ways you are making your outfit look cheap

11 Ways You are Making Your Outfit Look Cheap (And What to do Instead)

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Whether you consider yourself a fashion expert or have recently been trying to improve your style, there is no shame in not having all the answers when it comes to putting together an outfit! If you are unsure why the clothes you spent hours throwing together end up looking the opposite of chic and luxe, it might be time for you to evaluate ways you are making your outfit look cheap. Here are some common ways you are making your outfit look cheap and what you could do instead.

Before we get into these outfit tips, it’s worth noting that everyone has a different style and what may look cheap to one person, looks expensive to another. Style is subjective and these style ideas should only be implemented if that’s what you want to do.

With that being said, I think we can all agree that an effortlessly stylish fashion journey comes with a ton of trial and error! Fashion mistakes are going to be made and not every look you envisioned is going to work out. But you are not alone. This is a normal process that a lot of iconic fashionable women have also experienced.

 “At the beginning, you should try everything. Good, bad, awful.”, says Victoria Beckham. “As you get older, you start getting a good idea of what suits you.”

Figuring out what suits you, a fashion principle that French women live by as well, comes with trial and error. And though you can’t rush this process, it’s helpful to know some fashion mistakes you might not realize you are making that can potentially make your outfit look cheap.

1. Showing too much skin

Looking feminine does not always have to involve revealing too much skin like Fashion Nova models. A rule that legendary and professional stylists advise is to only “show off” one body part.

For instance, if you are revealing your chest, then your legs need to be covered. And if you want to wear a mini dress or skirt and show off your legs, your top needs to be covered.

What not to wear:

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What to wear:

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2. Wearing pants that are way too long

A common mistake that some women make is choosing a pair of pants that are not the right length for their shoes.

If the hem of your pants is dragging on the ground, this means your pants are way too long and in turn, it can downgrade your outfit and make it look cheap!

What not to wear:

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What to wear:

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3. Not layering necklaces properly

Necklaces can instantly elevate a look, but if you are not properly layering them, you may end up looking less stylish than you would like to. To avoid this mistake, you can need to start with your shortest necklace as a starting point. The second necklace should be a little longer and would add good contrast to your layering stack.

It’s a rule that applies to more than just fashion: things look better in sets of threes. To complete your look, add a third necklace that’s longer than the rest. To look your best, choose ones that have marginally different lengths.

If this layering business sounds too difficult, just buy a necklace set that’s already done the work for you! This is one of my favorite sets that I wear all the time. Not only do they layer perfectly together, but you can wear them on their own too.

What not to wear:

layered necklaces

What to wear:

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Related: How to Accessorize and Complete Your Outfit (for Beginners)

4. Wearing too many logos in one outfit

As a fashion lover (and lover of Chanel), I understand that it can be nice to add a designer name or logo to an outfit. However, adding too much is a major fashion faux pas.

Sporting designer logos from head-to-toe will make your outfit look less polished and honestly, a bit too showy. The best way to wear designer logos without overdoing them is by choosing one piece that makes your outfit stand out.

Instead of wearing Gucci tights, Chanel earrings, and a YSL bag all in one look, just choose one designer item to showcase whether that is a belt, shoes, or bag.

What not to wear:

Source: Unsplash

What to wear:

Source: Unsplash

5. Exposed Hanger Loops

No matter how expensive your dress is, hanger loops peeping out of a dress can sabotage your entire outfit! To avoid this tiny detail from making your outfit look sloppy and cheap, consider cutting them out.

However, if you still need the loops to hang back your outfit, there is also an easy solution. Simply use a safety pin to secure your strap to your dress, out of sight. Voilà! You no longer have to worry about the embarrassing hanger loops poking out of your dress.

What not to wear:

exposed hanger loops

What to wear:

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6. Overwhelming your outfit with a lot of bright colors

It is fun to play with splashes of color, especially during spring and summer. However, incorporating too many bright shades that do not complement each other might be one of the ways you are making your outfit look cheap.

Your safe bet to mastering an expensive look is by opting for a minimal color palette like black, white, and grey. Try a tonal monochromatic look to make you look effortlessly chic!

What not to wear:

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What to wear:

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7. Wearing clothes that are not comfortable

The common saying in the fashion industry is that “beauty is pain.” This misconception that women need to suffer to look beautiful is far from the truth!

In reality, wearing uncomfortable clothes is one of the easiest ways to make an outfit look cheap. Instead of slipping on heels that make you walk awkwardly, try to dress for comfort by opting for a pair of practical yet stylish shoes.

What not to wear:

Source: Prettylittlething

What to wear:

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8. Wearing wrinkled clothes

You might not fully realize it, but wearing wrinkled clothes is one of the easiest ways you are making your outfit look cheap. A simple fix (that might seem a little obvious) is to iron or steam your clothes!

Taking a few extra minutes in the morning to iron out any creases from your shirt is an easy way to make your outfit look flawless.

What not to wear:

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What to wear:

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9. Wearing stringy belt loops

The stringy belt loops that come with dresses and some tops can instantly make your whole outfit look cheap. Not only are they usually not the right size and look stretched and worn out, but they also do not do a good job at holding up belts either. Truthfully, they don’t really serve an important purpose.

To ensure you pull off a flawless look, cut off the stringy belt loops (or avoid buying clothes that have them). Depending on how well of a cut job you did (because seeing a stub looks cheap too), use your go-to belt to cover anything up and to finish accessorizing your outfit.

It’s worth noting that you may find a clothing item you love that comes with a belt loop. Not all belt loops are created equal and some are better than others. Just be on the lookout for ones that are very noticeable.

What not to wear:

stringy belt loop

What to wear:

10. Having undergarments showing through your clothes

One of the easiest ways you are making your outfit look cheap is by wearing underwear that can be seen through your outfit. This kind of mistake can not only ruin a cute ensemble that has potential, but it could potentially give off a vibe that I’m sure you don’t want to be giving off.

The exception is for outfits where it looks intentional instead of accidental.

If you do decide to wear a t-shirt for your casual day out, grab a t-shirt bra that is seamless and shows no trace of itself underneath your shirt.

Another no-show pair of underwear you could consider wearing is seamless panties. You can freely wear a dress or your favorite pants without worrying about panty lines being visible.

Related: The Best Women’s Classic White T-shirts That Aren’t See-Through (I Tried Them so You Don’t Have to)

11. Wearing the belt that comes with dresses

Nothing screams cheap like dresses or pants that have a flimsy skinny belt! They are equally as underwhelming as the tiny brush that comes in eyeshadow palettes. You know, the brush that you usually just throw away and replace with a high-quality and better-sized item.

Using that same philosophy, the best thing to do is to replace the skinny and flimsy belt with a thicker high-quality belt. The better quality will make your outfit look way more expensive, as will the better proportions.

What not to wear:

What to wear:

Realizing ways you are making your outfit look cheap is the first step to discovering how to put together a look that screams elegance. Making an outfit look expensive and fashionable is not a walk in the park. That said, finding styling techniques does not have to be stressful either.

From the hairstyle and makeup you choose to match your daily outfits, all the way down to the shoes and accessories, there are plenty of things to keep in mind when styling a chic outfit.

For more ideas on how to class up your outfits, keep reading!

Up next:
7 Ways to Elevate Your Style (And What You May Be Doing Wrong)
12 Under $100 Amazon Items That Look Expensive & Classy
5 Combos That Will Always Look Like Expensive Outfits


Carolyn Arentson
Carolyn is the founder and creator behind My Chic Obsession. When she's not dreaming up new content, you can find her watching a funny tv show with her husband, raising her two boys, or planning her next trip to Paris.