In one of my darkest broke-college days, I found the book How To Look Expensive by Andrea Pomerantz Lustig, a beauty editor who has written and edited for Glamour, Allure, Cosmopolitan, and many more fancy publications, bringing me to have pretty high hopes for this read. I was looking for some cheap, easy tricks to make me look a lot more like Kate Middleton but I was sadly disappointed. Instead, the tips took a lot more effort than I was banking on and I also wouldn’t call a $170 hairbrush a “splurge,” but instead more like “highway robbery.” In case you happened to feel the same way about this book as I did, here are a couple easy tips to making people think you’re made of money instead of eating ramen for dinner and checking your lease to see how much of grace period you have before you get booted.
Invest Wear solid colors. This almost sounds too easy to be true, but you can never disregard the wise advice of Neiman Marcus – “Women who wear black lead colorful lives.” It can be difficult to find a pattern that will be classically in style in well-mad fabric that looks expensive, but a basic pink sweater or a black button down goes a long way and can look expensive when paired with other basic colors, like a white pant and a black heel. No one has to know you already wore the same pants two times this week.
2. Go nude. Well not literally nude (it’s getting breezy out there) but how often do you see Anna Wintour wearing pink sparkly eyeshadow or Kate Moss wearing sky-blue nails? Yeah… you don’t. There’s a reason the French wear nude. Because they know it makes em look fancy. Nude shadow. Nude lips. Nude heels. Nude nails. It’s the quickest, easiest, and most efficient way to look older, sophisticated, and loaded.
3. Don’t ignore the details. This one may be a little bit of a pain in the ass, but don’t ignore the little misgivings of your outfit. That means that no one wants to see your chipped nails, your overgrown eyebrows, or your pantyline. It is these details that make an outfit go from expensive to cheap in nanosecond. Why go if you’re not going to go all the way, right?
4. Pick your key pieces. Just like Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada,” you too can have a key piece like Priestly’s Hermes scarf. With one fancy piece (bought on sale, obviously) in a basic but standout color (see number one) that you can wear with most outfits, you’ll develop a personal staple and people will forget those stained pants but they’ll remember that designer bag.
5. Love your accessories. A jean shirt and a pair of leggings with boots is boring and we have all seen it on Pinterest a million times. But by throwing in some nicely mixing accessories, you’ll look more put-together (and more creative). Add on a black vest, some white boot socks, and a pearl necklace. Don’t forget your accessories and don’t feel guilty throwing in a couple bucks for them versus a new shirt – you’re gonna be wearing the accessories a lot more if you choose something well-made (i.e. designer on sale) and classic.