"You Look So Elegant" Is What People Will Say When You Wear These 7 Anti-Trend Colours

The year's biggest trends have an air of elegance about them; you need only consult both our spring/summer and autumn/winter 2024 trend reports to see as such. This has lead to a surge of searches on how to look more elegant, dress more sophisticatedly and generally add some polish to your aesthetic. My friends have also been asking me how to do so, and I've given them a very simple answer: Colour.

Regardless of your budget, I firmly believe that the colours you wear will always have the most significant impact on how "classy" your outfit looks. That's not to say there isn't a place for bolder, more trend-led colours, but if you're in search of a foolproof solution, there are a handful of expensive-looking, never-date colours I would recommend starting with. I've charted them for you below, along with a healthy dose of influencer inspiration and some current shopping picks from both the designer and high-street markets. Scroll on to see the colours that equate to a very premium palette.

1. TAN

@shionat wears a tan suit with black sunglasses and a crop top

(Image credit: @shionat)

Style Notes: In the interest of democracy, I asked my colleagues which colours I should include in this edit of expensive-looking fashion colour trends, to which they all replied tan. Whether you choose warmer tones or a more muted camel, this hue is widely considered to be a classic, thus cementing its premium feel.

Shop the Colour:


@johannalager wears an olive green crop top and maxi skirt

(Image credit: @johannalager)

Style Notes: While this edit admittedly consists of neutrals, that doesn't mean it's completely devoid of colour. Olive green tones are versatile yet look just as luxurious on their own. The tone also looks expensive in a variety of fabrics, including linen, satin, suede and cotton.

Shop the Colour:


@monikh wears a pale yellow dress with a black blazer

(Image credit: @monikh)

Style Notes: Pale yellow started out life as a seasonal trend but, years on, and it has proven itself to be a reliable and hardworking neutral; one with more personality to it than others. Wear it on its own or clash with darker hues, just as Monikh Dale has done here with a black blazer.

Shop the Colour:


@nlmarilyn wears a navy skirt with a matching tailored blazer and white shoes

(Image credit: @nlmarilyn)

Style Notes: I deliberately left out black (and white) from this list as I think we can all agree on the fact it loans itself well to so many outfits, and it's likely a hue you wear often anyway. Make way, instead, for navy. The blue hue works with just about anything you'd pair black with—even black—while its rich undertones give off a, well, rich-looking vibe.

Shop the Colour:


@sasha.mei wears a cream skirt with a cream jumper

(Image credit: @sasha.mei)

Style Notes: There's a big difference between white and cream, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. The warmer of the two tends to look more expensive on a budget, too, which is another reason that it pipped white to the post.

Shop the Colour:


@abimarvel wears a brown skirt suit with two-tone loafers

(Image credit: @abimarvel)

Style Notes: Another black alternative that looks just as classy, rich brown shades are enjoying a moment right now whilst the market looks for new ways to channel 2024's sophisticated aesthetic. I think it looks especially stylish in tactile fabrics such as velvet and satin.

Shop the Colour:


@emmanuellek_ wears a burgundy top and trousers with a pink blazer

(Image credit: @emmanuellek_)

Style Notes: So far, 2024 has been dominated by one colour trend, and that's burgundy. With fashion people wearing it in shoe and bag form, the classic shade has found itself back in favour, though I'd argue it has always been one of the most high-end-looking colours out there.

Shop the Colour:

Maxine Eggenberger
Deputy Editor

Maxine Eggenberger is Who What Wear UK’s deputy editor and has over thirteen years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content specifically for Who What Wear UK since 2018, covering runway reports, emerging trends, long-form features, self-styled shopping stories and columns, including her edit of the best new-in buys. She ensures the highest editorial standards are met across the site, leads the editorial team in their SEO strategy and keyword planning, works closely with the beauty team on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media, including her own Who What Wear UK TikTok franchise, French Style Fridays. Previously, Maxine appeared on ITV's This Morning in her own fashion segment and has interviewed countless celebrities—everyone from Victoria Beckham to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Prior to Who What Wear UK, Maxine’s career began when, after completing her first-ever internship at Look magazine, she was offered a position on the brand's fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. Her passion and natural talent for writing and styling meant she swiftly rose through the ranks to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as InStyle.co.uk’s fashion and beauty writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief, overseeing both print and digital, before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others.

Maxine is based remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh where she spends her downtime renovating her house, walking her dogs, hosting friends and trying to master the art of making Old Fashioned cocktails.