Creating a stylish, sophisticated look is great for more than just impressing those around you. In fact, studies show that the right fashion choices can increase your self-esteem — and give you more confidence in your work and personal interactions.

But how do you create a sophisticated look? Keep reading for a few tips.

1. Skip the Trends

Fast fashion is a major problem in the industry today. Purchasing low-cost, cheaply made pieces that match today’s style and look outdated the next is not only a problem for your wallet but also an environmental hazard. Every year, more than $500 billion worth of clothing is thrown out and wasted, rather than being recycled. Most of this waste is in the form of fast fashion pieces.

When you’re shopping for new clothing, skip the trendy, inexpensive items. While these might seem like a better choice for your bank account, they’ll wind up costing you more in the long run. And because these items tend to go out of style after a single season, you’ll be shopping again in just a few months.

Instead, spend a little more on classic, quality pieces. From plain white tees to little black dresses to jean jackets, these items are timeless. You’ll wear them season after season, saving you money and ensuring that you always look sophisticated.

2. Avoid Buying for a Single Occasion

Another bad-habit trend you should try to avoid is purchasing an item with a single occasion in mind. While getting a new outfit for your friend’s upcoming wedding is fine, opting for a dress that you know you’re unlikely to wear again is a mistake. Instead, aim to purchase a piece that you’ve been eyeing for a while and that you know will get plenty of use. This may mean buying individual pieces rather than a whole outfit.

For instance, if you’ve been eyeing that designer blouse and it’s the right style for a wedding, you might buy it instead of a new, expensive dress that will be tough to re-wear. Pair it with a skirt or slacks that you already own. Or, opt for a new statement necklace and a new pair of heels to wear with your favorite little black dress. You may wind up spending the same amount of money, but you’ll get an item that will be well worth the investment.

The result is a more well-rounded closet full of pieces that help you look and feel sophisticated.

3. Add Some Layers

Another simple trick for creating a more sophisticated look is by layering. A button-down shirt or tank top is plain on its own. But add a stylish garter underneath and suddenly the outfit takes on a whole new look. Plus, garters are another great choice for making the most of your fashion purchases. They’ll look polished when layered under your clothing and will do double duty as a sexy look in the bedroom.

Creating a Sophisticated Wardrobe

Creating a sophisticated wardrobe can help you look and feel better in your own skin. And, best of all, you don’t have to toss out your closet to achieve it.

But getting smart about any new items you purchase; choosing items that will get plenty of good use; and adding some polished, sexy layers underneath, you can create the perfect looks for work, a day out with friends, or an evening with that special someone.