Look Expensive Without Breaking the Bank

The last Christmas champagne has been drunk, the final New Year’s firecracker has fizzled out and after the traditional festive season spending, there’s usually a lighter purse (and heavier credit cards!!).

Recently I had a photo shoot for a new style program I’m launching (it’s called Not About Size and you can find out more details here) and needed a large number of outfits — but with moolah a little tight, I had to get creative.

Today I’ll share the 5 tricks I used to make this outfit below (hopefully!) look expensive without breaking the bank!!

16 01 09 Update Wardrobe Top



Mix textures

Mixing different textures tends to create an interesting, expensive looking, “magazine”-esque outfit. Try mixing a few up to get a creative, multi-dimensional outfit that looks expensive – especially in photos (the textures makes photos pop)!!

Here, I’ve mixed the silkiness of the blouse, the pony-hair look of my clutch, together with metal hardware on my cuff and the weave of my skirt.

16 01 09 Update Wardrobe Nails



Refresh your old pieces

I was ready to give away the skirt above as I didn’t wear anymore – instead, I had just the underskirt (petticoat) altered so it was shorter than the actual skirt – giving it a more modern, contemporary look!

Altering existing pieces can bring a new lease of life to tired (or ill fitting!) clothes in your wardrobe. Your local tailor can help you – for example, a billowy shirt can be inserted with darts so it fits better, you’ll have a new look blouse and avoid the need to buy something new!



Add metal accessories

Even if you don’t love “bling”, accessories can make an outfit look instantly expensive. It pulls your whole outfit together and brings that extra “zjoush”.

You don’t need to be dripping in faux diamonds – just a couple of pieces in a metal such as bronze, gold or silver helps to bring enough to the outfit to make you look ultra chic.


A tip about belts:

Belts are great for adding metal hardware to your outfit and here I made sure to tuck my blouse in – so I didn’t look too unkempt or casual, which again helps create a polished look.

16 01 09 Update Wardrobe description



 A slick of lippy or a manicure

A slick of lippy can often do wonders when it comes to making an outfit look like a million bucks. It helps your outfit be glam and fab rather than drab!!!

And, if you tend to stick to one look all year round, why not use the new year as an excuse to try some new colours as a good way to update your look?



Choose the right fabric

Certain fabrics have a lustre and sheen so it looks more expensive (even though it’s not). So look for items that have a “shine” to it that emulates expensive silk or satin, but is a fraction of the price.

The top I’m wearing is an old blouse that cost around $40. The lovely sheen and colour means I’m always getting comments on it – worth every dollar!


Updating your wardrobe at the start of the year doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Just add a splash of imagination and an openness to try new things and voila! You’ll have an outfit that looks expensive without breaking the bank 🙂


PS. Soon I’ll be launching a new online style program Not About Size to show you how to dress yourself for life —- no matter what your size!!! Be the first to find out more here.


Stylishly yours,






By | 2017-09-08T10:23:25+10:00 January 13th, 2016|Fabulous Fashion|5 Comments


  1. Louise Sutton January 13, 2016 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    Hi Wendy

    Thanks for these tips I’ll put them to good use.

    • Wendy Mak January 13, 2016 at 11:03 pm - Reply

      You’re welcome Louise, hope it helps!!!

  2. Barb January 13, 2016 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    Looking fabulous as always Wendy. I love this post! xo

    • Wendy Mak January 13, 2016 at 11:03 pm - Reply

      Thank you Barbara xxxx

  3. Claire January 28, 2016 at 11:38 am - Reply

    Great tips. The satin top in your list just lifts an outfit! Thanks. Claire.

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