The secret to looking good is not how much your outfit costs, it is how your outfit fits. New or old has little to do with wow-factor.
Most people do not fit “off the rack” so having your clothes tailored makes all the difference! If you don’t have a lot of the green stuff, feel free to shop at contemporary boutiques such as Zara, H&M, Urban Outfitters, Target or consignment shops (my personal favorite).
Once you find a pretty dress or pants ensemble, make sure that it fits well by taking it to your local dry cleaners. They almost always have tailoring services that won't break the bank.
Along with that, my best tip is to wear a slip with a dress. Most inexpensive frocks don’t include a liner… which is what makes it less expensive. Adding a slip offers a more elegant all-around look to a cocktail dress.
Pair your outfit with a strappy high heel sandal (metallic colors are my favorite for weddings) or pretty embellished flat with sparkly earrings and you are set!
Zara // Slip Dress with Straps $39.90
H&M // Tulle Dress $99
Urban Outfitters // Kelly Surplice Midi Slip Dress $69
Just like clothing, when you layer it, you immediately add more visual interest. I often talk about the third piece: most people just wear a first piece, a top, and a second piece, a bottom. The third piece adds dimension, personality and lots of optical excitement. Add a third piece to your neck, ears or hands, too!