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20 ways to dress elegantly without breaking the bank

Being elegant is not just about the way we dress. Much of what classifies a person as elegant comes from the way they behave in the world and deal with others (you can read about it here). Despite this, there are some choices that can be made regarding clothes that help to “elevate” the look a little, making it appear more sophisticated.

It is also important to know that elegance in dressing (and acting!) is not just for formal or festive looks. Elegant choices can be made at all times when you learn to respect and enjoy your own personal style, making fashion work for you rather than against you.

According to Francini Galvão, image and style consultant, fashion is a reflection of the world we live in. She explains that “culture, economy, political and social moments, everything has an impact on fashion”. Considering this, being elegant, according to the consultant, “is knowing your style, your biotype and your image. It’s being genuine and translating what’s ‘in fashion’ into the image you want to convey. In other words, an elegant woman is one who is sure of herself. Skip the trends that aren’t your style and wear what reflects your personality and image.”

Gracia Alonso, stylist and proof model for Gracia Alonso Plus Size, explains in the same direction, when she says that “the elegance is much more in the attitude than in the composition of the look. Being elegant is valuing your body shape with the type of fashion you like. Some occasions call for a more formal dress code and others allow for something more casual and relaxed. Many people equate elegance with a certain style, but this is a mistake.” The stylist adds that “being elegant is being confident with the body you have, with the clothes you wear and with your own style.”

Thus, elegance is not a formula that will work the same for everyone. Being elegant has much more to do with self-knowledge (of body and style) than with rules and types of clothing. That means you don’t have to buy a bunch of new clothes to be stylish. Instead, follow the tips listed below with the help of Francini Galvão and Gracia Alonso. They will help you to be more elegant, respecting your style and without spending too much!

1. Know your body shape (and be proud of it!)

The most beautiful thing there is diversity. Just imagine how boring it would be if everyone had the same height, the same body shape, the same type of nose. It is better to think that each one is unique, a special jewel, because it is different from all the others.

Start paying attention to these differences. There are people who are larger in the upper part of the body, with very broad shoulders or a large bust. Other people have a wider bottom. There are those who have long and thin legs and those who have short and thick legs. All these details are important when it comes to understanding your own body shape.

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Analyze: Is your torso longer or shorter than your legs? Do you have more volume at the bottom or at the top? We tend to consider symmetry as a characteristic of beauty, so the effort here is to try to balance the measurements. If the legs are short, try to give the impression that they are longer, if they are too long, the idea is to shorten them. And so on.

That doesn’t mean you’re going to fall into a pattern. You are just finding the harmony and balance that is already there, in your body shape, and using it to your advantage.

See below the body types and try to identify yours. To do this, you can take your measurements and see the difference between the values ​​or observe yourself in front of a mirror. For the most accurate result, choose a mirror in which you see yourself at least from your knees to your head.

Hourglass: The hourglass body features the bust and hips with the same measurement (or very close together) and a slimmer waist. According to Gracia Alonso, choosing pieces that define the waist well highlights the beauty of this body shape. Thus, a super necessary accessory for those who have an hourglass body are belts, which help to mark the waist in pieces that have a more squared shape.

Rectangle: The rectangle body does not show much difference between the measurements of the shoulders, waist and hips. Thus, unlike the hourglass body, this body does not deal so well with clothes that mark the waist or cross-dresses, as they show the fact that there is not much difference in measurements. Unless a little volume is added above and below the waist, and then marked off, creating the feeling of a slimmer waist.

In a simpler way, Gracia Alonso suggests that those with this type of body opt for “tunics, necklines that show the bosom, and straight-cut skirts and pants. Tailored pieces make this body type even more elegant.”

Triangle or Pear: In this type of body, the hips are very wide and the shoulders are narrow. To seek to create harmony, the tip is to give volume to the shoulders, balancing them with the width of the hips. For this, Gracia Alonso suggests investing in “scarves, blouses with V and U necklines, necklaces, strong colors and prints on the top”.

Inverted triangle: as the name suggests, this body shape is the opposite of the previous one. Here, the shoulders are wider than the hips and thighs. And if in the previous format the idea was to draw attention to the top, here we will draw attention to the bottom. To achieve this effect, Gracia Alonso suggests “maxi pants, flared or flared skirts and wider blouses, such as tunics”.

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Oval or Apple: In the oval body, the waist, shoulders, back and chest are larger than the hips and thighs. Gracia explains that, to enhance the curves of this type of body, the suggestion is to bet “on V or U necklines, full-bodied fabrics, color block looks and prints”.

After commenting on body shapes, Gracia Alonso emphasizes that “these guidelines for each body type do not exclude any piece from the closet, as the supreme rule of fashion is the mirror. If you are happy with the image you reflect, play that the success of the look is certain”.

2. Know which colors suit you best

There are people whose skin undertone is cooler, closer to blue or purple. There are others whose undertone is warmer, tending towards orange and yellow. There are still those people with a more neutral undertone, with a mixture of the previous tones.

Being able to identify your undertone and choosing colors that have the same undertone as yours helps a lot when it comes to creating harmony in the image. In addition, using colors that suit you makes your skin look fresh and healthy, while colors with the opposite undertone can give the impression of aging.

Note that having a warm undertone doesn’t mean you can never wear blue again, as it’s a cool color. That’s because there are several shades of blue, green, red… Some of them have a little more blue in their composition (pulling the tone towards the cold) and others have more yellow (pulling towards the warm). Differentiating these shades will help you find your best red, your best green, and so on.

How to identify your skin undertone

There are some tips to help you identify the colors that most value your skin color here, but we’ve listed below ways that can help you discover your undertone (some can be done right now, as you read).

And remember: undertone and skin color are different things. Both white and black, orientals, indians… can have a cold or warm undertone, as you can see in the images below.

It may be that, even with all these tests, you still have doubts. In that case, ask someone else to do the tests for you, always in natural light. If the other person also has doubts, it is possible that you have a neutral undertone and match the colors of both undertones.

3. Appreciate your strengths

What if instead of trying to hide and disguise what you don’t like about your body, you made an effort to highlight what you love? This is the suggestion that Francini Galvão presents. The consultant says that she sees many plus-size girls opting for baggy clothes so as not to mark their “flats”, without noticing that sometimes this works against them. According to Francini, “a correctly defined waist, for example, elongates the silhouette, values ​​the legs and creates very beautiful curves”.

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So, instead of hiding the folds, value what is most beautiful about you by drawing attention to this region: the neck, the chest, the bust, the arms, the legs. Take the focus off the points you least like or don’t value you and show the world what you love most about yourself.

4. Look for a good fit

For Francini Galvão, the key tip for always being elegant is to “wear clothes that fit you well”. It’s no use buying clothes in a larger or smaller size just because it’s cheap, because, in the end, the impression will be of imbalance and sloppiness. Check that the shoulder and sleeves are not too short or too loose, pay attention to the length of the garment and that it allows for comfortable mobility. There’s no use in the clothes being beautiful if you need to keep pulling and fixing whenever you go to sit or walk.

Another Francini tip is to pay attention to lingerie. In addition to being comfortable, it’s important that it doesn’t mark the fabric or create strange divisions on your body.

5. Bet on minimalism when dressing

Gracia Alonso explains that minimalist combinations tend to be more elegant and practical, making everyday life easier without losing its charm. Following, some suggestions given by the stylist to adhere to minimalism.

Less is more

This is the supreme rule of the minimalist style, which does not prevent the creation of an elaborate look with accessories. The focus is on working with less colors, less mixing of accessories, etc.

all jeans

Combining jeans with denim is a minimalist passion. Totally timeless, the composition of two pieces of jeans in the same look is very elegant on casual occasions. If you want to dare in production, invest in the combination of jeans with different washes. If you are more classic or traditional, opt for pieces from the same wash.

neutral and earthy

Neutral tones like black, navy blue, white, gray and earth tones are a simple and quick formula to add a little more elegance to the look.

Simple and classic prints

According to Gracia, “those who think that the prints are not minimalist are wrong”. There are extremely simple and classic prints that also bring elegance to the look almost instantly. To do so, invest especially in stripes, plaid and polka dots.

6. Have key pieces to “elevate” the look

There are some pieces that in themselves already carry something elegant. A basic black dress, for example, can make all the difference. Likewise, some pieces from the men’s wardrobe, such as shirts and blazers, as well as certain shoes, such as pumps, have the power to make any jeans look more refined.

Francini Galvão says that, in his consultancy, he always suggests that clients divide the investment into two parts: 80% for key pieces (basic, which…

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