The truth is we all want to look like we have something—whether it's great taste, impeccable breeding, or a rockin' hot body—but considering the recent surge in luxury goods sales, we'd say most people today want to look rich.
So what makes someone look wealthy? These days, it's anyone's guess...but if higher education has taught us anything, it's what Old Money looks like. This list if far from being exhaustive, but here are a few ways to help you look like you come from Old Money:
- Wear classics. It sounds cliche, but by sticking to classics (and that includes modern classics like well-fitted jeans) you'll be well on your way to looking rich. Go for classic fabrics—cotton, cashmere, tweed, wool—while avoiding polyester at all costs. J. Crew, Banana Republic, L.L. Bean, the Gap, even Target are all fair game as long as you stick to classics. Understatement reigns supreme.
- Pay attention to grooming. Skin, teeth, hair, nails and toes should all be well-maintained (in that order). Clean, neutral makeup, natural looking highlights and neutral polish manicures (with medium to short length nails) all look rich.
- Wear an expensive watch. If you can't afford a classic Cartier or Franck Muller, go for a classic Timex or Swiss Army timepiece.
- Wear good shoes, and keep them in good condition. Anything leather or European is good; high-end comfort brands are also very popular, like Tsubos and Campers. If you're a teen, you can wear sneaks and they can get as grungy as you want.
- Carry an expensive classic designer handbag. Shop outlets and overstock.com if necessary. Something leather, nothing flashy, no large visible logos. Fellow rich friends will recognize your bag without having to see the brand.
- Wear elegant sunglasses. Again, no gaudy logos are needed. When in doubt, go for classic retro black shades.
- Never pay retail. The rich get and stay rich by saving, not spending.
- Keep jewelry to a minimun. Diamond studs can be worn daily or with a little black dress.
- Skip the tattoos. They're just not rich.
- Hang out with rich people. Generally speaking, this is the best way to study and imitate the way they dress, since they typically avoid trends or what you see in magazines and on the Hollywood crowd, and rather create their own understated versions of trends. For example, brightly-colored Lacoste polos, Birkenstocks or the Tiffany 'Bean' may have their moment in the old-money fashion spotlight for a year or so (old-money's version of a trend lasts longer than one season.)