Flip through the pages of fashion magazines and it probably won't be long until you come across a model or celebrity in a totally gorgeous and classy outfit. The top, the pants, the bag, the shoes — they all go together effortlessly, leaving us mere mortals with major wardrobe envy. If only we had all that money to spend on clothes and accessories, right?
You don't have to be famous or rich to look like a million bucks. In fact, anyone can enjoy looking stylish and chic — all it takes is knowing a few tricks. I have been sitting for days going through fashion blogs and doing research and I put together exactly what it takes to look classy on a budget.
BTW, you can also read later my blogs "How to Look Classy" part 2 and 3. Links are on the bottom of the page.
So, here we go:
The Little Black Dress
It may be the most common standard piece of clothing in most women’s wardrobes, but it’s also an important figure in the classy woman’s clothing repertoire. While the LBD can come in all kinds of sizes and shapes, I would strongly recommend getting one that finishes below the knees (pencil version). It’s classier and elegant, and will work for any occasion!
A simple white shirt in quality material. It doesn’t need to be very expensive, but it has to be of a quality fabric, i.e. 100% cotton or linen/cotton blend or 100% silk to give you a luxurious look. Polyester will look cheap and not classy. Your best bet is to buy Equipment slim signature or signature off-white or white 100% silk shirt. A lot of women, myself included, consider Equipment's silk to be the best (in that price range). I've bought other brands too, like Haute Hippie or Joie, but if you are on the budget and can afford only one shirt, go with Equipment.
Silk Top or Blouse
You need to have at least one piece of 100% silk in your wardrobe. If you’re going to get one thing, make sure it’s a nice blouse or a top you can wear elegantly with skirts, trousers, and jeans. An item that is very versatile, both for evening or daytime occasions. I would advise to preferably get one in a light color, like white, off-white or cream. If you are wondering, the first top is by Gucci, the second one is by Equipment which has more affordable price point.
Black and White color combination
Black and White color combination is very conservative and classy. In full honesty it is not my cup of tea but it is important to mention because a lot of elegant women use it in their wardrobes.
Black or dark color fitted (straight leg) pants
A nice black pair of pants is a standard, basic item that every person should have in their wardrobe! They should be fitted but not look like legging you were in the gym. At the same time for classy look avoid oversized, baggy, "boyfriend" style pants. Black pants are very easy to style and can be worn over and over again without people noticing. The pair at the end are by Theory.
They are perfect for daytime or when you dress in a hot climate. Lovely with your white silk blouse and a nice belt. Feels very old-money over it and is easy to style with all kinds of colors. If unsure, you can include your white pants in your “all-white” outfit (like in one of the pictures) and look very luxurious and expensive.
It’s not only to protect your scalp from the sunlight, but it adds a bit of glamour to your outfit. Can be worn at the beach or at any daytime occasions when sunny outside. Please note, people don’t wear hats after 6pm (high class etiquette).
Spring / Fall / Winter Hat
If you get one for summer, you better get one for winter too! I love Janessa Leone, Rag & Bone and Maison Michel hats for fall. It’s trendy, and suits most face shapes and looks. Again, it’s an accessory for daytime events only, so if you go out at night for dinner, you store your hat away.
Tweed Jacket or Blazer
Chanel or Chanel inspired jacket is a classy must have in an elegant woman’s wardrobe. When it comes to these jackets, you can go creative regarding color, as most of them look good as long as they suit your skin tone and hair color. I prefer white, black, navy, grey and creme.
Black Leather Handbag
If you’re a sophisticated career woman, you need to have a classy “everyday bag” that is discreet but looks expensive. Luckily it doesn’t need to be a designer branded one, as long as the design is sleek and materials are of the finest leather. If you can’t afford Chanel, you can get away with getting a leather bag that is not so pricey (like Rebecca Minkoff or Michael Kors) but will look more expensive. I personally have the Karen Millen large black everyday handbag.
To spice up your outfits in summer, polka dots are a great classic pattern that never goes out of style. Most of the times they come in colors like white, brown, blue, black and red. I like cute and flirty polka dot summer dresses that are worn for daytime only. Evenings are not made for this pattern, so make sure only to wear it during the day.
Leather Tall Boots High Heels
For Fall and Winter, a pair of black leather boots with a sexy heel is very much necessary when you want to dress up a little.
I love army, hipster and biker boots. Super cool look if you want to diversify your look and wardrobe, but if you want to keep a classy look, stick to tall, right under the knee boots.
I absolutely adore sexy and fashionable over the knee boots with short sweater dress or a skirt but while that outfit is super sexy and cute, it doesn't particular scream "classy", but there are many ways to make it look classy.
Leather Tall Boots with no Heels (Rider boots)
When I traveled by plane, I noticed that a lot of ladies in the First or Business class were wearing leggings with rider boots, top or turtleneck and some kind of shawl or poncho. I started to dress the same, pairing leggings, a top or turtleneck with tall brown or black rider boots. Since then it's one of my favorite styles, adding leather jacket and scarf for edgier look or classy coat, cardigan or shawl for an elegant look.