treat each morning with my first and only cup of coffee!
    Thanks Jennifer ❤️

    1. Oh yes, kindness!! It goes hand in hand with grace and elegance. I love the idea of a zoom yoga class.

  16. This is great. Elegance means taking care of all the little details and then exuding confidence when you step out of the house. I like to add pearl jewelry for a touch of elegance, but that doesn’t mean a tradition strand. I have several edgy silver-and-freshwater-pearl necklaces that are stylish yet elegant.

    1. I agree! I love my pearls and they do feel elegant no matter how they’re styled. Thanks for reminding me. I’ll put some on today.

  17. This was a great post! Lots of reminders that I needed to hear, especially as we emerge out of quarantine. Love your blog!

  18. Leslie Greaves Radloff says:

    Good ideas. Good undergarments help and keep those straps hidden along with deep cleavage. Posture can be improved by yoga poses: back to wall and fold over head to knees and roll up the wall keeping shoulders squared.

    1. So true, yoga is fabulous for us. Ballet does marvelous things for our posture too.

    2. Thanks for reminding me to do those shoulder exercises. I’ve been slacking off lately. I also like to do snow angels on the floor and then against the wall to get my shoulders back. -Judy

  19. Paulette Levy says:

    Yes I totally agree with your ideas on being/feeling elegant. Fit and classic clothes top my own list but all of your ideas are great!
    And yes, manners! Someone writing in mentioned that and it’s often overlooked – but so so true.

    1. I hope you’re well, Paulette. Xx

      1. Paulette Levy says:

        Doing so much better! Thank you! My hand that was broken is my only hold-up. Time. Takes time they tell me….

      2. I’m glad to hear it’s improving. xx

  20. Sometimes, the word “elegant” conjures up a picture of evening gowns, diamonds and glorious events. But, each of these details you addressed this morning can be the groundwork to creating a personal, graceful style that we can each call our own unique elegance.
    You had a blog a while back that addressed the power of accessories. There was a system of rating each of these and how they would impact our total look.
    It’s a package deal. For me, it all begins with an open mind, grateful heart and a focus on those around me who I value in my life. Then, you slowly add on the next layers to create that person who gives you confidence to keep moving forward!

    1. I always appreciate your thoughtful comments, Jan. Thank you. So well said!

  21. These are all good ideas, but one more to add is manners. How you speak to others and simple manners towards others, this is always remembered in a positive way. When looking back in history even in the past hundred years, there are many types of women considered elegant and some of those are not in classic style, so I can hope to be a wee bit elegant with an edge. Presentable and still fun.

    1. Absolutely!! Thank you for mentioning that. I was speaking more of physical appearance here, but behaviors go hand in hand. Manners are critical but sadly a lost art for some these days.

  22. I really enjoyed your post. Thank you for the reminder of things we can do on a daily basis to help us look our best.

  23. Gail Schwartz says:

    Thank you for the reminder to stand up straight. I always look better in the mirror when I do.

    1. My core and back muscles aren’t as strong as I’d like so I have to remind myself all the time. I do wonder about those trainers.

  24. There is a lot of good information, ideas and suggestions here.
    But there is one comment that quite frankly confuses me. “Proper posture makes you look slimmer, more confident, and yes, more elegant.”, it makes sense to me that proper posture will impact how i look and how come across to others, and will translate into more elegance, but not sure why looking slimmer will matter to how elegant i look,.

    1. I don’t believe she intended the connection of slimmer to elegance, but to ‘proper posture’, which does make you look slimmer as well as more confident and elegant.

      1. Good posture has so many benefits!:)

    2. My point is that proper posture does marvelous things to your silhouette and confidence which makes you look more elegant.