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ways to look stylish on a budget

It's a bigger challenge than jumpsuits, more risky than hair bands with bows and more hazardous than Ugg boots when you're over the age of 20. It's how to look elegant on a budget, as we're all struggling these days to stretch our euros on the style front.

So what are the basics of looking good without going broke? The experts say the following clothes tips will keep us looking more polished than impoverished, more stylish than slummy, and as if we've more money than the bank manager knows about.

1Quality over quantity If you can only afford one pair of well-fitting designer jeans, then buy them rather than 15 cheap pairs which will only sag at the bum after two washes. Try to buy clothes which will not go out of fashion. If you opt for quality basics, they will look the part for years as opposed to one season. You can always update them with some accessories.

2 Clothes swapping A great way to get something you need or will wear for free. Watch out for rips and stains, otherwise your freebie will go straight into the bin.

3 Shop during sales Save money on good brands by shopping when the store is having a sale. Online deals are sometimes better than in-store deals, too -- sign up for alerts on the net.

4Get clothes tailored Nothing says budget more than clothes that don't fit your body. For a few extra euros, you can have cheap clothes fitted, making them look more expensive.

5 Check out the finish When shopping for inexpensive clothes, the most important factor to look for is good finishing. Pay attention to the thread work or buttons.

6 Refurbish old clothes Shorten the hem of skirts, thicken the straps of a dress, replace plastic buttons or have a trim added to a monochrome outfit. This is a great way to update your wardrobe for next to nothing.

7 Dye faded jeans Few things look more smart-casual than dark-wash jeans and yet they fade so quickly. But, for a few euros, you can buy navy dye to extend the look and life of your jeans.

8wear sunglasses Getting a great pair of sunglasses doesn't mean having to spend big bucks. Check out department stores. A good pair will add style when you're out in the winter sun.

9ALL In The detail Cheap fabrics look more expensive if they are ironed. Pick clothes that flatter, and never bunch, hang, sag, or constrict your breathing. They should graze your body, enhancing your figure.

10Make an effort Designer Coco Chanel said: "I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little -- if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny."