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4 Tips for looking stylish on any budget

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

Simple, low cost style

It can be daunting to think about putting together fashionable looks for less. You want to look good, but you also don't want to break the bank. If that sounds like you, we have some style solutions we think you'll love. Read on for some simple strategies for looking great and turning heads on any budget.

Woman trying on clothes

1Build around one expensive item

You may not be able to afford designer labels from head to toe, but that's OK. You can look just as on-trend and pulled together by building around one more expensive item. Whether it's a really well-tailored pair of trousers or a plush cashmere sweater, choose an item that fits you very well (there's no point spending money on something that doesn't fit like a glove) and use that piece to anchor other outfits.

You can easily pair your favorite jeans – the ones you've had for years but can't part with – with your new cashmere pullover and end up with something casually chic. Or add a plain white T-shirt to your pricey trousers, throw on a fitted blazer from H&M or Forever 21 and you have yourself an outfit that looks more expensive than it is – just because you started with something of higher quality.

Learn 6 simple ways to change up your style >>

2Go neutral with pops of color

A great and simple way to create an outfit that looks effortlessly stylish without spending too much money is to opt for something neutral, and then add subtle splashes of color. This creates an eye-catching look that's totally timeless and that doesn't go over the top. Whether you're wearing black pants and a white shirt with a robin's egg blue cardigan or pairing a gray wrap dress with a pair of plum tights (so cute for fall), adding a dose of rich color to an otherwise neutral outfit will take your look from merely passable to something with a little more pizzazz – the best way to add more interest to a budget-wise look.

Find some inspiration with these pretty preppy styles >>

3Wear a get-noticed accessory

Like building an outfit around one pricier piece, adding a statement accessory will help you create a more luxurious look for less. Accessories can make any outfit more interesting and they don't have to cost a lot of money. You have a few options when it comes to accessories. Try freshening up your look with statement jewelry. A great cuff, chunky necklace or drop earrings in an eye-catching color can all add depth and a more lavish layer to whatever you're wearing. If that's not your style, you can opt for a really bold, statement-making pair of shoes or boots that not only provide structure and height to your outfit, but become the focal point. We also love the idea of adding metallics – another easy way to punch up your outfit and add opulence without spending too much. Think bags, bangles, hair accessories or even shoes in bronze, gold or silver.

Check out these 7 pretty nature-inspired hair accessories >>

4Think simple and polished

Simplicity is key when trying to create a budget-friendly yet stylish look. If you can put something together that is polished and clean, you'll have no problem looking like you spent time and money on your outfit. Hair pulled back in a sleek ponytail, pencil skirt, blouse and simple cropped jacked with basic pumps is enough to leave you looking chic without trying too hard. Assess your wardrobe and build outfits around what is classic and simple to create a look that works for you and looks great – on a budget.

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