This is a fabulously simple one, and so easy to replicate.
You’ll notice that properly wealthy people tend not to dress as flamboyantly as ‘nouveau riche’; think of the understated style of wealthy young British royals or other royalty around the world. (And maybe ignore uber-talent Julia Louis Dreyfus of Seinfeld and Veep fame, who doesn’t do stylish streetwear despite her billions in net worth – reminding that money doesn’t always equate to style!)
The stylish truly wealthy will commonly be wearing jeans and sneakers parking one of their ferraris in their city center mansion, instead of covered in logomania and wasting money changing their style every week. Wealthy minded people spend their money on selective good quality clothing and focus more on experiences and growth.
On a budget? Here are the wardrobe basics to look a million bucks anyways.
Dressing simply with wealth in mind also reduces clothing wastage and can have quite an impact on the amount we spend on clothing.
So many of us buy bits and pieces from Zara or H&M that we barely wear; we need to remember the ‘cost per wear’ rule – price divided by the number of times it’ll be worn.
The ‘cost per wear’ rule makes a simple everyday black turtleneck a great value purchase, but that pair of sequin leggings terrible value and a waste of money since they were worn only twice before being donated. Can you see Audrey Hepburn wearing those sequin leggings anyways?
To look wealthy, choose in wisely wealthy ways – high quality items that last and look amazing, a-la-Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly.
In many ways it’s more elegant and conducive to wealth building to have a simple dressing style that copies the wardrobe essentials of elegant wealthy people.
It also makes it easier to choose what to wear in the morning and can leave a great impact on all eyes- giving the impression of a woman who’s got it together. (Which you probably have, if you’ve mastered a minimalist wardrobe!) Great for life and career.
Here are some of the key traits of dressing to look like a millionaire, even when you’re on a budget :
Simple lines to clothing
Clean lines and figure flattering styles are the best choice – simple blouses, singlets, turtlenecks, white shirts etc. Mostly block colour – whatever basic colour you already have loads of.
The most important thing is that they flatter your actual body shape and are in great condition. If you’re not going to iron a shirt, get one that’s wrinkle-free. I only buy ribbed black turtlenecks because it covers bra-lines far better than other styles.
Good stylish shoes
While we all love a pair of LB’s, we are looking for something stylish and practical here – like my fave pair of black Timberland Glancy boots which elongate the figure while providing rubber soled, high grip comfort for daily and casual evening wear. Maximum bang for your buck, and they look effortlessly elegant too. Choose something you’ll wear a lot and take care of well. And if you’re fortunate enough to have narrow little feet, choose pointed toes for maximum opulence. But if you have wide feet, be wide and choose more rounded or slightly pointed toes – you don’t want your feet to look like Cinderella’s ugly stepsisters.
One statement bag
A pre-owned designer bag or high quality simple design. Look for classic designs that won’t date easily. A Louis Vuitton speedy may be far better than a Dionysus in this arena.
Payment options on the worlds big 3 luxury fashion resalers, TheRealReal (selection below – click to search), Vestiaire and Reebonz make it easier to keep your budget in place while paying off a statement bag in small amounts over time. Choose wisely!
I personally love my daily wear crossbody – a leopard print Louboutin Farida messenger bag because it’s statement AND practical, easy to wear anywhere and fits enough for most occasions. However, given my generously curvaceous bust area, a crossbody is not the most elegant choice and would be better worn by a more slender framed person – or for me worn shorter over one shoulder, which I often do.
However if I had to choose only one bag to own it would of course be a Loewe Amazona 36″ in black suede for its all-round practicality and elegance. (Link for authentic Loewe Amazona’s up to 90% off in multiple sizes at the link above ↑).
Of course Mme. Birkin would choose an exotic print black birkin. (Birkin bags up to 90% off at TheRealRealaffiliate link below↓). And my blonde actress friend Mme Ballet would probably choose a black Gucci backpack. So it is really up to you to consider which bag would best suit your lifestyle if you only had to choose one. Then search for the best price on that! Chances are you’ll find it at one of the big three luxury fashion resale websites; Reebonz, TheRealReal or Vestiaire Collective. I usually check and price compare all three when I’m on the hunt.
Simple statement jewellery
Earrings and rings or bracelet. Either in diamond or pearl styles. I love Asscher cut diamante styles because they’re so classically understated; Nicole Miller’s asscher cut earrings in white and yellow are my favourites for everyday wear. I find Asscher cut exudes the most old-school elegance and glamour (a la Elizabeth Taylor & the Krupp Diamond) while princess cut looks very big when compared to the same size round corner cushion cuts. Or simple round glass pearls in white/cream/champagne or even black pearl if that’s your everyday style. Be sure to choose pearls the right size for your frame – under 10mm for petites, and around 12mm for taller glamazons, with 12-16+ looking absolutely beautiful on plus curvy women.
Natural colours are best, often closest to your own natural colour in a flattering cut.
Many wealthy people keep their hair in one style or don’t vary much because they have far more important things to worry about, but they know the importance of our crowning mane.
Vogue editor Anna Wintour has had the same style since she was fourteen.
If you’re into simple styles consider Jennifer Aniston’s lead, Gisele Bunchen’s or either of the new young British royal brides. Simple blow drys are always great.
Bra-length hair with slight front layers is a good length for most women, and some people seriously rock a fringe or short hair – though those both need maintenance and that means costs.
Personally I love growing my hair longer and setting damp pincurls in before bed, using bobby pins and curling small sections of my hair forward into little snails. The next morning brush out the pincurls and voila! Fabulous silver screen curls. This takes a lot of practice to get right but is absolutely worth practising, as you’ll know from seeing pincurl queen Dita von Teese, who does all of her own hair and makeup for all occasions.
Only expertly permed lashes eyelash extensions similar in length to your own – half bald eyelashes look trés trashy. Keep makeup simple, natural and glowing. Perhaps a perfect red lip or subtle smokey eye. Stay away from very dark or glittery anything unless you’re going for drama. Enough said!
Clear, gentle french or light colours. Occasional flattering red. Toes and nails matching. No neon white french tip claw fingers please!
Respectable length in round or soft square nail shape only, and all nails clean and the same length – so if one breaks, shorten the others to match. Yes that can be heartbreaking but sacrifice and strategy are traits of wealth. They’ll grow back.
Follow these simple strategies to rock millionaire style even when you’re on a budget!
It’ll probably make the budget stretch further too, since you won’t be spending all that extra cash on barely-worn fashion. Enjoy, and perhaps check out the complete checklist of minimalist elegance with Why I Want A 20 Item Wardrobe!