How to look fancy or classy - let’s briefly consider what looking fancy or classy is and why anyone would want to look fancy or classy.
Fancy and classy are probably synonymous with expensive. Looking fancy often means looking expensive and vice versa. When we think expensive, though, we probably think of brands. But looking fancy does not necessarily mean wearing a brand-centric outfit that is plastered with your LV monograms and similar emblems.
Looking fancy is a way of dressing as well as a style. It’s confidence as well as fashion. It’s knowing what to wear for what occasion, why and for what reason.
It might be a bit of a cliche but looking fancy or classy is also about feeling fancy or classy - it's a state of mind as well as a style. One of the main traits that makes someone look classy is confidence - you'll want to look and feel attractive so you can feel comfortable both inside and out. Check out our blog on how to look and feel more attractive for help with that.
But, in terms of outfits and style, there are some surefire techniques, styles, outfits and items that bring a touch of class to the table.
Let’s have a look at how to look fancy:
Accessories are Everything!
Even the simplest, most minimalist outfits look great when you’ve got the right accessories. A basic skirt and a plain white t-shirt can be totally transformed by a pair of chandelier earrings, for example. Check out our massive guide on fashion accessories for tons of inspiration on accessory choice and usage.
To make your accessory usage more classy, consider these two points:
- Striking designs with overt features, e.g. oversized pearl necklaces or oversized bangles OR
- Minimalist, sleek and cute accessories with delicate, gentle features, e.g. thin chain necklaces with small pendants or a single solitaire ring.
Below is an example of a bolder, more maximalist accessory choice. The large gold bangles and bracelets look superb with the orange top - a really classy summery combination for outdoors daywear.
Your choice really depends on your personal taste. One thing to bear in mind, however, is that oversized or otherwise busy and bold accessory styles are harder to pull off than delicate or minimal accessory styles. If you go down the first route, ensure that you're in the mood for eccentricism, and ensure that the pieces themselves are high-quality.
Whilst contrasting accessories are excellent for those that enjoy a more clashy, eclectic kind of look, it's easier to pull of a classy style with matching accessories, as we can see below:
In terms of outfit and accessory combinations, try the following combos:
- Plain t-shirts and basic but clean, non-distressed jeans with upmarket sparkly, large earrings.
- Bangles and large bracelets combined with drop-shoulder tops and dresses.
- Low necklines with large, layered necklaces.
- Whilst super-sized necklaces are hugely impactful, delicate chokers can also look super-classy.
Accessories are your chance to really put your mark on your outfit, so think carefully about them and choose a handful of pieces that work together AND work with your outfit.
Little Black Dress it Up
The little black dress is a classy, fancy staple. Perfect for both formal and casual eveningwear, little black dresses can fit pretty much any body type. The slimming black line looks great on everyone and with some accessories and the right shoes, the LBD is the perfect minimalist yet fancy party piece.
Whilst LBDs are generally plain and elegant, some detail around the neckline can spice things up and add another layer of classiness. A grade-A fancy outfit staple for nights out.
To maximise your LBD, do the following:
- Your necklace will really stick out, so make sure it’s a good one that matches your outfit
- Similarly, any and all jewellery comes into focus when you’re wearing a little black dress, so make sure pieces harmonise
- Your shoes really matter with an LBD. White, brown, grey and black shoes are more formal and smart whereas colourful shoes are more party-oriented. Red really bangs when you’re wearing a black dress, which brings us to the next point…
- Red lipstick and a black dress combine so well. Red lipstick is proven to make people look more attractive and sexy too.
The Perfect Pair of Shoes
For a fancy look, trainers are pretty much out. Most types of heels and flats are in. Formal shoes like Oxford shoes and brogues need not be entirely formal and can fit with a semi-casual, semi-smart and fancy outfit.
Don’t forget boots - the right boot can make any outfit look like a real statement when it might have been quite simple otherwise.
Heels for dressing up, flats for comfort and class. Tempted to slap on your beastly stilettos with a little black dress? Feel free, but make sure you can walk as stumbling around all night is neither fancy nor classy. Sorry but that’s the truth!
Another aspect of this is keeping your shoes in good condition. Shine them up if necessary and avoid scuffs, dirt and mud.
- Heels in black or neutral colours fit a formal-yet-fancy look
- Flat shoes are fine - they don’t need to be especially fancy if they complement the rest of your outfit
- Oxfords and Brogues look very fancy, especially in brighter colours that tone down their formal style
- High boots over smart trousers tend to look nice and high end
It’s in the Bag
Bags...they’re so important for a fancy look. Feel yourself reaching for the statement brand handbag? That’s fair enough, but it’s by no means the only option for looking fancy. Mature, dark bags in browns, blacks and greys tend to compliment fancy outfits.
Gorjus London has a few fancy bag choices:
Wear a Watch
Wearing a watch is scientifically proven to change both your own behaviour and the behaviour of others towards you. Watch wearers are more conscientious and organised, and look more classy and richer to others.
This quick rundown of famous watch-wearers like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates shows that you don’t need to figure out 6 figures on a ridiculously expensive watch to gain some benefits, but the type of watch does matter. Namely, larger dials might be perceived as classier and for women, ornate designs work well for those aiming for an upmarket look.
Watches add a touch of fanciness to pretty much any outfit. The one rule is to make sure your watch aligns with both your outfit and accessories. Mixing a gold watch and silver accessories? Risky! Minimalist watch and bold, oversized jewellery? Not sure about that either! Keep things in sync and harmony - control is class!
- Wear a watch to level up your fancy outfits.
- Big dials and glitz look great with extrovert outfits.
- Smaller more elegant watches are excellent with a minimalist outfit.
- Women have more choice with regard to watch selection these days, according to Vogue.
Colour Theory For Classy Dress
We’ve written a couple of articles in the blog on the best colour combinations, but what colours really suit the classy or fancy look?
Take a look at our article for the best winter colours for 2020/2021. You’ll find two exquisitely fancy colours on there: Classic Blue and Daredevil (as below). These are Pantone colours, so they’re a bit special. Check out some awesome two-colour combinations here.
Classic Blue does what it says on the tin; it’s deep, opulent, sumptuous and oozes class. It’s a sophisticated colour that looks great as both clothes and accessories.
Daredevil is a deep blood red. It’s a powerful, passionate colour that combines the heat of red with the depth of red-brown. Another classy colour that is striking without being too bright or garish.
Of course, there are lots of other classy colour combinations. As a rule, stick to darker, deeper and more saturated colours rather than pastel colours. Pastel colours are more upbeat, playful and youthful. Instead of pastel blue, go classic blue or navy. Instead of pastel green, go deep forest or racing green. The only exception is white which can look extremely classy. Pair light white linen with cream or other light colours and add opulent accessories for a yachting Monte Carlo/St. Tropez kind of look.
And then we have black. We’ve already covered the little black dress, but pairing black with deep and powerful colours is an excellent way to build fancy outfits. Again, you can’t stress the importance of accessories!
- Dark, sumptuous colours can nearly always look classy.
- Look for original, unique colours rather than simple primary colours
- Pastel or other light colours can work on hot days when paired with fresh white linen and other lightweight flowing clothing (and don't forget a wide-brimmed summer hat).
Choose Clean-Cut Fabrics
Avoid distressed clothing at all costs. Ripped or distressed jeans are a massive no-no when you want to look classy. Choose clean-cut, tailored alternatives. To be honest, jeans are usually too casual for a truly fancy or classy look.
Opt for dresses, trousers and skirts. Choose fine materials with straighter lines. Wavy lines are fine but ensure the cut itself is accurate and symmetrical. Classy dressing is about symmetry and control - that’s why straight, fitted lines work so well.
- Fitted clothing can look classy, but looser clothing can too. It’s more about the fabric itself and the quality of the cut and seams.
- Jeans are out if you want to really look classy, bar maybe higher-end darker denim.
- Sharp, symmetrical and slick lines work better than overly flowy or baggy clothing
Keep Skin Coverage Controlled
Revealing too much skin can detract from a classy or fancy look. Whilst it’s thoroughly in-trend to let the skin shine through with sheer fabric, it’s best to keep things controlled when it comes to looking fancy or classy. Darker chiffon, gauze or mesh can look great with fitted jackets, though.
The aim is to start dressed up before it’s time to dress down, e.g. as the night progresses from a more formal affair to dancing. Keep skin coverage nice and controlled - if you wish to use sheer fabric then keep things dark and don’t reveal more than is necessary.
- Keep skin coverage controlled without showing too much or nothing at all.
- Take advantage of sheer fabrics with minimalist or fancy patterns and edging.
- Diamonte sheer fabric is an excellent choice for revealing skin whilst keeping things firmly classy.
Own Original Pieces
Whilst classy outfits evoke fitted tops and trousers with jackets, blazers, trench coats and killer shoes, accessories and bags, don’t discount the importance of unique or original pieces.
One example might be a bowler hat or beret - something slightly unexpected but perfectly in-tune with a classy look. Another might be a vintage jacket, like a swing coat, that adds some old-school class to an outfit.
Be on the hunt for original, interesting pieces that fit with a fancy or classy look. Remember, once you add accessories, shoes and a bag, you can really level up an outfit. Classy need not be all about the dark, fitted clothing, it can be about more eccentric vintage outfits too.
Vintage accessories, shoes and bags really glue together a vintage outfit.
- Stay on the lookout for classy vintage pieces like swing coats.
- Classy/fancy does not necessarily mean modern; be brave with old-school pieces.
Summary: How to Look Classy or Fancy
And there we have it...some excellent tips on how to look more classy and how to look fancier, often using what you already have at your fingertips.
The key really is to keep things controlled and make decisions deliberate. You can justify just about anything, so long as you're able to justify it to yourself.
Classy dress is a state of mind as much as it is a fashion style. Make sure your outfit brings you confidence - you might want to rethink your personal style first, to find out exactly where you are right now and where you want to go with your outfits.
FAQ: How to Look Fancy or Classy
What are classy outfits?
Classy outfits evoke a together, synchronised and high-end look. That doesn't mean classy outfits are high-end, posh or expensive, though. Classy outfits on a budget still look awesome, you just need to put the time into matching styles and fabrics whilst concentrating on fit and harmony. Find your personal style and build classy outfits around the styles that make you feel good - and feel confident. Confidence is part of class.
Can I look classy on a budget?
Absolutely! Classy does not necessarily mean posh and expensive. It's easily possible to create superb classy outfits on a tight budget. Focus on what clothes work together, how well they fit and avoid making style mistakes. Equip yourself with gorgeous cost-effective accessories like purses and bags from Gorjus London.
What is a fancy outfit?
Fancy outfits look and feel classy and/or high-end and upmarket. This doesn't mean lathering yourself in labels, though. Classy outfits are about harmony and togetherness. They focus on the fit of the clothes and how different fabrics work together. Colour is also absolutely crucial - read up on the colour combinations that work best together