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Stylists Say You're Making Your Outfits Look Cheap If You Aren't Doing Any Of These Things

Jan 10, 2024Jan 10, 2024


Your closet will be a happier place after checking out these expert tips.

Staying in style can be extremely difficult — especially if you don't have anyone to help you put your look together. Luckily, there are plenty of experts out there willing to lend a hand and help ensure that your outfits won't look cheap or unkempt.

If you’re looking for some inspiration to create a polished look for an interview, or want to wow your friends and family before a big event, here are some of the best tips from professional stylists to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.

If you’re looking for a quick fix to revive your favorite sweater, Michelle Barrett, a costume designer, personal stylist, and founder at Capsule Closet Stylist, recommends this rechargeable fabric shaver from Amazon. "These are amazing at saving sweaters that have seen better days! There is nothing worse than a sweater with bobbles under the arms!" she says.

The compact design features a three-tooth blade that gently renews fabric and de-fuzzes your clothing. Plus, it's perfect for traveling.

Barrett also loves a handheld fabric steamer for a convenient way to get wrinkles out of your clothes. "These are quick and easy to use and instantly make an outfit look more professional," she says.

The portable design of this steamer is perfect for traveling and makes steaming your clothes on the go so easy. It heats up in just 30 seconds and works on an array of fabrics, ranging from cotton to more delicate fabrics like silk.

One easy styling trick that Barrett recommends is investing in a proper belt. "Match your belt to your shoes to instantly make an outfit look more cohesive. Choose black or tan which will compliment any outfit you are wearing," she says.

However, quality belts don't have to cost a fortune. This skinny leather belt from Amazon that Barrett singled out is super affordable and will never go out of style. It features a buckle closure and comes in timeless neutral colors like khaki, white, and coffee.

"If you are a cool [coloring], wear silver [...], and if you are warm wear gold. Link that through with your belt buckle and the rest of your jewelry," says Barrett. Curious about how to figure out where you land? "Check your wrist — if your veins appear blue you are cool, green you are warm," Barrett explains. This stylish watch band — also available in both silver and gold — is crafted from a mesh metal material that will instantly elevate any outfit. It's compatible with any type of watch (including many smart watches) and is available in four different lengths.

A tonal color palette will never go out of style. "Where possible, keep [colors] in an outfit to under three — two neutral [colors] and one brighter as a highlight (maybe in a neck scarf or other accessory) as it makes the outfit more sophisticated," Barrett says.

This striped mock turtleneck that Barrett selected is a good place to start. While it depends on good old black and white to get you started, this design also comes in over 20 different colors and neutral prints. It's crafted from an ultra-stretchy fabric with a slim fit, making it perfect for layering or wearing on its own.

This off-the-shoulder pullover sweater is another great option to incorporate solids into your wardrobe without the effort. With over 32 different colors available, it will be hard to choose just one to add to your cart. It's crafted from a cozy rayon blend with ample stretch and pairs perfectly with jeans or leggings. It also has over 12,000 stellar five-star reviews from Amazon customers who are happy they added it to their closet.

Elisabeth Kassab, stylist, personal shopper, and creator of STYLISTCHECK, says, "Gold jewelry makes any outfit look put together and more expensive. I love a chunky pair that stands out. I think that adds a luxurious flare to any look."

For less than $20, you can't go wrong with these gold-plated hoops that have garnered a 4.6-star rating. The minimal style features a texture rope design and is crafted from a nickel and lead-free metal making it a great option for anyone with sensitive skin.

Kassab also says, "A white sweater is essential for summer styling. Pair with a white tee, jeans, and the sweater thrown over your shoulders or tied around your neck gives you that old-money, Sofia Richie vibe. It's such a simple move that looks expensive every time."

For a super affordable option that Kassab loves, this crewneck sweater from Amazon will give you a luxe feel without breaking the bank. It's crafted from 100% cotton and has a classic silhouette that will never go out of style. The super soft material will keep you cozy no matter where you wear it.

If you’re on the hunt for a white knit that's a little more relaxed, this crewneck sweater features balloon-style sleeves for a flowy fit. It's crafted from a waffle knit material that is ultra cozy and soft. The pullover style can easily be dressed up with jeans or dressed down for lounging, depending on your shoe choice.

Diamonds (and cubic zirconias) are a girl's best friend and Kassab couldn't agree more. "You need some diamonds to complete your look. I love this tennis necklace for Amazon because it's such an affordable way to tie your whole look together," she explained.

This tennis necklace is plated in 18-karat white gold and looks so expensive, you’ll barely be able to tell the difference between the real thing. It comes in four different lengths ranging from 16 to 22 inches. You won't have to worry about it falling off, thanks to its secure box clasp.

Liz Wendler, style coach at Liz Wendler Styling, has one major rule when it comes to shopping for jewelry. "Avoid beaded and plastic jewelry and upgrade your earrings with these hypoallergenic gold hoops that can be worn from day to night and are perfect for any outfit. The timeless design is versatile and elevates your wardrobe effortlessly," she says.

She recommends this set from Amazon, which includes six different huggie-style hoops that will elevate your style. Each earring is crafted from a hypoallergenic metal which is a major bonus if you have sensitive skin. Reviewers say they look and feel much more expensive than they are.

"Update your handbags that have any sign of wear and tear or distress — and instantly update your outfits with vegan leather handbags," suggests Wendler. "This hobo handbag effortlessly ties together all casual and dressy looks. Add a pop of personality with a bold or bright color."

JW Pei's viral vegan leather bag has developed a cult following for its designer look on a budget — and it's worth noting that Wendler wasn't the only stylist who was quick to recommend it. The hobo-shaped bag comes in a vast assortment of colors ranging from neutral tones to rainbow hues. Plus, the nine-inch width is perfect for storing all of your essentials.

Wendler also loves this padded crossbody bag to make a subtle statement, saying, "Elevate any outfit with this stylish and versatile crossbody bag. It will effortlessly make any casual or dressy outfit pop. Choose a neutral tone for a monochromatic and timeless look."

The designer dupe is crafted from vegan leather and features an adjustable strap that can be worn in multiple ways. Available in nine stunning colors, it's bound to get attention when you take it out on the town.

Lesli Sunshine, stylist and President of Fabulous You, honed in on the importance of tailoring your clothes. "If your outfit is too big or too small, even couture will look cheap," she explains. "It is crucial to wear the correct size for your body type. In conjunction with that, I find most individuals do not wear the correct bra size, which is a big contributor to making an outfit look cheap."

This affordable double-sided measuring tape is a must-have for making sure you are buying the right sizes for your body. And if you know how to tailor your own clothes, this tape features easy-to-ready measurements and expands to 60 inches long. It's amazing the difference a few adjustments can make.

One styling trick that should never be overlooked is a cinched waist. Sunshine explains, "Whether it's a dress with no waistline, shirtdress, jumpsuit, or a skirt with a plain tee shirt, cinch it with a stretch belt. This will give it more shape and elevate the style."

This wide belt is crafted from super stretchy elastic and artificial leather. Each belt comes in a pack of three neutral colors, all of which can easily elevate the outfits you already own.

Sunshine also explained the importance of playing with balance when accessorizing with jewelry, saying, "When wearing a large hoop or statement earring, minimize the size of the necklace, or wear no necklace at all."

This layered necklace set that Sunshine recommends is all the jewelry you’ll need for a night out. It is available in nine different styles including both gold and silver metals. Each necklace set is plated in 14-karat gold that is hypoallergenic and won't rust over time. The longest chain length measures 18 inches but can easily be shortened with the adjustable chain clasp.

"Your collection should consist of a loafer, pump, wedge, sneaker, and the shoe of the moment. In this case, the shoe of the moment is the platform sandal," Sunshine says.

This platform pump fits the bill. These sandals feature a 4.5-inch heel and are crafted from vegan suede. The platform is ultra comfortable for long hours thanks to the chunky silhouette and padded insole. Choose from a slew of neutral colors or add a pop of color to your outfit with the cherry red.

Peter Martinez, fashion designer and co-founder of Leather Skin Shop, says "Hollywood Fashion Secrets Double Stick Fashion Tape is a versatile product that helps in securing clothing, preventing wardrobe malfunctions, and providing a neat appearance. It's transparent, hypoallergenic, and easy to use, making it ideal for fixing loose hems, and gaps, or keeping plunging necklines in place."

The double-sided tape measures at 60 inches long and comes in a pack of two. The fabric-safe adhesive is made from a hypoallergenic material that won't irritate your skin or leave a sticky residue on your clothing.

Another product Martinez recommends is a fabric adhesive for a quick solution to repair clothing. Aleene's Original Fabric Fusion Adhesive is a reliable option for quick fabric repairs," he explains. "It works on various materials and dries clear and flexible, ensuring your fixes are discreet. This adhesive is perfect for reattaching buttons, repairing small tears, or securing loose seams."

Shoppers love this fabric fusion because it stays intact after multiple washes. It comes with a variety of silicone tips and at just under-$10, you can't beat the price tag.

Martinez loves the versatility of a satin scarf. "A chic scarf belt, like the Geyoga satin scarf belt, can add a stylish touch to any outfit. This versatile accessory can be worn around the waist, neck, or even as a headband, instantly transforming your look. It comes in various colors and patterns, allowing you to experiment with different styles," Martinez says.

For a super affordable price, you can snag these satin scarfs from Amazon in a set of three basic colors that will easily match anything in your closet. Each scarf is about six feet long and is crafted from a super soft and smooth satin material that is hand-wash only.

Rachel Varney, a personal stylist at Styled By Rachel, explains, "Pilling is an unfortunate occurrence to even our pricier cashmere pieces, but don't fret! This pilling comb will bring life back to your favorite clothing pieces and prevent them from looking sloppy."

Varney recommends this fabric comb by Comfy Clothier which Amazon customers also love for its ability to instantly remove fuzz, lint, and pills from your favorite knitwear. Reviewers also say the cedar wood gives off a pleasant scent as an added bonus.

"Don't taint your chic ensemble with bra straps that are popping out," Varney says. "These convertible bras are amazing because you can adjust the straps to fit an array of silhouettes."

Backed by over 2,500 five-star reviews, this strapless bra is designed with padded cups that give your bust an extra lift. It comes with a set of straps that can easily be clipped on for extra versatility like a halterneck, crisis cross, or one-shoulder. There's a diverse assortment of sizes available ranging from a 32A to 42B.

"Smudges on your sunglasses or glasses can look sloppy and careless. Prevent smudges by keeping a few of these lens cleaning wipes on hand," Varney explains.

Luckily, these cleaning cloths are crafted from a super soft microfiber material that easily removes dust and smudges without leaving a scratch. They come in a pack of 12 making it perfect to store in your car, or work bag, and leave on your bedside table. Each cloth can be reused just over 500 times.

Zoé DuFour, a stylist based in Los Angeles says, "When wanting to elevate a look let's not forget about makeup! Too much makeup is outdated. A flawless foundation with a touch of color on the cheek, a little mascara and finish with a matte red lip. It brightens your face and is trés chic. One of my favorites is this YSL Matte Lip stain. It's the perfect color for most skin tones (not too orange or too blue) and it stays put for hours."

If you’re looking for a lighter or darker hue, this lip stain comes in an array of different shades. The lightweight liquid formula lasts up to eight hours.

Yenia Hernández Fonseca, stylist and contributing writer to Margo Paige, recommends colorful socks as an easy way to incorporate color into your wardrobe. "Black is almost always a good move but a bit boring when it comes to styling. Dare to add some pops of excitement to your outfit by pairing unexpected colorful socks with your trusty leather loafers," she explains.

These crew socks come in a set of eight pairs and are crafted from super lightweight and comfortable cotton. There is elastic ribbing around the ankles for a stretchy fit that won't slip down throughout the day. From light blue to orange and pink, you’ll be sure to a find pair that best suits your personal style.

Breyana Wright, a certified wardrobe stylist, says, "When on a budget and in need of accessories, most of the time we reach for costume jewelry. Even though this style of jewelry can be very fashion-forward, it can make the overall outfit look cheap if you’re not careful. To keep that from happening I recommend wearing simple and affordable jewelry that looks expensive but is easy on the pockets."

Dubbed a best-seller on Amazon, over 22,000 shoppers agree this tennis bracelet looks just like the real deal. The cubic zirconia stones are plated in 14-karat white gold that is safe for sensitive skin. You can also snag it in rose gold or yellow gold.

Wright doubles down on the fact that you don't have to break the bank for quality fashion, especially when it comes to shoes. "It's no secret that shoes are the most important part of any outfit so it's always wise to select quality ones," she says. "Most of the time when we think about quality shoes we imagine spending hundreds of dollars. However, there are plenty of great shoe options for less than $100 that can make your outfit look more expensive for a fraction of the cost."

One example Wright flagged? These sweet ballet flats from Nine West, which happen to be a timeless style that will pair with everything in your outfit. The pointed toe is super chic and is great for the office or to wear out and about during the day. These shoes are crafted from flexible faux leather with a padded insole that is lightweight and comfortable.

"Belts are one of the best accessories that you can add to an outfit so it's important that you select the right ones," Wright also explained. "I highly recommend staying away from belts with rhinestones (unless it's for a specific event), belts with a lot of holes in them, and belts with cheap-looking designs as these can decrease the quality of your outfit. Instead, you should focus on belts with clean designs and expensive-looking/carefully structured material."

These straw-woven belts that Wright recommends come in a pack of three tonal hues and are available in two lengths — 96 centimeters or 120 centimeters. The belts are stylish enough to make a statement yet still have a minimal design that will pair with so many different styles in your wardrobe.

Melony Huber, global travel fashion, textile, interior design stylist, buyer, and co-founder of La Peony, believes that "if you are dressing up it's important to wear cute heels and strappy fun sandals instead of flip flops to elevate a look."

With over 20 different styles available of this strappy sandal by Steve Madden, you’ll be sure to find a color that matches exactly what you are in search of. It features an angled square toe and has a comfortable block heel that is three inches high. The barely-there straps are a no-brainer for creating the illusion of longer legs.

Huber knows how to put together a cute look without spending a lot of money: "No-show socks when wearing cute sneakers!" she exclaims. "Sneakers are chic and popular right now with everything from jeans to dresses. However, if your shocks are showing it immediately takes away from the overall chic look."

You can't go wrong with these no-show liner socks from Amazon that have garnered a 4.6-star rating. They come in packs of eight pairs with multiple colors available, including all black. Thousands of shoppers love these socks for their incredible arch support and no-slip design that stays in place all day.

When it comes to accessorizing, Huber says, "A stylish hat [can complement] your outfit and add a little extra to your overall look!" If you want to participate in this timeless trend without spending a ton of money, this straw hat by Brixton is a great place to start.

The wide-brimmed silhouette features a contrasting belt and is designed with an interior drawstring so you can adjust the size, and an interior sweatband to help you stay comfortable throughout the day.

For those who are looking for a dressier option that can transcend seasons, this classic wide-brim hat is crafted from a soft felt that is breathable and lightweight. The circumference is between 56 to 58 centimeters and comes with an interior drawstring so you can easily adjust the fit. It also has a subtle buckle detail that instantly makes this hat stand out amongst the rest. It's an affordable option that might help you tie your overall look together.

Rosie Mangiarotti, a fashion and garment expert and the founder of Perkies, has the best solution for achieving salon style look without the damage of hot tools. "Heatless curls can elevate any look and are an inexpensive and easy way to make it look like you have a blowout," she explains. "Heatless curls have many advantages including minimizing damage to the hair, convenience as they require little styling time, and longevity as heatless curls tend to last longer than curls created with heat styling tools. Look no further than Robe Curls, trusted by thousands, to give you the perfect heatless curl look."

This curler set is crafted from a satin material that won't break or cause split ends. The ultra-soft headband is also so comfortable for sleeping in so you can wake up in the morning with stunning hair.

Mangiarotti also says, "Nipple covers, also known as nipple concealers or pasties, have gained popularity for several reasons. Between their discreet coverage, comfort and versatility (especially with skin tones), and reusability, they’re an outfit staple. Check out Perkies Petals on Amazon."

There are three different tones available to best match your skin. The covers are crafted from a hypoallergenic silicone adhesive that is super lightweight and flexible, with each cover keeping you secure for up to eight hours. The best part? The brand donates 5% of proceeds to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Joe Teasdale, Founder of Adore Fashion, loves these braided hair ties from Pro Hair that are super gentle compared to other ties on the market. "These hair ties are a stylish and gentle alternative to regular elastic bands. They're made from a soft and stretchy material that won't damage or pull out your hair while the braided design adds a touch of texture and interest to your ponytail or updo — plus the thick size ensures that your hair stays secure without slipping making them perfect when you need to create an updo when on the go," Teasdale notes.

For brunettes, the array of brown hues will blend in with your locks for a seamless look. They also come in pink and blue if you’re looking for a subtle way to add a pop of color. The ties also come in a generous pack of 18 so you won't have to worry about losing one.

Laura G.