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Pieces that trick people into thinking you're rich

(318 Posts)
PaintingOwls Thu 16-May-19 19:12:18

Sorry about the wanky title, I don't quite know how to put this!

I have a friend who always looks very expensive and put together but whenever I ask where her clothes are from she will say Zara, Primark, etc. She says she gives off the vibe that her clothes are expensive because she has a few statement pieces that set the tone, so Ted Baker coat, Longchamp bag, Kate Spade purse. People see those and assume everything else is of the same caliber.

The only expensive thing I own is a Hobbs trench coat which I only bought because it was the perfect shade of beige. I have a black Harrods bag that I bought on sale to have a smart interview bag. I've been trying to use it more but it is a bit incongruous with the rest of what I wear.

I have noticed that when I wear the Hobbs coat people are more polite towards me, hold doors open, smile, move out of the way for me, men help me with luggage on trains... When I wear my denim or leather Primark jacket I get ignored and people barge past me.

Has anyone noticed anything similar?

I realize this isn't an exact science grin but if I was to buy a thing or two to help set the tone, as my friend says, what would that be?

Handsoffmysweets Thu 16-May-19 20:19:06

It’s all to do with cut, confidence, posture and being well groomed imo. Some of the tackiest people I know own £1k + handbags. A certain footballers wife also springs to mind. She can wear a £10k outfit and make it look like it came off a market stall.

SuziQ10 Thu 16-May-19 20:21:21

Absolutely agree with PP about shoes.
A terrible, cheap paid of shoes (Black £10 dolly shoes are the absolute worst) can completely ruin a perfectly nice outfit, wherever it's from.

PaintingOwls Thu 16-May-19 20:22:43


try to plan your outfit the night before. I have limited time in the morning so I check the weather the night before and roughly decide on what I will wear. Rushed mornings usually end with bad clothes decisions.

This is a great tip, I am very guilty of pulling on random things in the morning blush

Harebel Thu 16-May-19 20:23:16

The really really rich people I know tend to wear torn cardies and scruffy boots.

The ones trying to appear rich would never be seen dead in such things.

Weird, huh?

PaintingOwls Thu 16-May-19 20:25:30


Absolutely agree with PP about shoes.

A terrible, cheap pair of shoes (Black £10 dolly shoes are the absolute worst) can completely ruin a perfectly nice outfit, wherever it's from.

True, I hate those shoes as well. I'm a bit limited as I have to wear insoles so all my shoes are either brogues or running trainers.

GeorgeTheBleeder Thu 16-May-19 20:29:14

Trying to help:

In the late eighties/early nineties when I went to a lot of interviews in the City you needed a pair of Ferragamo ‘Vara’ shoes. I bought almost no other shoes for years. Then either they stopped being a thing or I stopped caring; dunno. Lately I’ve seen them being sold, without irony, on websites I have no reason to distrust. I can’t imagine where I’d wear them now, but they will make anyone look rich (as opposed to ‘kept’ which is always the problem with Chanel.)

Nowadays I adopt a more louche demeanour (she said ...) so if I were spending money to look rich I’d be buying lots of flouncy blouses, shredded tweed and super soft leather. Worn with ancient cashmere and spidery mascara. And very expensive perfume.

<Glances at mirror>

Oh - wait ... wink hmm grin

Fraxion Thu 16-May-19 20:32:37

Having said that someone people have the ability to make a £10 dress look £1000 & the reverse is also true.

Definitely agree with this. My friend has the former, she could make a bin bag look good. She says it's all about the accessories.

VodselForDinner Thu 16-May-19 20:40:10

My credit card is black. It just happens to be the colour my bank issues them in. It’s a bog-standard card.

Years ago, on holiday in the US, I was upgraded EVERYWHERE. I’d check in to a hotel and would be told I had an upgrade at the last minute. Rented a car and, when giving my card, had the guy inside the desk upgrade me to an amazing luxury SUV. I bought a $200 bracelet charm in Tiffany’s and, after checking-out, was fawned over a lot more than expected for the price!

It was amazing. It was a running joke between me and my husband. If he paid for anything, we didn’t get any special treatment.

We figured it out after a couple of days when my bill was brought over in a restaurant and I used my card, the waitress called her friend over and they both started taking about my card and how they’d never seen one before and asking was I famous.

It turns out they were all mistaking it for an exclusive black credit card that’s available by invite only to very high net worth people. You have to earn over $1.3m a year, be invited (and pay $5k+ for the privilege), and have a minimum card spend of $250k per annum. I think there’s no credit limit.

I felt very rich.

TinklyLittleLaugh Thu 16-May-19 20:42:22

I think it starts with what you look like. Expensive is slim and gym toned with excellent teeth, well cared for hair and great skin, probably a light tan if it looks natural and suits your colouring.

In winter you need a good coat, boots and bag. In summer you need to look comfortable. Hot and bothered is not expensive, so simple shift dresses, well fitting walkable sandals.

managedmis Thu 16-May-19 20:42:32

Yeah painted, it's not a tea break read grin

PaintingOwls Thu 16-May-19 20:52:04


That's hilarious!

<<shuffles off to pick new cc colour>>

JaceLancs Thu 16-May-19 21:01:11

I also have a black credit card but no one has ever raised a glance - unlike a bright yellow one which raised many comments
Re looking expensive or classy I think good quality accessories and or coat are the way to go
Plain understated styles - well made from natural materials are usually best

PaintingOwls Thu 16-May-19 21:03:19


I think it starts with what you look like. Expensive is slim and gym toned with excellent teeth, well cared for hair and great skin, probably a light tan if it looks natural and suits your colouring.

I'm a pear shape, a bit podgy (4 kg overweight), pale with dark hair. My friend is also pear shaped but taller and weighs less.

The last time I went shopping with her I ended up dropping nearly £200 in Bobbi Brown on skincare and a new foundation. I have to say, I think it's worth it. The potions make my dry skin glowy and the foundation hides my spots seamlessly in a way that I could never get with the stuff I was using before.

So my skin is getting there. My teeth are already straight. I suppose I just need to work on the podge now...

Heartlake Thu 16-May-19 21:51:43

Hmmm FWIW! As a minimum and on a budget...

Good basics... Jeans, chinos, underwear, a few nice cardigans, crisp t-shirts, a few good belts. Don't have to be expensive

Never mix base colors... So pick one of grey/black/navy/brown

If trousers have belt loops, wear a belt

Never have visible underwear/bulges/straining buttons, pulls, stains, bobbles

Wear either lose top / fitted bottoms or vice versa but not both

Don't show too many of toes / knees / elbows / shoulders / cleavage at once

Wear shoes you can walk comfortably all day in

Wear the best watch you can afford

Avoid all visible labels/branding

'Do' something with your hair... Straighten, flick, smart ponytail, braid, front clipped up. No curtains or mum buns

Wear a bit of makeup

Wear some jewellery. But not too much.

Wear one interesting thing with each outfit... Bright shoes, interesting scarf, nice bracelet

If you have to spend money on anything, spend it on shoes

Assemble your entire outfit before you put it on

If it feels uncomfortable when you put it on, change it

Carry one bag if you can.

Wear layers... Thin vests and cardigans are great...

MadameJimJam Thu 16-May-19 22:05:25

Another vote for good quality shoes here. And polish them! Every week! Doesn't take long with one of those liquid wax things, and over time you build up a really deep 'posh' patina.

I also buy second-hand/ vintage handbags from Ebay now and then (e. g. Mulberry). They are still pricey second hand, but much much much cheaper than new. They also still look fabulous - previous posters are right about good quality stuff aging well, and most people with a Mulberry handbag are going to have taken good care of it.

My weight fluctuates, but my shoes and bag always fit, so that's where I spend my money wink. That and scarves...

woodcutbirds Thu 16-May-19 22:12:51

I think keeping an eye out for pieces that really suit you and work with your colouring and your personality helps. I have a blouse bought from H&M for less than £20. So many people have complimented it and told me it looks incredibly expensive. It is quite a classic design but made of viscose!

WanderingTrolley1 Thu 16-May-19 22:17:59

The wealthiest people I know don’t dress for others or to impress...

Poppins2016 Thu 16-May-19 22:25:23

I think it's a case of 'it's not what you wear, but how you wear it'. I.e. how you combine clothes, whether you go for classic (or fashionable), your sense of personal style, etc.

spugzbunny Thu 16-May-19 22:28:02

I'm always covered in my babies food and snot ... would a statement coat help cover that up? What are nice trainers??

Sarahlou63 Thu 16-May-19 22:29:12

Ha! My whole outfit costs about €30 but I drive an (ancient) Porsche so everyone thinks I'm stinking rich grin

goingtotown Thu 16-May-19 22:36:12

What are ‘black dolly shoes’?

PaintingOwls Thu 16-May-19 22:42:37


Like ballet pumps.

goingtotown Thu 16-May-19 22:45:57

PaintingOwls Thank you.

fancynancyclancy Thu 16-May-19 22:48:18

I thought dolly shoes were Mary Janes?

fancynancyclancy Thu 16-May-19 22:50:43

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