“I love your shoes,” remarked the elderly gentlemen sitting across from me in the clinic waiting room. My ‘shoe du jour’ was a black, velour, backless slide, with intricately gold swirls across the top. In the center of the one-inch, black heel ran a bold, golden stripe. Spotting them in one of the many ‘junk’ magazines that overflows my mailbox, much like a person on ‘crack,’ I just had to have them. A steal at $14.99, they looked way more expensive.
Full disclosure. I’ve never met a shoe that I didn’t like. So, when pondering how to look both rich and classy, with minimal effect, I start with shoes. To me, wearing a cute shoe can minimize a multitude of wardrobe sins.
A must when it comes to shoes is they must fit well. No matter how cute a shoe is or how much you love it, nothing distracts from your appearance other than a shoe so large it flip-flops off your heels every time you take a step. Or one that pitches your feet forward, forcing your toes to kiss the pavement—or wearing a shoe where your feet overlap the heels.
“I love those shoes,” said a lady sitting near me at a staff meeting. That day, I was wearing a faux snakeskin bootie with a pointed toe. “Your blouse (a matching snakeskin print) matches perfectly. Did you buy them together?’ she asked. “No, I bought the shoes first (naturally) and later looked for a blouse that was similar,” I answered. “I got both for a great price,” I couldn’t help bragging.
1. Purchase quality pieces
My secret to buying items that look rich or expensive is purchasing a couple of quality pieces. To save money, I purchase them when they are marked down more than 25 percent. Once, finding a particular item that looks and fits well, if they come in several colors, I’ll buy all the colors. Watching for sales often means buying it at different times and resulting in paying as much as 40 percent less, for the same item, in a different color.
A ‘nice’ handbag, sometimes referred to as a purse or a pocketbook, can portray that rich and classy look. While a leather one offers better quality, those with some kind of faux, animal print, or some other texture (like the wine-colored textured tote that I paid less than $50.00 for and received tons of compliments on) can project a that classy look.
2. Pair classic pieces with fun items
Purchase basic or classic pieces. For instance, a pair of black slacks, a black or navy skirt paired with a crisp white blouse, takes on a whole, new look when they are paired with bold accessories. Paired with a colorful blouse, a printed sweater, or paired with a bold, graphic jacket, and they take on a classy, fun look.
3. Purchase clothes that fit
Nothing ruins a ‘look’ than clothes that are ill-fitting. Clothes that require you to suck in your stomach, cause you to stand, or sit a particular way, are signs that they don’t fit well. No matter how cute or expensive an outfit, if it does not fit you well, it is of little value.
4. Caring for your clothes
Pay extra attention to the proper way to care for an item before buying it. Does it require dry cleaning? Or, can you throw it into the wash? Does an item constantly need pressing before you can wear it? Do thoughts of ironing make you break out in hives? Then, you might want to reconsider purchasing it.
5. Smelling good
“You smell good,” said the guy holding the door for me at the gas station. Was he trying to hit on me? Maybe. The truth is, I’m regularly complimented on how I smell by men and women alike. Frequently, I even asked what I’m wearing.
Nothing screams rich and classy, like smelling good. My love of perfume and fragrance stemmed from my mother, my teachers, and other women in my ‘village’ when I was growing up. As a young girl, I’d retrieve the empty perfume bottle from the trash where my mother had thrown it. Dabbing the errant, drop on me, I’d run outside to play.
Smelling good, need not break the bank. While I buy perfume, I also adore the spritzes, body lotions, and shower gels from Bath and Body Works. Spritzing ‘Dark Kiss’ on one wrist and ‘Madagascar Vanilla’ on the other, causing me to ponder, ‘Was this what Heaven smelled like?’ My ‘signature’ scent? Whatever I’m wearing that day.
Incorporating the above tips, I’ve learned to look rich and classy, with minimal effect. You see, looking rich, looking classy, makes me feel like a Boss! Strong! Confident! Confident enough to dip my toes into many realms. And, when you feel confident, you can do almost anything.