How To Look Expensive, When You Are Actually Broke As F*ck

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When I was in 6th grade, I discovered the finer things in life. Just kidding. I discovered Abercrombie and Fitch, which was actually the opposite anything fine, as a moose covered literally everything in the store. To this day, I’m confused as to how we let a moose become a symbol of wealth in the early 2000s. I mean, it was a fucking moose. And it branded our clothes. No. Just no.

In the early 2000s, I was drawn to anything that was considered trendy and would make me look expensive, no matter how ugly it was. That meant absolutely NO Charlotte Russe or Wet Seal. And eventually, when Forever 21 broke out on the scene in 2007, it meant combing through every inch of the store, carefully distinguishing clothes that looked expensive from clothes that looked cheap – even though they all cost the same amount of money.

Over the years I’ve crafted my expertise of looking like I have money when in fact I don’t. Okay, well, I guess I’m not totally poor – or at least most of the time I’m not. There are those days before my next paycheck where things get a little scary, but that doesn’t always happen (or does it?). I just really like spending money on coffee, food, booze, and clothes, and that’s never going to change. I ain’t sorry.

Because I don’t have Kardashian-money to spend on my lifestyle, I have to shop smart, dress smart, eat smart, and Instagram smart. Here is exactly how I try to look expensive on social media and IRL, when behind the scenes I am checking my bank account balance in line at Starbucks. After all, I’m a writer who posts on social media for a living – what did you expect?


 

Rule #1: Always wear at least one expensive thing.

This is my grand rule to getting dressed. While I do own some expensive shit, I also own a lot of inexpensive shit. I mean, I’m not a fucking Kardashian. I have to be a little #cheap. A lot of my clothes are from, dun dun dun, Target. But I have invested in a lot of Madewell necklaces and some pricey shoes/boots from J. Crew and Nordstrom, so when I pair my ‘expensive’ jewelry and shoes with my inexpensive dresses, you might think my $15 dresses are expensive too. Lol, well, they’re not. As for my cheaper jewelry and shoes, if I pair them with a more expensive dress or jeans (or fierce Topshop jumpsuit), all is good. What’s really good is when I wear an outfit that is really all expensive – the shirt, pants, shoes, jewelry. Then I feel important. I’m not.

 

Rule #2: Wear big sunglasses.

If they’re expensive, great. If not, whatever. As long as they’re big and you’re wearing one other expensive thing (see rule #1), you’re good. Big sunglasses give off the bitch vibe because people associate them with expensive celebrities. Big sunglasses also say ‘don’t talk to me, I’m better than you.’ They are necessary to not just looking Jewish, but also looking expensive. MAJOR KEY.

 

Rule #3: Go on trips, take pictures, but go home after instead of staying the night.

On Instagram, you will look well-traveled, but in real life, you’re just taking a day trip and going home after because you can’t afford to stay overnight. If you DO end up staying overnight somewhere because it’s too far to go home, don’t take pictures of where you’re staying because chances are, it’s not as nice as the vibe you put off in your daily life. Also, be sure to follow all the other rules here when taking pictures of your adventures, as this will make you look even more expensive.

 

Rule #4: Always carry a designer bag.

If it’s not a designer bag, make sure its trendy – and don’t make it your every day bag. Your every day bag should be a designer bag, and when you do wear it, it should not count as your ‘one expensive item.’ Pro tip: Have multiple designer bags in different sizes and colors. Every occasion deserves a different bag.

 

Rule #5: Wear nice jackets.

Winter jackets, leather coats, etc should always be investment purchases. There are times where you can find an expensive-looking knockoff — I once found a faux leather jacket at H&M that actually looked expensive but totally wasn’t – I wear it when I’m doing something that I don’t want to bring my real jacket to. For every day use, nice jackets are the way to go. They also last forever. Although don’t be fooled by Banana Republic – those sometimes don’t.

 

Rule #6: Take expensive workout classes.

Investing in your health will actually help your well being, unlike investing in your closet. This is why it’s TOTES OKAY to go HAM when it comes to spending money on trendy fitness classes. Spin, barre, yoga, dance. Being part of a workout cult will really make you seem – and feel – like you have money.

 

Rule #7: Wear expensive workout clothes – both when working out and when not working out.

Wearing Lululemon all the time gives off the vibe that you exercise at a trendy workout class and that you have money – because Lululemon and trendy workout classes are expensive. Wearing work out clothes to chill also gives off the vibe that you’re so chill and you don’t need to put on a #fashionshow all the time, when in fact your work out clothes are the only #fashion you need.

 

Rule #8: When in doubt, do what the fashion bloggers are doing.

Or always do what the fashion bloggers are doing – with a hint of your own personal style of course. Basically, if you want to look expensive, you’ve got to stay on trend. And who knows trends and looking expensive better than a fashion blogger? Other than the Kardashians, mostly no one.

 

Rule #9: Choose how to spend your money – and when you DO spend it, spend it wisely!

Looking expensive doesn’t mean you blow all of your money. In fact, it means you’re smart about your money. Sometimes you have to say no to plans with friends, sometimes you have to forego buying a new top you really like, sometimes you can’t go on vacations. In other words, life is hard. But you’re in control of what you spend your money on, and make sure to leave room for your necessary expensive-looking items, so it’s okay.


 

If you follow my rules, you too will look expensive in no time – and it will be glorious.

Samantha Matt

Hi I’m Sam. I made this website in 2011 and it’s still going. My first book, AVERAGE IS THE NEW AWESOME, is coming out in January (you can buy it right now on Amazon or from your fave bookstore!). I like pizza, French fries, barre, spin, more pizza, more French fries, and buying clothes. Writing is fun. Follow me on twitter & Instagram at @samanthamatt1... and on this site's meme account on IG at @20somethingproblems. OKAY GREAT THANKS BYE.

1 Comment
  1. How is buying expensive things “trying to look” expensive? I thought this was going to be an article about how to look expensive WITHOUT actually buying and doing expensive things :/

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