10 Ways To Look Expensive On A Budget In Winter

Winter is the hardest time of the year to look elegant, to look well dressed, but there are tricks that I’m going to share with you that will elevate any winter wardrobe without having to spend a lot. And these tips are easily done on the budget, even if you can only afford fast fashion. 

Base layers

So, a base layer is basically a tight undergarment, maybe a top. If you’re looking for a good and comfortable base layer, you can browse around a ski section. By the way, I do suggest that you get a base layer in your own skin tone, because you do want to kind of camouflage them as much as possible as you will be wearing them under your garments to hold heat.

There are alternative ways. So how a base layer can be used and you can actually use other garments as your base layer, which is usually what we call layering. But as an example, a nice shirt can actually work as a base layer in a way, and also look elegant at the same time. Same goes for turtlenecks. Actually I think in winter, turtlenecks are my favorite kind of base layers because they really do cover up and they look very sophisticated. And remember ladies base layers, don’t have to cost a lot of money. You can easily find them in all the budgets and in any stores. 

Light colored puffer coats with a belt

And this is actually a great look and a great expensive on a budget hack because a light colored puffer coat is going to keep you warm and is also going to look more elevated than the traditional black coats. Oftentimes black puffer jackets they don’t really look elevated. They don’t really stand out. They don’t look exciting. However, if you change the color of it, it’s actually going to leave a different impression of the coat and you are going to look more elevated as a result. Light colors are often elegant. So for this reason, you will look more expensive this way. But why did I mention the belt? Well, you can skip the belt, but then you might have a quite unstructured coat that just kind of hangs on your body and looks pretty basic. Or you can actually have a little belt that creates this silhouette, which will make you look more feminine, which is another step to elevate a boring look, to look more expensive. So, this is a very inexpensive hack to look more expensive. 

Use a regular belt with your coat

Sometimes in fast fashion stores you can actually find some really nice belts on the budget that look like the real deal. And when I say the real deal, I mean a nice quality leather belt. So what you basically do is that you take your shapeless coat and you put a belt on it that doesn’t come with a coat. So your coat doesn’t have to be even structured for a belt. Sometimes even just a simple coat that didn’t come with a belt, you can just take another belt and add to it. And voila, you have this kind of new look to this coat and it looks more stylish. And my advice is that when you go in and find these belts, you need to always make sure that you are buying that belt a little bit too big for you because don’t forget it’s going to be outside of the coat. 

Blazer and suits 

Now winter requires us to wear long sleeves, makes us want to wear covering clothing. So blazers and suits are actually great for this time of the year because they are very elegant and they often require you to layer a bit as well. For what I like them in particular is that they have a very natural, elegant look to them. They look sophisticated, so you can easily wear this to the office, or you can wear it maybe even at night. Also, think about the fit and to consider a looser fit because you want to have that space in order to layer underneath, if necessary, maybe you want to wear a turtleneck underneath and you want your jacket to be able to fit that turtleneck. You also want to think a little bit about the material of the blazer. You want it to be more thicker and warmer, so material like wool is perfect. You can actually go to even fast fashion stores and buy quite inexpensive, but nice looking suits and blazers. Now of course, the only problem is that I tend not to like to buy them in fast fashion stores because of the simple reason that they oftentimes don’t hold the same type of nice and neat structure as more high-quality suits would do. 

Long necklaces with your sweaters…

Or with your jumpers or even with your layers (whatever it is that you’re layering at this moment). Because what happens in winter is that our options become quite limited. We have to wear those thick layers, those thick sweaters, those thick jumpers, and it can feel quite boring. So an affordable way of spicing things up is to accessorize. And I personally really like the long necklace because it also gives a slimming effect. This trick works well on many body shapes. You might find this sounding strange, but you can even actually have nice necklace with some plastic details that go really well with an outfit, almost like pulling together all the colors in an outfit. So this is a trick that many stylists use. And again, you can find these type of necklaces on a budget in any store. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on it.

Shooting field jackets (UK country style jackets)

So, what I mean with this is that I enjoy very much the traditional kind of old money sense of style. I think it’s very European. It looks very traditional, you find it mostly in Britain. So these type of jackets are basically oftentimes used for when going shooting, but not only necessarily, you can also use it as a leisure jacket. And in Britain it’s commonly used for, let’s say, taking out the dog for a walk on the countryside or whatever. And I really like the aesthetic of this type of jacket. Maybe it’s because I love equestrian fashion. So for me, I really like this type of style, but of course, because we associate this type of style with a certain group of people, oftentimes old money, people in the affluent community. So, that association make this type of jacket look more expensive. But the good news is, if you shop around online, you’re going to see that they’re not necessarily that expensive. So, you can definitely find affordable options if you just have a little look around. 

Off the shoulder jumpers and sweaters

Because again, we’re going back to this issue that during winter season, we have to bulk up, we have to wear very thick things, so sweaters and jumpers and sometimes you can lose your femininity and kind of lose the expensiveness in your appearance, because you just have to put on all these thick layers and kind of shapeless garments sometimes. But this is where you can take those cozy sweaters to the next level and actually find the right cut. And I recommend to wear the off the shoulder or the boat neck type of sweaters. It can be a little bit loose, but please don’t go for the oversized look. I think the only time a sweater is nice when it’s oversized is when you wear it as a dress, but not as a sweater. If you wear an oversized jumper as a sweater, you’re not going look that expensive. If you want to be feminine in winter without looking oversized and boring then the next point is definitely for you!

Long sleeve knit dresses

This is another clever way of combining femininity with warmth. Because here we have the long sleeve, we also have the material of the dress (wool or cashmere), so that’s going to keep you warm. And please note, I recommend getting a pencil version of this dress so that it really goes down to let’s say your calf area, so it really keeps you warm. I also recommend maybe adding a little bit of belt to it. If you want to spice things up. I also recommend you to wear it with boots to really make sure that you keep yourself warm. And then of course a pair of tights underneath! So you can actually wear dresses in winter, even if you think you can’t because the season is off.

High-waisted trousers

I gave you now a tip to wear dresses. And I really think you should be wearing as much dresses as you possibly can because it’s going to make you feel very feminine, but there are going to be days when you just feel like, you know what, it’s too cold. Let me wear my trousers. And you can still actually look elegant, expensive, feminine with a nice pair of trousers. But it’s all about where the waist is because femininity is in the end about putting accent on the waist area. And if you have a regular-waist trouser, then you’re not really putting much accent, where it’s needed. But if you have a high-waist trouser, maybe even put a little belt on top, you’re actually going to put that accent there. It’s going to be quite visible. And it’s going to give you a needed silhouette and you’re going to have an optical illusion of having longer legs. And then you don’t actually have to necessarily wear this type of trousers with a heel, which is what I would usually recommend (because us women with regular bodies, regular type of legs, most type of trousers are going to make us look like we have more towards the shorter leg area, rather than having long legs), but this trick makes you look like you have long legs. And the good thing is, ladies, is that high-waisted trousers don’t cost any extra, then regular-waist trousers. 

Take advantage of the winter sale 

This is gonna really make your budget strategy shoot off the roof because truly it’s now or never to grab those deals. And I would really think about some of those items that I mentioned to you today and try and buy them on sale. Belts, as an example, great thing to buy on sale or knitwear in colors that are not too trendy. And also ladies, don’t be afraid of buying winter items. Even if it’s only a little bit left of winter right now, you are going to need them next year. So might as well invest because if you can get it on a bargain is going be worth it.


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Anna Bey is an educator in the elegant feminine empowerment space and the founder of an online finishing school for women. She can confidently call herself a pioneer in this genre because she was the first to be sharing content in this niche since 2012.

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Anna Bey is an expert on Modern Elegance™, upscale transformations, and leveling up, with over 150 million channel views. Since 2012, she has taught women how to develop a more refined personal presence and lifestyle inside the Anna Bey Academy, where she hosts her various classes and courses. Her publication features include The Times UK, Newsweek, New York Post, Cosmopolitan, and many more.

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