Achieving an elegant and classy look doesn’t always have to be expensive. In fact, many times the most stylish outfits are those that you can mix and match from your wardrobe or find inexpensively at a thrift store.

In order to look stylish, you must first be confident in yourself, because style starts from within. To help you get started with dressing well on any budget, here are some tips for both men and women.

How to Dress Classy For Any Occasion

Everyone has their own definition of what it means to dress classy, but first and foremost, dressing well should be about being comfortable in your clothes. Dressing for a formal occasion doesn’t mean you have to wear a tuxedo or ball gown – there are plenty of great outfits that will work for any event.

Couple in a river boat or yacht toasting with sparkling wine, backlit scene

How to Look Expensive

Buy clothes in your actual size rather than one smaller; when items are too small they will never look as good on you. Wear clothes that fit correctly so they don’t restrict movement.

Don’t just look at how something fits your body though, also consider if it flatters your figure. The higher waistline on a pencil skirt can give an hourglass shape, while certain men’s shirt collars can help to balance a round face.

Buy quality over quantity. Cheap clothes look bad after some time because they fade in color and lose shape quickly which means that people need to spend more money to purchase new clothing items.

Invest in classic pieces that you know will last for many years; some examples might be black pumps, dark wash jeans or a fitted peplum top. It’s also important to remember the classics don’t always mean boring!

Layer clothes to create different textures and outfits.

Mix prints to add interest without being too loud. You might not think of combining printed pants with a lace top but it’s worth trying new things to develop your personal style.

Make sure to take care of your clothes by washing them on the gentle cycle and hanging them up to dry. This will help prevent wrinkles and keep colors bright.

Dry clean suits or dresses that are made out of fabric like silk or lace, even if they’re machine washable! Invest in good quality, non-slip clothes hangers and consider buying a clothes steamer which is gentler for clothes than ironing.

Don’t buy things just because they’re on sale, make sure you actually like the item and that it’s something you can use.

Don’t get too attached to one particular style. Always remember that trends come and go so if there’s a trend or look that you’re really into right now, chances are it will be over in six months.

Instead of buying things just because they’re trendy, try and find things that you like the look of, even if it’s not “in style” at the moment.

Mix and match your favorite pieces to create different looks that you can wear on a daily basis. Just because something is labeled for nighttime doesn’t mean it can’t be worn in the day time, or vice versa.

For example, try wearing black dress pants with heels during the day time over a pair of nice jeans and a blouse.

Don’t wait until you have a specific event to go shopping for it! Even if you don’t need anything at the moment, planning ahead will ensure that when something does come up there are pieces already in your wardrobe that match.

This way all you’ll have to do is grab those items and wear them, rather than having to go purchase something you don’t actually need yet.

Look at yourself from different angles; try standing up and looking in a full length mirror, don’t just stand with one leg in front of the other, stand normally.

Don’t be afraid to mix high end with low end; if your money is tight or you can only buy a few things this season, don’t worry about the brands because nobody will know!

Find out what colors work best for your skin tone.

Favor neutral colors and styles, but don’t be afraid to try new things. Be open minded about how you can style an item differently than the way it’s shown in its original packaging or on a mannequin in the store.

Sometimes just changing up how you wear something is an easy way to breathe life into your wardrobe and make an old piece feel new again.

Layering gives a classy look to outfits
Layering gives a classy look to outfits

How do I know when to dress casual or formal?

Dressing for a particular occasion is all about paying attention to the details and dressing to suit your body shape.

  • If you are going for a job interview it is best to be overdressed rather than underdressed.
  • For an important meeting, be sure to dress formally. But if you are attending a less formal industry event like a networking session or conference, then the dress code might be more casual.
  • If an event is described as “business casual” it means that men should wear pants and women may either choose to wear slacks or dresses/skirts.
  • For a smart casual dinner date or social event, choose an outfit that makes you feel confident and comfortable. You can also opt for jeans if they fit well.
  • When in doubt about the right dress code, it is always better to dress too formally rather than not formal enough.
  • A navy blue blazer is versatile for both men and women. You can dress it up or down for a formal or casual look.
  • For any event, if you want to look stylish then the easiest way is to wear a pair of statement shoes or a standout accessory like a silk tie for men or a luxury handbag for women.
Tips on how to dress classy for any occasion
Tips on how to dress classy for any occasion

How to Dress Classy for Men

For men, get started by investing in quality pieces that will last. It’s better if they’re versatile enough to wear to different occasions, so consider investing in a suit or dress pants and button-down shirt. Make sure the clothes fit well by having them tailored if necessary – it will be worth it in the long run.

In addition to quality over quantity, when shopping for men’s suits, look for timeless pieces with interesting textures and patterns that will help you stand out without being too loud or distracting.

A tailored wool blazer is never out of style and can go well with any outfit. For a truly customized look, consider having a bespoke garment made for you.

When going for an interview or attending any formal event men should wear dressy shoes with leather uppers, not sneakers. For formal events such as black tie parties, tuxedos are the most appropriate choice for men.

Men can also wear a suit without tie, but they need to make sure that it looks slightly dressier by adding accessories such as cufflinks or a pocket square in their blazer pockets. For less formal events and occasions men can wear semi casual outfits like jeans with a blazer or a button up shirt.

Stylish evening cufflinks
Stylish evening cufflinks

What are the main pieces that every man needs in their wardrobe?

A suit that can be tailored for any occasion.

Dress shirts in a variety of colors, patterns and styles to match your personality, body type and budget.

Matching ties or bowties depending on the look you are trying to achieve for various occasions.

An assortment of belts with different widths and buckles to coordinate with the shoes and accessories of your choice.

Shoes – a pair of well shined dress shoes or wing tip oxfords depending on what look you are trying to achieve for various occasions.

Dress pants in a variety of colors, patterns and fabrics that match your personality, body type and budget.

Matching socks to coordinate with the shoes and accessories of your choice.

A well-fitting white shirt always looks smart
A well-fitting white shirt always looks smart

How to Dress Classy for Women

For women, a good tip is to find inexpensive items at thrift stores and mix them with high-quality pieces you’ve already invested in so they can last long term. This way, not only are your outfits on point but they’re reasonably priced too.

Luxurious fabrics like cashmere and silk will never go out of style. An oversized cashmere coat like this one from Gentle Herd looks effortlessly chic.

A luxurious cashmere coat
A luxurious cashmere coat

Choose a few quality pieces of clothing with a perfect fit which you can wear over and over again without looking dated (unless it’s something like an 80s prom dress). Also consider purchasing some basic clothes that look expensive, such as a grey trench coat.

Channel your inner Audrey Hepburn in an LBD (little black dress) with a pearl necklace and red lip.

A look inspired by the actress Audrey Hepburn
A look inspired by the actress Audrey Hepburn

Make sure that your underwear is giving support. If it isn’t fitting properly then all of the other things in your outfit won’t fit right either!

Think of accessories as the icing on top of the cake. Make sure everything works together to give an overall cohesive look and classy vibe. For example, if you wear statement earrings, then keep everything else simple.

While shopping online can be helpful for finding things within budget or in your size, take note of reviews and ask other people who have tried the product before. If the majority of people say that it runs small or large, then take note and order accordingly!

Stylish accessories always look classy
Stylish accessories always look classy

What are the main pieces that every woman needs in their wardrobe?

The following pieces are timeless, and with a few key additions you can create multiple outfits from just these items alone.

Boots: most women already own at least one pair boots and they are among the most versatile shoes to own. They go with jeans, skirts or dresses; long or short and can be worn in fall, winter and spring (depending on your climate). When you invest in a good pair of boots it will pay off, because they are an accessory that lasts for years.

Classic coat: choose a beige trench coat, black or camel coat rather than bright colors, for a classy style that will stand the test of time. Decorate it with a vintage brooch for an elegant look.

Tailored shirtdress: a great transition piece that will take you from day to to evening. Just add statement earrings or a contrasting belt for nighttime glamour. This belted silk shirt dress by Gentle Herd will flatter all skin tones.

A belted silk shirt dress
A belted silk shirt dress

Pumps or heels: a good pair of shoes helps to create a polished look. When buying heels, it’s important to find a pair that is versatile enough for different outfits while being comfortable to wear all day long. Make sure they are not too high, because if they’re hard to walk in then it defeats their purpose of being comfortable.

Black pants: a pair of well-fitted pants is essential because they are the most versatile piece in your wardrobe. They can be dressed up or down. When shopping for a pair of pants, make sure to pay attention to how you like them fitted on your waistline; loose fitting, skinny, flares and so on.

Tops: the tops that you own can be categorized into two groups; casual or dressy. It’s best to purchase a few pieces of each which will give you the ability to mix them up when dressing for occasions. If your pants are fitted, wear a formal top such as a white blouse with them, while wearing a casual top with loose fitting pants.

Shades: a versatile pair of sunglasses are a great way to protect your eyes from sun rays while staying stylish at the same time. Choose the best sunglasses for your face shape to achieve the perfect look.

Hat: A good hat is a great accessory that complements many outfits. It’s perfect for sunny days and chilly evenings. Make sure you find one that suits your style, has the right fit and also is comfortable to wear.

Jewelry: every woman should own a few pieces of jewelry, but invest in good quality items because they can last for years and even be passed down from one generation to the next. When shopping around, look for pieces that go with most outfits and compliment them as well.

Pair a trench coat with a neck scarf for a classy look
Pair a trench coat with a neck scarf for a classy look

In Conclusion: How to Dress Classy

Don’t underestimate how much clothes can change your mood or how much they affect other people. If you feel discouraged about everything, then put on one high quality piece that makes you feel amazing and walk around with a little more pep in your step.

After reading this article, you should have a better grasp on how to dress classy for any occasion. Whether it be interviews, job promotions or just grabbing coffee with friends, these wardrobe tips will help ensure that you are always dressed appropriately and never underdressed.

You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money. Just invest in some classic and statement pieces so that when special occasions come up, your outfit is already planned out!

Read next: Luxury French Fashion Brands | Luxury Italian Fashion Brands | Most Expensive Clothing Brands | Most Luxurious Watch Brands

Like this guide on how to dress classy? Pin for later or share with friends.

Tips on how to dress classy
Tips on how to dress classy

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Sharing is caring!

Scroll to Top