5 Ways to Dress Like You Have Money, Even If You Don't

Beauty & Style 14

ChanelI may not have a ton of cash to throw around on clothes, but I've spent my life around people who do- and I've learned a lot about how they pull it off.

Have you ever noticed, for example, that women who come from money know how to dress like it- even when they end up living on a school teacher's salary?

That's because they know a few bargain shopping secrets that help them score the luxe look without spending a fortune to get it.

Want to hear five top tips on how to dress like you have money, even when you don't?

Keep reading-- and feel free to add your own tips in the comments!






Ann Taylor1. Stick with the classics.

Sorry girls. If you're really short on cash and want to look luxe, leave the trends to the rich girls. Buy only clothing and accessories that transcend the trends and wil look great every season- like a great black jacket. A well made white button-down blouse. A fitted pair of jeans. A pencil skirt. This way, you'll be able to shop sales and discount stores and buy some of your wardrobe off-season.


Net-A-Porter2. Spend up on the items you wear/carry every day.

One dead giveaway that you don't have much cash to spare is if you're carrying a cheap bag- and if you don't care one way or the other, then more power to you. However, girls who come from "money" always have at least one good bag to their name, whether they have a fat trust fund or not. Invest in a good bag, a nice winter coat, expensive-looking sunglasses, leather gloves, and a pretty scarf for winter. I got my $600 winter coat for $75 because I...



Flickr3. Haunt outlets, thrift stores, semi-annual sales, discount designer websites, and garage sales in upscale neighborhoods.

Rich girls and girls who know how to look rich spend a lot of time bargain hunting in some very unlikely places. You'd be amazed at the designer gear you can find at Goodwill- not only clothes but also designer bags. The same holds true for garage sales in the nicer neighborhoods in your area. Outlets and designer discount sites like Last Call, Ideeli, Haute Look, and Gilt Groupe are another great way to buy designer clothing, shoes and accessories at deep discount, and if you love a particular high-end store, get on its e-mail list. You'll get all the news about big sales.



Forever 214. Never wear more than one "cheap" piece of clothing at a time.

Think about it. That fabulous $6.80 black knit skirt you found at Forever 21 will look fabulous with tights and your black leather jacket. But put it with a $12 Forever 21 shirt and a $19.99 necklace from Target, and well, the look is diminished. I'm all for mixing in cheap stuff with your nicer investment pieces- but never wear all your inexpensive clothing and accessories all together.


Bluefly5. Stun them with your shoes.

You don't have to spend a fortune on an eye-catching pair of shoes- You just have to be willing to look for a while to find a pair you like and can afford. (This is where massive shoe websites like Zappos and Endless REALLY come in handy!) A flashy pair of shoes coupled with a more conservative look gives the impression that you have money to spare- so much that you can buy a completely impractical pair of turquoise peeptoe platform heels, for example!


Images (top to bottom): Chanel, Ann Taylor, Net-a-Porter, Brad.K/Flickr, Forever 21, Bluefly


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Marsh... MarshaCWP

I think sticking to natural fabrics as much as possible helps, too.  And learning to use a needle and thread and an iron.  I've taken the rich-looking buttons off a blouse that was unwearable and transferred them to a silk blouse that had cheap buttons, and the effect was dazzling.  Buttons are important, as are accessories.  The shoes don't have to be flashy, but should not be scuffed or dirty.  Take worn-down heels to a shoe repairman.

PonyC... PonyChaser

A good iron, and the ability to read and follow laundering directions.  Nothing will kill those classic pieces faster than careless handling.  And nothing makes you look worse than worn-out clothes... unless you're going for that look, in which case, you'll be right in style.

Also, and I know it sounds trite, but it doesn't cost a cent... a smile on your face, and a straight back.  My in-laws are very well-off, and I've been to lots of fancy to-do's.  But I don't have the budget for them.  So I wear something classic, but inexpensive.  And I go in with a smile, radiating confidence, and don't let them worry me.

Rebeccah Williams Connelly

Like they say on what not to wear - FIT is everything.  Even nice clothes look like crap when they don't fit you correctly!  Make your alterations person your very best friend...

Lynette Lynette

#1 is the rule I live by when shopping!  And #2 is what I'm working on

theAm... theAmberShow

I've been sticking to non-black neutrals. I find that an inexpensive dress in black looks shabbier than the exact same one in slate blue or grey... or bright purple! And I am massing an assortment of bright tights and scarves to punch up my look.

mamac... mamacita69930

A good dry cleaners will make the clothes last longer. Gentle cycle on a washing machine works wonders too. The worst is when I see expensive clothes washed in hard water and thrown into the dryer. WHite cotton basics with nutrals and black always make you look richer in the summer. In winter I do not care what the majority thinks uggs keep you warmer and Juicy just fits better. It is truly about fit not patterns and colors with tacky bulky costome jewelry. Believe me I go to a lot of socialite parties and lets just say they are definitely multimillionaires and I could never compete but the way I dress, you could never tell.......I fit right in........  

DebaLa DebaLa

Layering! I have my teen shop with me (they are geniuses at this), adapting with age-appropriate monochromatic and analogous color schemes. With well-placed accessories, they look like rich and textured compositions, not just "outfits."

And I agree with the others. Good fit and maintenance gives the foundational polish that separates one from the pack.

Turn-off: nonmatching blacks.

Gayla... GaylaBaer

All about the classics! :) Now if I could just convince my kids that this is the way to go :)

reniecpa reniecpa

I totally agree with the shoe comment!  I have a pair of Lambertson Truex pony hair flats in a cheetah print...pointy toe, that get comments EVERY single time I wear them, and elevate the most mundane outfit into something special.  They were ridiculously expensive (even though I got them on sale) but have been one of the best clothing purchases I have ever made.  They are classic & stylish, and I'm embarrassed to say how many years I've had them, but they are a testament to the fact that well-made classics pay for themselves over time. I can put them on with a pair of black ankle trousers from Target and a white blouse and look like a million bucks instantly!

Also I would say invest in "statement" pieces.  Not trendy, but classic, like the colorful 60s style tipped coat from Boden that Lindsey posted on here recently.  An expensive (or expensive looking) coat always looks like "money" to me, whereas my white blouse by Theory doesn't really look much different than my white blouse from White House Black Market.  This coat by Milly is an example and I want it SO bad, but at $540 it ain't happening.  Not unless it goes on a deep discount sale.  Also, I ditto the consignment shop statement! I found a gorgeous Spooner Prague coat at a consignment shop several years ago for $39 (insane since these go for $700 & up) and have worn the heck out of it and always get comments on it as well.


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