• Paloma Madhok

How to Look Rich with a Tight Wallet

We all could do with a little more, or even a lot more in our bank accounts. Some are lucky enough to be born with it, others have to work for it. The majority of us fall into the second category, and sometimes in order to be taken seriously in the world of business or even overall society, we have to adhere to certain expectations or norms associated with success, self-sufficiency, affluence and finesse.

The main way this is achieved is through materials, i.e. property, cars, places we frequent and our appearance. It’s hard to do so when you’re just starting out, or trying to save money, but there are ways. We focus more on the appearance side of giving that wealthy illusion, and here are some of them.


First things first, what you wear and how you wear outfits is of utmost importance. You want your clothes to be well tailored, perfectly measured to each and every curve. Nothing tight or fitted, or even oversized. Just get a tailor to fix you up.

Fabrics matter too and mixing them without proper knowledge is a fashion crime. If you’re going for synthetic materials, stick with that. If you’re using natural fibers like cotton, silk, linen, or wool only use those.

Model in a khaki grey pantsuit with a white cotton blouse and nude pumps

Logos need to go. Yes, some designer brands such as Gucci, Versace etc. tend to have large labels on their clothes, but there are also a lot of fakes in the market. Understatement and subtlety are the real secret to wealth. You don’t want to put yourself on display.

Colours also make a huge difference. Although bright vibrant colours with lots of patterns do have its own charm, you want to look sophisticated and elegant. Think neutrals and monochromatic shades or even pastels.

model in black jeans with white blazer and creme blouse holding a khaki handbag wearing black pumps

Finally, the way you present your clothes is vital. There can be no crease or wrinkle, rips, fades or stains from the last time you ate or dropped wine on your blouse. It gives off an impression of a poor, unkept and lax attitude. Freshly ironed or steamed fresh clothes is the way to go.


Model 1 with gold hoops, Model 2 with decorative necklace, Model 3 with rose gold watch and bangle

Next, we have the add ons to your perfect outfit. Jewelry is an obvious indication of wealth and prosperity, but too much can be crass and flashy. Chunky necklaces, bracelets or earrings are big no nos. Think more along the lines of delicate rings, gold hoops, pearl necklaces and timeless watches or bangles.

Costume jewelry is easily available almost everywhere, and very often it is difficult to tell the difference between what’s real and what’s not, unless you are a jeweler by profession. Just don’t buy fake diamonds. That’s pretty obvious.

Different colour round sunglasses

As for sunglasses, there’s nothing known as subtle. Here you can go all out, with unique and even bizarre styles, colours and shapes. Keep in mind to match them with the rest of your outfit though.

Shoes & Bags

Model 1 in black loafers, model 2 in nude pumps, model 3 displaying black, nude and pink pointed ballerinas

As stated above, understatement is KEY. I cannot stress this enough. You do not want to go around carrying bags with Chanel, Balenciaga or Louis Vuitton plastered all over them. Its in bad taste, and also makes others around you think you’re a wannabe or trying too hard. The idea is to portray something that you’re not, and the only way to do that is to be super lowkey about it.

Model 1 with a canvas bag with leather straps, Model 2 with black tote leather bag, Model 3 with Brown leather Handbag

Go minimalistic with bags. Pieces that are timeless and classy. Totes, handbags, and shoulder bags made of good quality leather or canvas always look good. With shoes, once again timeless statement pieces are the best option. Classic pointed pumps, loafers and ballerinas are sold everywhere, and you can even acquire designer ones on rent.

Grooming Yourself

You can only actually perfect the whole rich look if you feel that way from inside. Real affluent people have strict skincare and diet regimes which they follow religiously to look the way they do. I’m not saying you need to switch up your entire lifestyle, but a few changes won’t hurt.

For instance, healthy hair is necessary for you and to look good. Getting regular haircuts for split ends, DIY hair masks, oil massages and natural highlights using safe, good quality box dyes can do wonders for your appearance.

Model 1 with wavy bobcut, Model 2 with natural highlights, Model 3 with layered balayage

Your hands and feet are also a sign of being well groomed, but there’s no need to go to expensive nail salons for that. If you find a cheaper one, that perfect. If not, the simple purchase of a nail kit online or at a store with all the tools needed for manicures and pedicures should be okay. Again subtlety. No long glittery nails. Just a topcoat, or a light pink or nude or even a French manicure is easy to achieve at home.

Model 1 with French manicure, Model 2 with natural acrylics

And to top it off, a proper skincare routine paired with natural makeup just brings the whole thing together. For the skin, DIY face masks depending on your skin type, or affordable face packs or peel off masks and moisturizers or serums should do the job. As for makeup, some light mascara, well-shaped neat brows, neutral lip-gloss, or lipstick that’s not too drying, a bit of blush and concealer if you’re prone to annoying dark spots, pigmentation or dark circles and bags.

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