Depending on where you live in the world, everyone has their own definitions of what it means to be rich or poor. However, there’s so much more to being rich in the things that make your life amazing than dollars and cents.
But the one thing we all have in common is that most people dream of being rich someday. That may not be possible in the short-term. So we chronicled some ideas about how you can appear to look rich without spending a lot of money.
30. Wear More Black
For whatever reason, people associate black with luxury. Think about someone wearing a sleek, black suit with shiny leather shoes. It’s often associated with elegance and good taste. Now, think about someone wearing yellow. Maybe they are bright, bubbly, and happy, but are they rich?
One of the easiest ways to look like you have money is to take pride in your appearance. Rich people are usually going to meetings, working with clients, or making public appearances. For some of you, this may sound like common sense, because you already practice good hygiene every day. But according to YouGov, there is a direct correlation between how much money you make and how good your hygiene is.
If you happen to be someone who struggles to buy hygiene products, it might be because you are buying from stores like Target. Instead of paying full price, check out Dollar Tree, where they sell name brands like Colgate, Crest, Suave, and more for just $1 each.
28. Get Your Hair Styled
Along with having good hygiene, rich people also want to make sure that their hair is cut and styled before it gets out of control. Since going to the salon can be very expensive, some people go years without cutting their hair. Over time, the ends of your hair will become dry, and you’ll have split ends. It will become obvious to other people that you are not taking very good care of yourself, or that you possibly cannot afford to pay for a haircut.
If you want a cheap haircut, check out Groupon to see if there are discounts in your local area. Many new salons will offer cheap haircuts or hair dye as a way to attract new customers.
27. Shop at Discount Stores
Discount stores like TJ Maxx and Ross sell the overstock of expensive clothing brands like Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger at discounted prices. You can get shirts that were originally $100 for just $20. They are also great for selling household items from those same brands. There is usually are also sections for makeup and skincare.
Home Goods is owned by the same company as TJ Maxx, but as the name suggests, they only sell items for your home. Since they sell overstock, the items are changing constantly – once something sells, they’re gone forever. So you can find housewares by expensive brands like Kate Spade for 50 to 75% off the original retail price.
26. Buy a Few Fine Leather Goods
Rich people love to wear and use leather goods because they are durable and last a very long time. This is true of leather jackets, chairs, wallets, belts, and purses. Many of the famous accessory brands like Coach and Louis Vuitton gained recognition because of their fine leather goods years before their brand was recognizable. When you wear a nice piece of leather, people will always assume it’s expensive even when it’s not.
If you’re vegan, you can also find some really great faux leather items online that will look just as luxe as the real thing. Search “faux leather bags,” and it will bring you thousands of results. However, keep in mind that faux leather often begins to chip and break apart after frequent use.
25. Tailor Your Clothes
You could have the most expensive clothes in the world, but if they don’t fit you properly, they’ll look horrible. Poor-fitting clothes are a dead giveaway that you don’t have a lot of money. Rich people know that having a good fit makes you look amazing. If something fits you like a glove, the price of the garment doesn’t even matter. Getting something tailored is extremely important, especially when you are wearing a suit. The good news is that it doesn’t cost a lot to get this service done. Many dry cleaners will also offer tailoring services, and it can cost just $10 to $20 per piece.
If you are already investing a couple hundred dollars in a good suit, it only makes sense to put in that little bit of extra cash to look as good as possible. The same logic applies to dresses and just about anything else you can wear. Even if you cannot afford to get everything in your closet tailored, try to have the mindset that a better fitting garment makes a huge difference.
24. Wear High-Quality Fabrics
When you see someone on the street who is wearing clothes that make them look rich, you probably can’t see the brand name from far away. So you don’t actually know how much they spend on their clothes, but somehow, you inherently know that it looks expensive. The big secret is that these clothes are made out of a high-quality fabric. Cheap fabrics like polyester tend to cling to your body and can be very unflattering. On the flip side, cotton, suede, silk, and velvet all look very luxe.
Once you know which fabrics to look for, it becomes easier to find clothes that will look flattering on your body. Eventually, you can brush your hand on a rack of clothes and immediately feel when you find the right fabric. This way, you can buy clothes that are made out of high-quality fabric without spending a lot of money.
23. A Stylish Watch
Almost everyone knows that rich people wear watches from luxury brands like Rolex. For a lot of people, it is considered to be a status symbol, and anyone who enters the “nouveau riche” feel obligated to buy an expensive watch as a rite of passage. It’s true that rich people like to talk about their watch collection.
From a distance, people can’t see what brand of watch you are wearing. So all that matters is that it looks expensive, and that you are pairing it with a great outfit. You could go with a cheaper high-quality watch brand like Fossil, which you can find for under $100.
22. Wear Tasteful Jewelry
There are some people out there who think that if they want to look rich, they need to wear gold jewelry. Maybe you have met a person who wore a ring on every finger, multiple chains, and bracelets on each wrist. Most of these people that you see dripping in gold are “fake rich.” (As someone who used to work at a jewelry counter, trust me when I say that there are plenty of very poor people who made a habit of buying discounted gold every time they got paid.)
Think about it. If you were really rich, and you had jewelry that was worth a lot of money, you’d be too worried about someone trying to mug you. You’d be keeping your truly valuable items at home until you are ready to wear it to a special occasion. Rich people are often more subtle with their jewelry. The one exception to this rule would be engagement rings. Plenty of rich women have a huge diamond on their finger that they wear every single day.
21. Get Serious About Skincare
You can buy all of the makeup in the world but it doesn’t fix bad skin. Rich people are often concerned about their appearance and wish that they could turn back time. They can afford to pay for trips to the dermatologist, laser treatments, and products from high-end skincare brands. As soon as a new “holy grail” skincare product like Drunk Elephant hits the market, rich people go wild and start buying the full collection in hopes that it will improve their skin. To them, spending $80 on one BHA peel doesn’t seem like a lot of money if it means making themselves look younger.
The good news is that taking care of your skin doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. You can naturally improve the look of wrinkles by quitting smoking and drinking. Get at least eight hours of sleep per night, drink a lot of water, and start incorporating more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Remember that your skin is often a reflection of your internal health. The healthier you are, the more radiant you will become.
20. Home Bar
Alcohol is expensive, and most people only buy the amount they plan to consume in a weekend. If you have a party, you can easily spend over $100. So you really know when someone has “made it” when they have a fully stocked bar in their house with bottles that have been untouched. Rich people like to do this so that they can be a good host or hostess.
If you are looking to be extra fancy, find a crystal decanter. You can fill these with cheap whiskey or wine, and everyone will automatically assume you have something expensive in there. Also, make sure you have nice matching whiskey glasses or tumblers. If you don’t have the money to buy these things online, you should be able to find at a local thrift store or antique mall. Once you clean them up, they will look good as new, and your friends will never know the difference.
19. Become More Cultured
One of the best ways to judge someone’s wealth is by the topics they choose to discuss during a cocktail party. You could be dripping with diamonds, but if all you can talk about is the newest episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, it’s a dead giveaway that you’re “fake rich.” Truly rich people are often well-educated and have plenty of interesting and witty stories prepared for social situations.
Youtube has millions of channels that are filled with fascinating educational content. Try watching episodes of TodayIFoundOut, Vice, or VSauce. They have loads of options to learn great content. There are also plenty of documentaries on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to choose from.
18. Fix Your Teeth
In the United States, one of the biggest dead-giveaways that someone is poor is their teeth. Most people who have good health insurance bring their kids to the dentist or orthodontist at an early age. So, unfortunately, if you were not lucky enough to get this help as a kid, you might have gaps, crooked teeth, an overbite, or a generally yellow mouth. Sometimes, getting your teeth fixed will be cheaper than you think. There are some people that go their whole lives assuming their dental work would cost a fortune only to find out it cost under $100. The least you can do is go to a dentist and get a quote for a price on fixing a problem. Once you know, you can make it a goal and save towards the procedure.
Even if you have perfectly straight teeth, you should still take care of them. Brush them multiple times a day, floss, and try to keep them white. Crest White Strips are expensive, but you can buy cheaper brands online that get the job done for just $10.
17. An Interesting Instagram
One thing you will probably notice about rich people’s Instagram accounts is that they take photos in amazing locations around the world. Instead of posting pictures of themselves getting drunk at a party, they will opt to be a bit more classy. You might see a photo of them performing on stage, wearing a cute outfit, or posing in front of a great location. Basically, they are doing amazing things with their life.
Instead of looking at your Instagram as a way to show off how attractive you are, try to think about how you could turn it into a storybook about your life. Even if you can’t afford to fly to far-off destinations, there may be really cool things to do in your area that you haven’t discovered yet. Start to pay attention to the beautiful things around you. Think outside of the box, and capture the moments when you live your best life.
16. Attend A Music Festival or Concert
There are plenty of music festivals around the country, and some are far more glamorous than others. Nowadays, one of the go-to events for the rich and famous is the VIP section of Coachella. No matter which festival you go to, anyone who has a photo of themselves wearing cute hippie outfits at an outdoor concert is associated with money.
Remember that not everyone can afford to take time off of work and spend money on tickets to concerts. So if you have the opportunity to get a group of friends together and pose for cute pictures while your favorite artists play in the background, it just might make you appear a bit wealthier.
15. Keep Your Car Clean
You may not be able to buy a brand new car on a tight budget, but the least you can do is to keep your car clean and in good shape. We have all opened the passenger side door of a friend’s car only to be disappointed to see empty water bottles, wrappers, and other trash. If you are guilty of this, just be aware that this is a sign to other people that you don’t take pride in your appearance and don’t respect the vehicle you drive. It is the opposite of what a rich person would do. The outside of your car is important to keep clean, as well, especially in the wintertime when it will be covered in salt from the roads.
Getting in the habit of keeping your car clutter-free is completely free. Most self-service car washes are only $1 to use the vacuum cleaner and $3 for cleaning the outside of your car. Also try to keep your car in good working order. Get the oil changed and fix problems when they arise. There is nothing that screams “I’m broke” more than a car that makes loud noises when you drive it.
14. Have an Amazing Life Partner
Money can’t buy love, no matter how hard you try. Even the rich and famous struggle with dating, divorce, and heartbreak. At the end of the day, having an amazing life partner is one of the biggest things people value the most in life.
When you see a photo of a truly happy couple together, most people admire the connection that they have. Deep down, everyone wants to find “true love.” So in a lot of ways, happy couples are perhaps some of the richest people in the world.
13. Keep Yourself Informed About the News
Along with keeping yourself cultured with interesting topics to discuss at parties, most rich people also keep up with current events. They may read the top headlines online of the day, or have a subscription to the newspaper. This is more crucial to their lifestyle than you may realize. If someone runs a business, they will need to know what their rivals are up to. One missed headline could mean losing a lot of money.
If you don’t have time to keep up with the news, try to subscribe to weekly podcasts that will catch you up. Or, you can find YouTubers like Phil DeFranco who will summarize all of the most important headlines every day. Doing this is totally free, and only takes up a few minutes of your time.
12. A Nice Coat
During the wintertime, most people in suburban or rural areas will wear warm, waterproof puffer jackets. But in the more fashion-forward cities like New York, Paris, and Milan, you will see more people wearing pea coats. Standing next to someone wearing a puffer jacket, the person wearing the pea coat always looks like they have more money.
If you choose to go down the path of wearing a pea coat, be forewarned: People in the rural areas will look at you funny, wondering why you are wearing your Sunday Best on an average day of the week. It’s one of those things that makes you stand out. If you’re trying to look rich, that might be exactly what you want.
11. Apply Your Makeup Like a Pro
Every rich person who wears makeup looks like they have the most flawless, beautiful makeup every single day. Most celebrities pay makeup artists to come to their house in order to help them go “full glam” before they go outside. This is also true for anyone who is about to go on television or appear in a movie since they have a makeup team. Walking out of the house with smudged mascara or the wrong shade of foundation is a dead giveaway that you don’t have a lot of money.
If you want to get better at applying makeup, all you need to do is watch beauty gurus on YouTube. Your best bet is to find someone who has a similar skin tone and is close to your age because they will have the most relevant advice. You don’t have to spend a fortune on makeup, either. There are a lot of really good products at pharmacies if you know what to look for. One of the biggest things you can do to help your makeup game is to blend your foundation with a Beauty Blender. The more you learn about makeup, the easier it is to find exactly what works for you.
10. Find a Signature Cologne or Perfume
Buying cologne or perfume can be expensive, especially if you are looking at some of the more expensive brands. A lot of people opt to go for more affordable body sprays and scented lotions instead. There is nothing wrong with this, especially if you like to change your scent to match the season. However, certain body sprays and lotions will eventually start to smell bad when mixed with sweat and body odor. Really well-made colognes and perfumes are chemically developed to smell better as it mixes with your body’s natural pheromones. One of the most famous examples of this is the iconic Chanel Number 5, which starts out smelling sort of old-fashioned but sweetens and softens as it lingers on your skin throughout the day.
Not sure which scent to choose? Start by visiting somewhere like Sephora, where you are allowed to spray free samples of cologne and perfume on your body. Instead of using those little cardboard sticks, always try it on your skin so that you know how it reacts with your body’s pheromones. Just one spritz on your neck and another over your body should be enough.
9. A Nice Pair of Sunglasses
Sunglasses are one of those accessories that can look really stylish without actually being expensive. Sometimes, people look for the designer symbol on the glasses frame, but there are some brands out there that are not so flashy. So as long as you have a pair that is clearly well-made, people might assume that you spent hundreds of dollars to buy them.
Remember that the brand isn’t everything. There are so outrageously tacky sunglasses made by Gucci that might be fun to wear this year, but they will quickly go out of style a few months from now. Try to go for something that is timeless and looks high-quality.
8. Buy Designer-Inspired Clothing and Accessories
There is a big difference between wearing clothes and accessories that are “designer-inspired” and knockoffs. Not sure of the difference? Let’s imagine that you really want a Chanel quilted crossbody, but you can’t afford to spend $5,000 on a purse. A knock-off will be a cheap, fake Chanel purse with a “CC” logo slapped on it that you found at the flea market for $30. These might only last a week before they start to fall apart.
Compare that fake to an “inspired” purse, like the Rebekka Minkoff quilted crossbody, which is only $150. Yes, it’s still expensive, but will last you for years instead of weeks. It is also a timeless bag that will never go out of style. You could spend $150 once instead of continuing to buy new $30 bags multiple times a year.
7. Mix Expensive and Cheap Items Together
Some people assume that fashionable rich people have expensive items from head to toe. In reality, you can get a really great outfit together if you mix both expensive and cheap items. Everyone will just assume that every item was a lot of money. For example, if you wear expensive shoes, purse, and sunglasses, someone might assume your entire outfit cost a lot. In reality, maybe you got your clothes from the thrift store. But the fact that you are wearing something expensive makes people automatically assume it’s all expensive.
Not sure where to start? Begin looking at some photos of your favorite celebrities, fashion websites, or advertisements in magazines. Try to look at an outfit and ask yourself what stands out to you. Usually, you can replicate a look with cheaper alternatives to whatever you saw in the first place.
6. Have At Least One Pair of Leather Shoes
In today’s world, it has become more acceptable to wear sneakers to the office. Even CEOs like Elon Musk are not afraid to wear sneakers on stage. So there are actually a lot of people out there who might not own a single pair of dress shoes. Even if we live in a society that is more accepting of comfort, you need to own at least one pair of nice leather shoes. These are important to wear to business meetings, weddings, funerals, and basically any event where you’ll be in a suit.
Remember that leather will stretch as time goes on. And if the product has been sitting on the shelf for a long time, it might get dry and be really constraining on your feet. So even though you can find plenty of leather shoes online, it is always important to try them on at the store.
5. Wear a Stylish Scarf
For whatever reason, scarves make people look rich. It’s like they care enough to go that extra step to keep their neck warm, but they are also a good fashion accessory. Every major fashion brand out there has scarves. But the good news is that they don’t have to be expensive at all in order to look good.
Sometimes, you can get away with buying a scarf that seems to be inspired by a designer brand. For example, you can buy a camel plaid scarf for just $14 online that looks identical to a Burberry scarf that costs $470.
4. Wear Weather-Appropriate Clothing
We have all met at least one man in our lives that refused to wear a jacket when it’s cold outside. They will claim that they “don’t get cold” or that they “run hot” because they think it makes them look tough. According to psychological research, these men have a false narrative running through their heads that if they don’t wear a jacket in the wintertime, it somehow makes them more masculine. One therapist kept trying to convince his client to wear weather-appropriate clothes, and the patient eventually got frostbite on his ears before he finally admitted he needed a hat.
To the rest of the world, we don’t see someone who is manly. We see someone who is silly. It can also appear as though you are too poor to buy a jacket, and that the idea that you “don’t get cold” is just an excuse for why you can’t afford proper winter weather gear. Rich men don’t have hang-ups about their masculinity. And they want to stay warm and healthy so they can avoid costly doctor visits and taking time off work.
3. Achieve Something Great
Sometimes, money is not the only thing that makes someone “rich.” Studies have shown that people associate success with achievements, rather than how much money they make. For example, a professor with a PhD could be making less money than a plumber. But for some reason, people will give more respect to the professor, because they spent years in college, teach students, and may have published books and academic papers.
Giving the advice to achieve something great is a lot easier said than done. Sometimes, it takes years to reach your goals. But the beautiful thing about this is that every single person can have their own version of a great achievement. Maybe it’s running a marathon, writing a book, having kids, or buying a house. As long as you are going after your dreams, people will think of you as someone who is “rich.”
2. Have a Clutter-Free Home
Most rich people have a housekeeper, so their home always looks clean even if they are too busy to tidy up. Now, think about what a “poor” household looks like in your mind. They might have outdated decor and loads of clutter that they have hoarded around their house. Many of these people might be too exhausted from work at the end of the day to clean up themselves.
Even if you are normally a neat-freak, we are all human and our houses will get messy sometimes. However, if you want to look more wealthy, you can easily start by getting rid of excess clutter. Rich people value quality over quantity, so it is a lot more common to see a minimalist lifestyle in a wealthy person’s home. If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out Tidying Up With Marie Kondo on Netflix.
1. Love Yourself
Last and certainly not least, if you want to seem rich, you need to start loving yourself. People who are rich and famous have the confidence to continue living their best life no matter what people may say. Once you begin to forgive yourself for your past mistakes and respect yourself enough to make good choices moving forward, everything else in your life will begin to fall into place. Once you love yourself, you can give love to others, and you also get a lot of financial rewards that go along with it.
Everyone has a different definition of success, and what it means to be “rich.” It is absolutely possible to be happy without being a millionaire. Just do a lot of reflecting and ask yourself what makes you happy. Instead of trying to go after what society says, listen to your heart. You know better than anyone what you need in order to feel like the richest person in the world.