So, you want to learn how to look elegant like Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality when she goes from being covered in grease stains and picking her ear wax in public to being the very essence of beauty and grace (minus a few slip-ups)…Now, the good news is, you don’t have to be an undercover FBI agent or hire an entire team of stylists to learn how to be elegant.
You don’t have to have a lot of money to be fashionable and elegant every day. In this short article, I will demonstrate how you can look smart and be tasteful without spending a fortune!
Signs of an elegant woman
In order to define elegance, we first need to discuss what it means.
As you read this sentence, you may be picturing a famous person that fulfills this definition – Kerry Washington, Taylor Swift, Diana Ross, Audrey Hepburn.
1. They look neat and put together
I’ll concede that looks are not everything. Beauty is deeper than skin-deep, and the whole thing is attractive. Nonetheless, there’s no denying that one of the first signs of an elegant woman is how she looks.
Every elegant person I meet online or offline always looks well dressed and stylish. Their style extends far beyond the yoga pants (#guilty) I own.
It’s easy to forget that other clothes such as jeans and dresses and tailored pants still exist.
Fortunately, it is becoming more difficult to find attire that looks put together and fashionable, but feels cozy and casual. As you learn to dress elegantly, keep that in mind if comfort is more important to you than fashion.
2. But they also have an elegant attitude to back it up
You might think you’d be surprised to know that one of the tell-tale signs of a classy woman is her attitude. It doesn’t matter how elegant you appear; if you treat people poorly, you’re not really a classy individual.
She helps others develop rather than tearing them down. She has a strong personality and is confident, never seeking validation from anyone else.
So, how should you speak to yourself? How do you treat others? Have you been more critical than uplifting? Consider taking a 30-day self-love challenge. It will go a long way in helping you look and feel just as elegant as you will after you read this message.
How to look elegant daily: 6 Key tips
At its core, learning how to look fashionable and be elegant is all about maintaining a low-key, simple look. It’s not about showcasing one’s personality or standing out in a crowd. The goal is to have your style stand the test of time. Here’s how to do it.
1. Figure out your personal style
The first step is to determine what kinds of clothes you actually like to wear. I’m not talking about the clothes you see on Instagram or what’s currently in fashion. I’m talking about a style you can call “rustic chic.”
I am talking about the styles and accessories you would wear regardless of the trend. The ones you like the most that complement your personality and body type.
A book that was an important ally in my own style discovery was The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees. It’s an easy-to-follow workbook that helps you understand your likes, dislikes, fashion preferences, and color palettes. By following its invaluable instructions, you can create a wardrobe that’s distinctly you.
I recommend renting it from your local library or buying it if you need help improving your style. You can also take a
2. Keep your wardrobe simple to look elegant
Once you’ve determined your favorite styles and color palettes, build a wardrobe of clothing you only keep items that you enjoy wearing and can put on in many different ways. (Uncommon neutral colors such as cream, grey, and black are timeless and always work well together).
If you have five tops that work with 10 bottoms, then you’re set! Just 25 different garments can be worn from those 10 items thanks to your five tops and five bottoms. This is how a capsule wardrobe operates. But if that top you bought only fits one pair of pants, then you’ll have only one outfit. No amount of variety, in my opinion.
So, if you’re looking for fashionable items on a budget, consider purchasing each new thing of clothing that you bring home. If it’s something to wear, like pants or a shirt, for instance, think up various outfits before you buy it. The more items it pairs with, the better it is.
One of my favorite minimalist clothing lines is Vetta Capsule. The company curates five-piece capsule wardrobes that you can mix and match to create 30 different outfit combinations. I really don’t understand how they do it, but it is ideal if you want a streamlined wardrobe that will always look good.
3. Choose quality over quantity
The key to dressing well is to pick quality over quantity. Indeed, you can go to a trendy retailer like Forever 21 and purchase five sweaters for $12 each.
But they will also immediately pill and tear and shrink when you wash them.
The next time you make a purchase, consider it in terms of cost per wear. If you buy a $12 sweater and only wear it twice, it costs $6 each wear. But if you buy a $100 sweater and wear it 50 times, it only costs $2 per wear. That’s one-third the price!
4. Adopt a minimal makeup routine
Another good way to always look good is to adopt a minimalist grooming routine. The most important advantage is that it saves time, since you do not have to devote an hour to your hair and cosmetics while also trying to get your children ready in the morning.
5. Choose accessories sparingly
If you’re a fan of flashy jewelry, there’s no shame in that game. The key is to select some valuable pieces that you love – and that ideally work with most of your wardrobe – instead of having drawers full of jewelry you never wear.
I don’t like most jewelry, so I have a dainty gold wedding band and a thin gold bar necklace that goes well with anything. I also have a simple nose piercing with a small gold stud. The key is to own a few items that you really like and that go well with your style and wardrobe.
6. Remember that simple is always in style
Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” That could not be more accurate with regard to style.
One of my favorite aspects of stylish outfit is how simple and elegant it is. It includes classic styles like a trenchcoat, little black dress, white dress shirtâ oe broccoli;ce that will never go out of style.
Not only does this help you save a lot of money, but it also saves you time when choosing outfits and limits the number of items you must own. So many benefits! Being simple with your style is the best way to be stylish every day.
How to be elegant on a budget
You don’t have to spend a lot on designer clothes to look and feel stylish. There are many ways to develop your personal fashion on a budget.
Shop secondhand to save money and look elegant
When buying clothes secondhand is one of my biggest secrets for saving money on stylish attire, I usually buy clothes on Poshmark, Tradesy, eBay, or thredUP if I like an expensive item. If I can’t find a secondhand item I love, I’ll often hunt for it on the auction site Etsy.
And many times, the person who sold it only wore it once or twice, so you’re getting a practically new item for only a fraction of the cost.
I used this method when shopping for a wedding dress in 2015. I fell in love with a dress that sold for $1,100 but found it on Tradesy for $500. I had only worn it once when I purchased it. The seller also threw in the sash and dress for no additional charge, saving me more money as I planned my wedding on a tight budget.
Earn some spending money by decluttering your closet
As you become more sophisticated in your clothing choices, you might discover that your closet is teeming with things that you never wear. This might stem from the fact that they do not fit your lifestyle, are designed for a fantasy life that you are not living, or do not fit your present style.
This is a great opportunity to declutter your wardrobe, and even declutter your life! Upcycle as many items as possible, and get some extra money. You can also set some style goals that won’t break the bank if you’re really trying to stay on budget.
Feel great and look elegant every day!
You don’t have to spend much money or gain an Oscar to be fashionable.
If you need help planning your budget for a brand new fashionable wardrobe, sign up for our free budget course.