How to Dress Classy and Elegant Without Breaking the Bank

Published: one year ago, Last Updated: 4 months ago
Daniel Brown
Writer: Daniel Brown

As seasons change, new fashion trends emerge that bring about new elegant and chic outfit ideas. While luxury fashion brands are usually trendsetters, it doesn’t mean you can’t dress elegantly and with style on a budget. 

With a bit of research and fashion sense, you can find multiple brands that sell trendy clothing and accessories at reasonable prices. We’ve gone the extra mile and collected a list of affordable fashion trends and items for how to dress classy and elegant for both men and women. Read on to find out more. 

Classy Outfits for Women

Starting with women, here are some outfit ideas on how to look classy and elegant on a budget. The following trends can give you an idea of what to search for while shopping online or in physical stores. You can even piece some of these items together for a head-to-toe classy outfit. 

Back to Black

No matter how many fashion trends come and go, black has always been and will always be a symbol of elegance. It fits with any body type and accentuates any skin color or tone. 

Having a stash of black items in your wardrobe can help you come up with outfit ideas if you can’t decide what to wear. Black goes with almost everything, especially white and bright colors. So you can pair black flare pants with a white shirt and a black jacket and look as chic as ever. 

But wearing head-to-toe black can be tricky. If you want to dress head-to-toe black without looking dull, try mixing different textures into your outfit or adding a golden accessory, which can sprinkle your outfit with a pinch of glamor. 

Slouchy Pants

This minimalist fashion trend allows you to look professional and put together with minimal effort. Try to opt for darker color slouchy pants (black, mustard green, or marine blue) that you can pair with the same or lighter color top. A long-sleeve top, sweater, or blazer can add a fearless element to your graceful look.


A few years ago, it would’ve been difficult to imagine that accordion folds on garments may look cool and stylish. Today, however, pleats offer a sense of elegance and ease. On top of that, they’re very comfortable and can elevate any other piece of clothing. 

To look more confident, we suggest you either pair a pleated skirt with a non-pleated top or vice versa. Alternatively, you can aim for a pleated slip dress and add a jacket on top. 

Geometric Prints

Geometric patterns have made a revival to the runways in recent times, bringing a sense of enchanting energy with them. They’re pretty timeless and let you create different kinds of looks, from 70s retro-inspired to eerily futuristic. 

The combination of shapes and lines adds a sprinkle of playfulness to your outfit while also keeping it in the realm of elegance. But be careful not to overdo the entire outfit with geometric prints as it may appear too intense. For example, if you choose to wear a pair of pants with a floral motif, try to balance it out with a plain-colored shirt. 

Saturated Colors

If you want to be bold and make a statement with your outfit, consider adding a few items with saturated colors to your wardrobe. The standard black-and-white psychology for looking formal has long been lifted by society. 

A single saturated piece can add a little spice to your outfit and still let you look professional. These colors can also go well with any skin tone and highlight your body shape. Neon green, pink, or orange tops can be worn with white slouchy pants or a dark color blazer. 

Furry & Fuzzy

Although not meant for every setting, furry and fuzzy items can still be worn subtly to add a bit of personality to an outfit. For instance, in winter, a faux fur coat can add a touch of elegance to your look. But you can also incorporate other fuzzy items into your outfit when the weather is warmer. For example, you can add an element of fun and creativity by accessorizing your fit with a fur-effect bag. 


A classy outfit is never complete without accessories. Therefore, sunglasses are a universal accessory that can turn even a mediocre outfit into a stand-out. Moreover, no matter the type of outfit you choose for the day, you can easily find a pair of sunglasses at any price that would go well with it. 

Cat eyes and aviators are among the most stylish frames to look out for. Alternatively, you can aim for classic frames like wayfarers if you want to go for a safer option. In either case, it’s pretty easy to look sophisticated with the right pair of sunglasses.  

Block-Heeled Mules

Freshen up your shoe collection with one of the hottest trends of the past few seasons. Block-heeled mules carry a light and inventive vibe that go perfectly well with many outfits. In addition, they’re very comfortable despite their three-and-a-half-inch heels, which add a touch of elegance. 

Block-heeled mules come in many different colors. If you’re unafraid to take risks, go for bright colors such as apple green or orange. Alternatively, white or black are always safe options that can complete almost any outfit neatly. 


V-necks are one of those rare fashion trends that don’t go out of style. Their biggest advantage is that they’re versatile and go with different pieces of clothing. Whether you want to pair a V-neck shirt with a pleated tennis skirt or tailored pants and loafers, you’ll still look classy and graceful. 

It’s also possible to wear different layers and look sharp with V-necks. For example, a white collared shirt and a knitted V-neck sweater on top can make many people look taller and more confident. This particular style is also known to make a woman’s face appear longer and more sculpted. 

Dangle-Drop Pearl Earrings as Cherry on Top

We’ve already mentioned the importance of the right accessories for how to dress classy and elegant. And even though diamonds are a girl’s best friend, pearls are too, and Coco Chanel seemed to agree with this. 

Pearlcore is what fashion aficionados call the trend that revived pearls. Pearl-shaped dangle-drop earrings are timeless and can give you a classy 1950s Marylin Monroe-inspired look. And you won’t have to spend a fortune on real pearls as you can find a chic and affordable pair at almost any retail store. 

Classy Outfits for Men

Men can also keep their elegant style without breaking the bank. In this section, we focus on affordable and fashionable trends in menswear. Here are some ideas on how to dress with class for professional men. 


Everyone has owned a polo shirt at some point in their life, and rightfully so. Popularized by Ralph Lauren, these shirts have conquered the world and are a favorite among middle-aged men. Their versatility allows you to wear them on any occasion, from client luncheons to executive meetings.

A polo shirt looks good both fully buttoned up and unbuttoned, with a pair of slacks and shorts, tucked in the pants or let loose. Don’t also be afraid to experiment with different shirt colors. Overall, polo shirts are a valuable investment for every man’s closet.

Linen Shirts

Sometimes class is in simplicity. For instance, linen shirts aren’t anything extraordinary in the fashion world and have been around for a long time. And yet, they are any man’s must-have as they allow you to look effortlessly professional. 

Linen shirts can look chic in almost any color but try to opt for long sleeves or at least ones you can roll up. You can pair a linen shirt with jeans and still look in class. For more formal events, try pairing with a pair of linen pants to create a neat and comfortable look at the same time.


Versatile and trendy, khaki pants are a safe bet for business casual attire. They are easy to pair with anything, especially a dress shirt, blazer, or jacket. Khakis can make you look sharp and professional on a budget. However, there are some don’ts you should keep in mind. Don’t go for overly baggy ones, and don’t pair them up with bright and vivid colors. Khakis go well with other earthy tones like olive green or brown. 


Chino pants have been around for decades and worn by various Hollywood heartthrobs, from James Dean to Chris Pine. They’re made from a very lightweight material, which makes them comfortable and classy for any event.  

Chinos with chukka shoes and a polo shirt make the perfect combination. Their particular brown color also makes them easy to piece together with almost any color. 


Soft and comfy turtlenecks make a man look classy and put together. They can serve as a base to construct any outfit that would look sharp and elegant. Turtlenecks also come in various forms, from t-shirts to sweaters, but the most common one is the thin-weighted turtleneck sweater.

Their versatility is what makes turtlenecks a good choice in any setting. For example, if you wear a turtleneck with a suit or just a blazer, you’ll look office-friendly yet not too formal. Alternatively, you can sport it with a pair of jeans for a casual Friday office look. 

Add a Watch to Your Outfit

Accessories aren’t just for women. Men’s outfits can also be spruced up with a bold accessory. Nothing radiates elegance more than a watch on a man’s wrist. So level up your game with a watch that could spice up your outfit with sophistication. 

Leather dress watches are your safest option, which go well with khakis, chinos, and jeans. However, many sports and smartwatches can also be elegant enough to pass as smart-casual in many settings. 

Opt for a Pair of Loafers

Think of loafers as the perfect in-between shoes. They’re classier than sneakers but still more casual than dress shoes. A pair of loafers can be worn with a vast array of looks and immediately make you look fashionable. 

There are multiple ways you can make loafers look unique and eye-catching. Because they come in different shapes and forms, they go with anything from chinos to velvet, from black-and-white to bright colors. So investing in loafers would be a reliable choice for an elegant outfit. 

Final Advice

If you’re thinking about how to dress classy and elegant, we’ll break the news and tell you that you can do it at a fair price. We’ve listed multiple stylish and affordable fashion trends for both men and women that can help you pick outfits that suit your style best. Our final advice is to look for styles that make you feel comfortable and match your personality. A big part of an elegant look includes being confident and completely owning your outfit. 

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