Want to look like a million bucks but don’t have the bucks? There are certain things you can do to ensure you look stylish all the same…

1. GOOD GROOMING

A stylish look always starts with good grooming. Radiant healthy skin, neatly trimmed and polished nails, clean, shiny hair and a healthy haircut. With this, even a $5 t-shirt will look great.

Good grooming doesn’t have to mean expensive facials and manicures. Nor does it have to mean contoured makeup, hair extensions and false eyelashes. It just has to be you, fresh, simple and with a healthy glow. Eat well, drink water, take a bath, take your makeup off every night – simple things will like this will make all the difference.

2. CHOOSE NEUTRAL COLOURS

Neutral colours serve as a fantastic base: think black, grey, navy, tan and white. They can also be a huge time saver, eliminating that difficult decision of what to wear each morning. No one will notice that you wear neutral-coloured blazers, trousers and skirts on repeat when you’re mixing them with standout tops and accessories.

3. SHOP VERSATILE

Streamline your wardrobe by focusing on pieces that provide for a mix of activities. Choose a blouse that can be worn to Sunday brunch with friends and then transitioned to suit your Monday morning meeting. Look for clothes that accommodate a different range of accessories and you’ve got yourself a versatile wardrobe.

4. PAY ATTENTION TO SHAPE

Looks that flatter your figure and make you feel comfortable and confident will always scream sophistication. A proper fit is by far the most important factor in making your clothes look more expensive.

If a sleeve is too wide, a shoulder too narrow, a pant leg too long or a dress too loose, it’s going to look cheap. In fact, even if a piece is expensive, it will look cheap in the wrong size or shape.

5. FIND A GOOD TAILOR

To help ensure you’ve always got the right size and shape, consider visiting a tailor. Personal tailoring is like waving a magic wand over your clothes, even the ones you thought were at the end of their days. Alterations like taking hems up or down are generally pretty straightforward and inexpensive – Looksmart Alterations promises to have your jeans or pants hemmed within an hour or it’s free.

6. ACCEPT HAND-ME-DOWNS

Wearing hand-me-down clothes and clothing from op shops is a fantastic way to save on your clothing budget. It also helps the environment – did you know in Australia alone, 500 000 tonnes of textiles end up in landfill every year?

Some people don’t like the idea of wearing old clothes, but often it creates a creative and fashion-forward statement, because you can make old styles new again. If you’re not a dab hand at alterations, Looksmart Alterations can work their magic and take care of the clothes for you.

7. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ACCESSORISING

The single easiestand one of the most affordable ways to spruce up a neutral outfit is to match it with accessories. It could be a scarf, hat, glasses, belt or jewellery; accessories can make all the difference. Experiment and see what you can come up with. Keep it minimal, because more often one well-chosen piece is more impactful than several pieces.

8. KNOW YOUR MEASUREMENTS

If you’re buying off-the-rack and then planning to visit the tailor, know your measurements before you shop. Buying anything that’s more than one size too small or large can mean costly alterations and the result is often not ideal. When possible, stick to buying clothes that are your size or one size larger.

9. MAKE FASHIONABLE AND LIKE-MINDED FRIENDS

If you’re lucky enough to have a friend who shares the same size as you and the same sense of style, use it to your advantage. Clothes swapping is a great way to have a big wardrobe that won’t break the bank. For any friends who differ in size and shape, consider swapping accessories.

10. FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT

You might not have a million dollars in your bank account, but others don’t need to know that. Pretend you’ve just stepped off a yacht and keep things neutral in all white/beige. Look for quality knock offs of your favourite designs. Remember that style isn’t just about how much you spend. You can still look great in something from a budget store if you choose wisely and wear it with confidence!

11. CARE FOR YOUR CLOTHES

Having style means respecting your clothing and accessories to ensure they are well-kept. Clothes look their best when they are pressed and clean. Wash your clothes according to instructions, and air dry them when possible to lengthen their life.

12. SEE THE BIG PICTURE

Before you buy anything new for your wardrobe, take a look at the big picture. Do you have a tonne of blue items but nothing in red? Do you have a tonne of t-shirts but only one or two blouses? Review everything often so that you only buy what’s missing.

MAKE HEADS TURN

The bottom line is that looking stylish on a small budget is possible. You just have to put some thought into your outfits and know your style.

To learn more, read our articles on clothing budgets for the whole family, or making the most of hand-me-downs