Three lady friends met up at their favourite coffee shop for their monthly get-together. There they are, busy chatting up a storm while drinking their iced coffees. Then suddenly, a woman came in the cafe and the three friends stop their conversation and looked at the woman who came in. The people from other tables also stared at this woman. She wasn’t particularly typically pretty but there is something about her that you can’t just help but stare. The French would call it, “je nais se quois“.
One friend said, “Woah, what I would give to be like that lady. She looks so elegant and confident“
The other friend reply, “It is obvious she is born with a silver-spoon to look perfect like that and have that kind of aura. Gosh, I wish I am rich.”
The third friend chimed in, “Yes, I think she came from a privileged background. But I have good news for you, girls. We can just emulate her even if we don’t have millions in our bank accounts.”
The other two friends looked at each other and asked simultaneously in a low doubting voices, “How?“
The third friend was correct. Even if you may not be born in the upper social classes but you can borrow some “rich girl” tried & true trademarks to achieve that elegance and class they observed from the woman from the coffeeshop. The aura projected by that woman from the coffeeshop has little to do with amount of money in her bank account (who knows she might even be a broke girl like us) but rather the attitude of confident elegance that she exudes that make her so alluring. Because we all know for a fact that not all “rich girls” are classy (Insert names of rich socialites who star in reality TV shows. You know who they are).
So for the sake of discussion here when we are referring to the “rich girl”, we are looking towards the classy elegant women most often born from old money, studied in prestigious school, travelled extensively, may even speak a few languages or two and may even have attended finishing school. You can think of women like Amal Clooney, Kate Middleton, Olivia Palermo and Jamila Musayeva, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and many more examples. But honestly, you don’t need millions to look expensive. Here are 15 tips to look effortlessly rich, classy and elegant at all time.
1. Stick to classic fashion
Stick to basic designs. Think of the fashion of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis, Audrey Hepburn and Kate Middleton.They stick to classic fashion style. Avoid to trendy style that will go out of style.
2. Sleek healthy hair
There are something about the hair of the elegant rich women. They normally don’t change hairstyle a lot and keep to their signature flattering hairstyle. Look at Anna Wintour, Editor of Vogue Magazine. She always look classy with her signature bob. Posh women normally have their hair in place, no messy out-of-bed hair. They would either put it in a sleek bun or they would let their hair down in either pin-straight hair or soft curls. One thing, you’ll notice is the health of their hair – no split-ends, no dry hair, etc. They definitely stick to their monthly hair appointment religiously.
3. Minimal Makeup or Mastering the art of the no-makeup makeup look
Don’t pile on the makeup or wear too much colours on your eyes or highlighting all features of your face. Practice the art of the no-makeup makeup. Find a lightweight foundation or better yet use a tinted moisturiser to create a good canvas on a well-hydrated face. Try a subtle eyelash extension rather than false eyelashes. Japanese eyelash extension are more natural looking as far as I have tried. Find a good shade of MLBB (My Lips But Better) lipstick that would flatter you. Stick to eyeliner and a well-groomed eyebrows.
If you want a pop of colour, wear a red lipstick that suits you well. Apart from a good thin layer of foundation and strategically applied concealer, leave the whole face bare with your red lips on.
4. Clear Skin
Invest on good skincare products rather than cosmetics. The appealing feature of rich girls are their smooth blemish-free skin which allow them to use lesser makeup too. They usually have monthly or weekly facial appointments. But you can do your weekly exfoliation and facial mask routine at home. I like Skinfood Black Sugar Facial Scrub followed by any of EtudeHouse facial sheet mask. Here in Oman, I do weekly Saeskin Pink Clay Mask. If you have more skin concerns, invest on monthly appointment with a dermatologist for dermabrasion or facials with a reputable aesthetician.
5. Clean nails
Avoid very long claw-like fingernails or God forbid, dirty fingersnails. If you can’t spare time or money for monthly or weekly nail services, just keep you nails short and clean. If you know how to do your nails at home or you can include nail services it in your budget, opt for French manicures or choose neutral nail colours like beige or nude or light pastel colours. You can also choose red color nails or maybe just your toenails as long as you can maintain it. Chip nails are a no-no.
6. Statement sunglasses
There is something about dark sunglasses that makes a person mysterious and elegant. Celebrities are aware of that and uses this trick to look put-together when in public. Also remember Audrey Hepburn in the movie, Breakfast at Tiffany with her big cat-eye sunglasses? Even if you have no makeup on, put a pair of dark sunglasses and you transform your look instantly. You don’t need to buy very expensive ones. Just find a flattering frame that suits your face perfectly.
7. Classic wristwatch
Put on a classic gold or silver watch. Avoid those colourful watches with quirky designs and plastic straps. If you can’t afford to buy expensive watches now (maybe in the future because it can be a good investment piece), check out affordable luxury watches with timeless minimalist designs like Skaagen or Daniel Wellington. Save your money and invest on a Cartier or Rolex next time *wink wink.
8. Neutral colours
When in doubt, choose white or black colours. Better yet, move towards neutral colours like beige, tan, nude, browns. Avoid overly bright colours like neons or huge distracting patterns. This can be a tricky advice because there are some people (like me!) who doesn’t look good in neutral colours like beige and nudes because they would look wash out. To solve this problem, you can carefully choose colours that best compliment your skin tone. Avoid those artificial colours that can look really unflattering.
9 Monochromatic outfits
Similar to neutral colours, you can choose to style yourself in monochromatic outfits. Match the whole outfit in one colour. Be it is all white or all black, it will elevate your look. To create contrast, you can add difference textures to the outfit by matching wool jacket with a silk blouse. I have to add that certain texture of clothings can set you apart and make you look regal and expensive. Avoid synthetic fabrics like nylon or polyester. Choose instead natural fabrics like silk, linen, cotton and wool.
10. Tailored Clothes
One thing that can break an outfit even if it is the most expensive clothing you bought is the fit. Make sure the clothes fit you well especially in the shoulders. It shouldn’t look like it is hanging lifelessly on your body. It must fit your frame perfectly. But it must not be too tight as well. That is why it is best to find an affordable tailor in your neighbourhood. Especially with a petite frame like me, I would need clothes I bought at the mall to be tailored fit for my small frame.
11. Dainty jewelries
Choose dainty jewelries oppose to loud, too obvious jewelries. Some nouveau rich commit this mistake of showing off too much at the same time. Subtlety always exudes elegance. Choose diamond or pearl ear studs. Pearl necklaces are always a great go-to jewelry to project class and opulence. An image consultant said in a workshop I attended that a woman should only wear 5 accessories at a time and that includes her wedding ring. If it is more than 5 accessories, remove one to avoid looking like a Christmas tree.
12. Tuck-in your shirts
This maybe a very simple advice but it does really make a difference. Tucking in your shirts compared to letting it hang loose gives you a put-together look. Even a simple white t-shirt tucked in a dark coloured jeans with loafers, simple jewelry and leather bag, this ensemble can make you looking very casually chic.
13. Well-pressed clothes
One thing that my husband really hates is crumpled clothes. He can’t leave the house if his clothes are not well-pressed or steamed. When we travel, we often check if the hotel we are staying have an iron or else we bring our own iron with us. At home, we have even a steamer for clothes. Even the most expensive dress if not pressed or steamed can look very tacky.
14. Structured bag
Buy a nice quality structured bag. If you can’t afford to splurge on a branded bag, find a good structured leather bag. Take inspiration from Prada Saffiano Tote bag, Christian Dior Lady Dior Bag, Givenchy Antigona bag, and of course the iconic Hermes Birkin and Kelly bags. If you can afford branded bags, stay away from super obvious logos on your bags which translates to flaunting and too obvious. There are some branded bags that are too shapeless to be considered elegant like the Balenciaga GH City bag (To be honest, I like that bag), Louis Vuitton Neverfull (sorry, I know a lot of people has this bag) or Longchamp Le Pilage bag (Haha! I have this bag. Broke girl here), used out of comfort and its roominess. But if you are adamant to follow rich girl guide to elegance, a structured leather bag is the way to go. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Once you can save, invest on one nice structured branded bag. No need to buy a closet full of bags, one or maybe two is enough.
15. Mind your manners and practice good etiquette
One thing also that sets the elegant ladies apart is their demeanour. You don’t hear vulgar or loud voices from them (Maybe closed door, who know?). They are expert in social graces, always with a smile, a please and a thank you, walking the room with good posture and undeniable finesse. Get a book of Ms. Emily Post, an author and socialite from the 1970’s. She wrote extensive material on etiquette. I heard about her from my mother who reads her book when she was still a little girl. Also cultivate kindness. Kindness is always a wonderful virtue to embody. Be kind to everyone, whatever their social ranking in life. You know a well-brought up person is someone who is nice to the big bosses of the company and also nice to the janitors for the company.
There you have it, 15 tips to look elegant and expensive. The purpose of this post does not aim to seek materialism or superficiality, which I would never advocate. Rather, we aim to aspire the elegance and class that these well-raised rich girls emanate. No need to be like the three friends wishing and hoping to be that girl in the coffee shop, covering with a smidge of envy and self-pity because we can always work toward being “that girl” – the elegant classy rich girl. *wink.