How To Look Rich on a Tight Budget: 18 Easy Tips

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Keep up with the latest in fashion, beauty and style!

Wondering how some people always have that wealthy, affluent, millionaire look?

We all have this kind of friend, turning heads around as they walk down the street, leaving trails of expensive perfume.

Their nails are always manicured, sunglasses on the head, and jewelry with diamond studs – small enough to be authentic but large enough to get noticed.


In this article:

  • I’ll show you how to look rich with 18 tips, even if you’re on a very tight budget.
  • I’ll pack in easy tips on how to dress like you’ve got more money than you know what to do with – like a lottery winner – in no time.
  • I’ll pack great grooming tips and how to select necessary accessories that make you look classy and sophisticated.
  • You’ll learn how to carry yourself and what you must do to create an image of wealth and richness!

1. Avoid Logos


Most luxury and high-end designer brands never place large crests and logos on their clothes.

Why? The top fashion brands worldwide have unique styles that separate them from other labels.

Those unique styles and cuts can ‘speak’ to their affluent buyers who know how to recognize them.

Big logos make outfits look cheap

… and that’s not the way to go if you want to look rich.

Showing logos as a sign of reputation makes you look like you’re trying too hard and reeks of desperation.

No expensive outfit or designer clothes have large logos or crests, at least not “in the face.”

If you want to look like you’ve got a fat bank account, don’t make yourself a walking billboard for brand names.

Go for clean clothes with silent logos; go for sophisticated coats you can match with a logo-free handbag.

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Trendy brands such as Coach, Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, and Gucci have prominently placed emblems on their clothes and shoes.

But, even though these might be expensive brands, logos are never a sign of wealth.

More luxurious and haute-couture brands above these brands do not have logos, and wealthy people only wear those.

Avoid putting brands on display; a purse covered in logos is nothing you want to be seen carrying.

Above all, aim for a wardrobe of beautiful form-fitting clothes of mysterious origin, rather than a wardrobe with one expensive Coach bag and the rest Primark or Zara.

2. Wear Fitted Clothes

How To Look Rich on a Tight Budget: 18 Easy Tips

Wealthy and affluent people wear fitted clothes.

Wearing outfits too big or too small reflects poor taste or a lack of resources.

The cheapest way is to get a tailor to modify your outfits and ensure the clothing is shaped to fit you perfectly.

Why? Because fitted clothes and classic pieces signify taste, class, and wealth.

If you do not have a tailor already, ensure you get one based on reviews or referrals.

The most obvious sign of wealth is not in bling-bling, specific brands, fabrics, or a particular style.

No, wealth is seen in perfectly tailored clothes.

How To Look Rich on a Tight Budget: 18 Easy Tips

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How to Look Rich Tailor your clothes to fit your body

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To look rich, you must ensure your clothes fit like they were designed for your body.

Clothes must fit your form and flatter your figure, whether you’re talking about casual or formal wear.

If you can’t afford a trip to a tailor, bear this in mind.

Most department store clothing is variable because of how the fabric is machine cut.

Two pairs of pants labeled the same size often differ in length or width.

Try on at least three pairs of your size to find the one that fits you best.

Never buy any shirts, skirts, or pants unless it fits your body to perfection.

3. Have A Quality Piece

How to look rich - Quality over quantity

I get that you’re getting dressed within a budget; fine and good!

But being on a budget is never an excuse for buying low-quality clothing.

Honestly, I prefer 4-5 quality clothes to a complete wardrobe of tasteless and crappy outfits.

First, never buy too many clothes at once.

Second, don’t be lured into special offers on discounted, low-quality outfits.

Keep your money and only get the most fitting ones from natural and sustainable textiles that will last.

My favorite place to shop high-quality slow fashion at affordable prices is Everlane!

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Also, I think this should be common knowledge, never buy clothes to keep up with the trends.

Fashion trends come and go, and the clothes you’ve filled your wardrobe will quickly become useless.

Your wardrobe should hold tailored, versatile, and classic enough pieces that won’t go out of style soon.

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It’s worth saving money for a great pair of stylish women’s jeans that fit you perfectly and are versatile enough to mix with other clothes in your wardrobe.

A pair of well-fitting black jeans must be a good investment for the office, clubbing, and a day in the park.

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Also, if you want to splurge on a nice bag, make sure it’s a versatile color, big enough to suit your needs and in the style you like.

4. Know Your Fabrics

Luxury fashion fabrics to look rich

In simple terms, there are two different kinds of fabrics: natural fabrics and synthetic ones.

Each fabric has a unique type of maintenance, usage, and, most importantly, styling rules.

Knowing your fabrics gives you an idea about how to dress and what to match.

Polyester, Nylon, and Rayon – all artificial fiber – won’t hang properly on your body like natural wool or cotton fabrics.

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Moreover, mixing these fabrics can often result in stylistic disasters.

Ideally, fabrics should be all-natural from sustainable clothing designers.

Look at the tags of your clothes and only mix cotton, cashmere, silk, linen, and wool.

Also, synthetic materials are to be mixed only with synthetics.

For example, if wearing a wool jacket with an Adidas tracksuit was fine in the 90s fashion days, that’s no longer the case.

5. Be Fashion Educated


If you’re playing at looking wealthy, you want to look like you’ve got somewhere important to be.

A board meeting? An exclusive dance club? A yacht club? A red carpet? Every day should be an excuse to dress up and look rich.

But for that, you should know how to create each unique style you can wear on special occasions.

Learn the most popular timeless pieces, most expensive designer clothes, expensive brands, and quality fabrics so you know what to talk about.

Learn how to wear a black dress, a dinner jacket, a suit, a well-tailored pair of pants, or even a button-down shirt.

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Learn how to wear and match coats, cardigans in pastel colors, pressed cotton shirts, form-fitting slacks, and slim-fitting jackets.

Learn how to match tailored pieces, white button skirts, dresses, and pumps, like a celeb from those 1920 fashion magazines.

Or, see how you can rock a trendy pair of designer jeans, a scarf, and a printed tee, to look chic like a sexy movie star.

And don’t worry about spending a penny on how to dress like a rich person.

There are plenty for free online; all you need is the willingness to learn.

6. Stylish Jewelry


Wearing jewelry can be a style trap.

Too little jewelry cries out ‘poor,’ while too many shout out ‘poseur.’

A few well-placed pieces of stylish jewelry can give your overall look richer elegance.

Your necklace, bracelets, and rings should signal the type of wealth you want to reflect.

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If you can’t afford the real thing, keep it classic with some statement pieces.

Instead of a genuine Cartier “Tank” watch, get the cheapest and simplest unbranded watch, and match it with a posh leather band.

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Remember that as fake pearls are tough to identify, these are much safer than faux diamond necklaces.

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Talking about bling, smartly assorted accessories make the wearer look rich, and you’ll see why below why – keep reading.

7. Tasteful Accessories


Smart accessories and stylish glasses are the main ingredients of any outfit.

With poor accessories, you stand the risk of looking bland and average.

After taking your time to pick your outfits, ensure you get unique accessories to match them.

When it comes to sunglasses, choose the most extravagant-looking styles you can get your hands on without breaking the bank.

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That’s because wealthy people signal power and opulence by wearing the latest eyewear trends you can’t find in your local store.

An authentic designer bag or wallet is nice – but try to choose a bag that’s a bit more minimalistic.

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Sporting the latest fashion bag shows you’re following the newest trend, which is anathema to the old-money crowd.

The L.L. Bean Boat & Tote or a classic black quilted Chanel-looking accessories are good options.

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Nothing avant-garde and nothing that looks like the Balenciaga or Chloe Paddington.

However, if you’re impersonating the nouveau riche, looking and wearing trendy accessories becomes mandatory.

In that case, you can rent designer accessories from places like Le Tote, Leading Luxury, or Rent the Runway to save money while appearing super-rich.

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8. Take Care Of Your Clothes


Taking care of your clothes regularly is one of the best ways to look rich.

Messy will never equal ‘wealthy’ at first glance, so keep things polished with clean lines, accessories, and neat hair and makeup.

Wash your clothes according to the directions, always, and air-dry them, and use a steamer to retain the items’ lives.

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Dry-clean delicate fabrics and press your clothes before wearing them.

However, be aware that the more you wash certain items, the faster they ‘age.’

Press your clothes and fold them neatly between wearings, so you won’t need to wash them more frequently.

Coats of wool, velvet, and silk need to be dry-cleaned.

Any clothing made of cotton and cashmere can be washed fine at home.

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Iron your clothes carefully and systematically at the right temperature.

Crisp and neatly ironed shirts and trousers signal wealth and elegance.

You can never look wealthy in crumpled and rough shirts.

Wash your clothes with suitable detergents to ensure the colors aren’t washed away.

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If your goal is to look rich, all these small changes are critical.

Let’s not forget shoes are another essential element to looking wealthy – so invest in an excellent shoe-shining kit.

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There’s no excuse for leaving your home with dirty shoes.

Speaking of shoes…

9. Wear Statement Shoes


Leather shoes, bags, and purses create an aura of wealth around you.

You can’t look rich walking around with dusty and cheap shoes.

As they say:

a good pair of shoes make the outfit

… so it’s a good practice to spend a little extra attention on your shoes when you put your ‘rich look’ together.

Acquire at least one pair of good quality and well-made shoes.

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For men, some very conservative and understated oxfords or loafers are a good idea.

Higher-ankle Beatle boots can also be stylish and appear expensive.

And even now, in times of sustainable fashion development, leather shoes remain key.

For women, a conservative pump, like the classic Chanel, would be a good choice.

If you can’t afford classic brands, start with a minimalist leather tote paired with simple ballet flats or loafers.

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Make sure you always keep your shoes and heels shiny and clean.

Take them off when indoors and polish them regularly to keep them looking out of the box.

Keep the box and store them inside it.

Invest in a good pair of shoes, a cocktail dress, and a designer handbag, if nothing else.

10. Follow a Skincare Routine


This tip is probably the most obvious one but also the most important of all.

I know people with money, trying to look rich, failing miserably at the personal cleanliness chapter.

You can wear all perfumes and makeup products, but one thing is sure: nothing can mask the foul smell of dirty, unhealthy skin.

Rich people are often concerned about their skin and would pay any amount to buy the latest skincare products or visit a dermatologist.

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However, skincare doesn’t have to be expensive.

You can naturally get rid of wrinkled skin by ending destructive habits and adopting new healthier ones, such as quitting smoking and drinking.

Remember, your skin is often a reflection of your internal health.

The healthier you are, the more radiant you will become, and good skin projects you, indirectly, as decadent.

11. Style Your Hair


When you’re strapped for cash, paying for a haircut is one of the first things that goes out of the window.

However, getting a good-quality haircut from a beautician or barber you trust about 1-2 times a month is critical to look rich.

If you can’t afford a professional cut, treat your split ends at home with good quality products.

Also, keep a clean and fresh hairstyle away from your face.

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Go for a tasteful and trendy cuts (like wolf cut) natural colors, and healthy hair.

Hair color should look natural, and highlights and lowlights must be natural as if obtained on a visit to the beach house.

How to look rich hair color

If you want to save some money, learn to cut your hair.

Regardless, your hair should never look rough or messy.

That’s because cool hairstyles are a typical mannerism of wealthy people.

If your hair is always unkempt and scattered, there’s no way you’ll be perceived as a rich person.

Moving around with messy hair shows that you don’t care about your physical health and would put people off at first sight.

For most people, hair is the yardstick for judgment.

Get a good haircut, showcase a beautiful hairstyle, and you’ll be fine.

12. Have Healthy, Clean Nails


Manicures don’t have to cost much money to make a big difference in your appearance.

Clean your nails regularly, get manicures at inexpensive nail salons, or use a high-quality press-on kit at home.

Short tips can be classy and rich-looking, but longer nails look cheaper and faker.

For the perfect look, wear an essential French tip or minimalistic ombre nails.

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Men should also invest in manicures regularly to keep their nails and cuticles in good shape.

Taking the time to trip nails and keep them strong and healthy is a sign of money.

Learn to clean your nails yourself and trim your cuticles to save.

13. Fix Your Teeth


Dental care is expensive – the more you take care of your teeth, the brighter they are and the wealthier you’ll look.

Make your smile look like a couple of million bucks.

White teeth aren’t necessarily signs of healthy teeth, but they always look better than stained or yellow ones.

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Avoid drinking too much coffee, tea, and tobacco products to keep your teeth as white as possible.

A white, sparkling set of teeth reflects neatness and excellent self-care, significant signs of wealth.

In the United States, one of the most incredible giveaways that someone is poor is their teeth.

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.

Rich people will pay to have a perfect set of teeth.

If you’re going to look anything like them, you have to put in the effort too.

Floss every day, and use non-alcoholic mouthwash to keep your breath fresh.

Also, brush your teeth and tongue daily with toothpaste that has whitening properties.


14. Apply Makeup Like a Pro


Here’s another tip that will make you look super-rich.

Learn to match your makeup with your clothes, accessories, and even the occasion you want to attend.

No money is required; there are plenty of free makeup tutorials on youtube.

All you need is a cheap organic and cruelty-free makeup set and a willingness to learn.

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Remember that a wealthy woman’s makeup looks natural, based on neutral colors and a gentle foundation.

No over-the-top cat eyeliner or false lashes – keep it natural and tasteful.

Natural skin color looks healthier and wealthier, so to avoid sunspots and sunburns, use sunscreen.

15. Smell Like Big Money


If you want to look rich, then you have to smell nice.

Your smell tells a lot about a person, where they live, what they do.,

Getting a signature perfume or cologne that commands an elegant personality is key to being perceived as rich.

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Men and women should wear a small amount of subtle and sophisticated scents.

Know that woodsy and floral scents are always classy.

On the other hand, sugary scents scream out, ‘bought at the mall.’

You don’t have to break the bank to buy good perfumes that smell expensive.

Yet, know that the best high-end perfumes are always – yes, pricey – a good, long-time investment.

Wait for deals at your favorite department stores and save for a perfume that smells good.

In general, you want to avoid super-new ‘celebrity-endorsed’ fragrances.

Men should wear cologne on the inner wrist, chest, and underneath the jawline.

Women should wear perfumes on the inner wrist, inner elbows, underneath the jawline, behind the ears, and at the back of the neck.

16. Act Cultured


Rich people talk about ideas rather than other people or events, so bear that in mind.

Rich people are very stylish and cultured about what and how they talk.

Proper table manners add to one’s overall image of wealth.

YouTube has unique educational content on what to talk about; feast your eyes on those videos from time to time.

But, if you want to look like you’ve got a lot of money, you need to practice good manners at all times.

Even when waiting in line at the M&S, you must remain elegant in behavior.

Eat more slowly and chew with your mouth closed.

Take your time and enjoy your food instead of wolfing it down.

Stay calm and avoid raising your voice when you’re upset.

Learn to speak calmly and evenly, even if someone is pushing your buttons.

Stand up straight and hold your chin up; excellent posture while sitting or standing is a sign of wealth.

17. Act Rich Online


In the digital era, richness extends to one’s online presence.

You’ll notice rich people take pictures from various lit events and ‘garnish’ their Instagram pages with photos of beautiful scenery.

Want to have a rich aura? Try doing that.

Instead of seeing your Instagram as a platform for showing off your attractiveness, think about how to turn it into a storybook about your life.

Even if you can’t afford to fly to far-off destinations, there may be cool things to do in your area that you haven’t discovered yet.


Put up pictures of exotic brands and locations as if you were buying them or heading there on your next vacation, even if you’re not.

Now there are some things to avoid at all costs online:

Do not complain about the service at a posh restaurant; only poseurs do!

This restaurant is THE WORST. I mean, how hard is it to get a savory watermelon gazpacho right?

Don’t show false humility or embrace the humblebrag:

Today has been tough. The to-go cups at the new coffee place don’t fit the cup holders in my Mercedes, so I had to drink my latte too fast!

Don’t show off on Instagram with bags of cash, as you’ve just hit the jackpot at Lottoland!

18. Have Classy Hobbies


Apart from an excellent sense of style, timeless wardrobe pieces, ultimate power-play accessories, designer names, and other stealth-wealth luxury brands, rich people have hobbies.

While some of these activities are expensive, if you want people to think you’re rich without spending or participating, you must copy and replicate the following upper-class hobbies:

– Horse riding
– Golf
– Tennis
– Skiing
– Sailing
– Playing polo

Key Takeaways

And there you have it; the best 18 tips on how to look rich while on low funds or a tight budget.

Here is the summary:

  • Always wear clean clothes, freshly pressed, with no threads, rips, stains, or fading.
  • Black, white, and navy are always elegant colors that can make you look more expensive.
  • Match your outfit with accessories such as bracelets and a pair of sunglasses for that extra visual effect.
  • Put it all together with natural-looking basics such as a bit of mascara, a neutral shade of lipstick (or gloss), and a hint of blush.

People associate money with success and believe you must be rich to look rich.

But I have met many people who aren’t rich (yet) and never fail to look wealthy AF.

Life is a runway of experience, and in the hassle of keeping up, it can be hard to look your best.

Creating a luxurious appearance under financial pressure requires a strict following of the ’18 rules on how to look rich’ described above.

Many people want to look rich and classy on a budget, yet only a few know how to achieve that.

With the knowledge that these 18 tips on looking rich and dressed like a millionaire on a budget help, don’t forget to leave your recommendations below so others benefit from your experiences.

To recap, you don’t have to empty your bank account to look like a millionaire.

See above the 18 steps to style yourself and look classy, expensive, glamorous, and rich.

Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with the latest in fashion, beauty and style!

Natalie is an expert communications advisor for large media firms, specializing in implementing, managing, and delivering marketing strategies with award-winning results. Natalie uses her expertise and connections to provide The VOU's audience with a deep understanding of the Australian lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and popular brands.

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  2. How about wearing gold hip-hop-style diamond chains, gold rings, and so on? Like all these hip-hoppers, don’t they look rich to you? I kind of like the look and the idea, I think it is super cool.

  3. Here’s one you missed! Find the “good” second-hand shop where the actually rich people in your area donate their gently used items near you, and search for “like new” items regularly through the year paying attention to fabric quality and fit over everything else. Especially look for “off season” classic pieces that you can wear the following year! Sometimes you can find good bags that way too. If the piece is classic and still in good shape no one has to know it was thrifted!!!

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  5. I am giving a testimony on how I am becoming rich and famous day after day.

    I was deeply strangled by poverty and I had nobody to help me.

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    I was so ashamed of myself day by day until I met a man that changed my life – at least so far.

    He is very rich and took the time to tell me something, while I was cleaning his shoes.

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  6. Here’s another thing you can do to look rich (and become rich) if you are on a tight budget right now: join the Freemasonry society. I always dreamed to work in one of the biggest companies in my country but with my qualifications and degree, it will take years before getting the position I wanted. I then owned q company, as a member of the Freemasonry society and got the job and the position I desire. I was paid the highest salary then, after many years, I am 36 years old, I am very wealthy I have my own companies and business around the world. I can say that the Freemasonry society has helped me to achieve all this. Being a freemason gives you the knowledge and information you need to achieve that big dream.
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  7. I am not poor by any means, but I always look for solutions or strategies to improve my image and my look (without breaking my bank account) and this article is absolutely amazing at doing that.

  8. I love this! I’m headed to a beautiful place soon and I wanted some tips on enhancing elegance and this was great to read. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Great article! Please try not to keep saying, ‘without further ado . . .’ in every article you write – it’s the biggest cliché of them all and really undermines your professional image.

    • Rosemary, you would be best served by seeking out ways to improve your own character and manners, rather than critiquing other people.

  10. This is the best article i’ve ever come across,i should say, i’ve learned a lot from it and it’s a five star rating article.

  11. I am not rich by any means, but this article helped me improve my look, style, appearance, and so much more than friends ask me if I won the lottery recently :)))

  12. It is crazy how many people come here (including me) to learn how to look rich, without breaking the bank. Great article, it really helps a lot!

  13. This is good advice. Speaking for myself, I don’t really care about how much money other people have, but I do care whether they can make interesting conversation. So a well rounded education is very helpful, but short of that, just being up on current events. I’d also note that wealthy people tend to exercise.

  14. I work for a company in Bangalore and Chennai, India that does training for people ‘on how to look rich and educated’ to give them better life opportunities. This article helped me tremendously with the curriculum and training and this is what I am using from now on. The next advancement of our company is to teach people how to craft simple but fashionable clothes at no cost at all – and if anyone here is interested in sponsoring us please get in touch.


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