How to Dress Above Your Pay Grade

They say you should dress for the job you want, not the job you have—which translates to dressing above your pay grade. But in my experience, you don’t need to spend a lot on clothes to have elevated style. In fact, it really comes down to following some style and shopping rules that will make your outfits look polished and expensive (even if they’re not).

There are a number of tricks you can use to pull this off. It comes down to a few things like shopping smart and striking a balance between high and low—mixing investment pieces that will last you a lifetime with smart buys that look more expensive than they are. Ahead I’m breaking down six style rules to follow that will show you how to dress well, and above your pay grade, every time.

Invest in great bags

If there’s one place to spend your money, it’s one a great bag. Getting something timeless from a brand like Hermès or Chanel will instantly elevate your look and has excellent cost-per-wear.

Go for polished fabrics

Upgrading your blazer to a tweed or satin style will make your outfit look more pulled-together. Even when wearing a simple outfit like a T-shirt and jeans.

Available in sizes 0 to 4.

Skip prints and logos

How to dress well neutrals



If you want to wear and rewear the pieces in your closet, skip noticeable prints and logos that could look tired next season. Instead, stick to neutral you can mix and match.

Available in sizes XXXS to 3X.

Available in sizes XS to L.

Stick to polished pieces

How to dress well polished pieces



Wear matching sets

How to dress well matching sets



Buy designer at a discount

How to dress well discount designer



Instead of spending a lot on designer pieces, take on a savvy shopping skill and buy them at a discount through authenticated resale sites like TheRealReal.

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