I Want to Look Richer Than I Am—8 Ways to Dress the Part

You might assume that to look expensive, you need to buy eye-wateringly expensive things, but looking rich isn't just about flashy logos and jewellery so valuable it must be stored in a safe. There are little tricks that can make any outfit look more elevated, from ensuring your shirts are always crisp to the colours that appear to add a couple of zeros to the cost of your outfit.

Many of these styling rules have been set by stealth-wealth luxury brands, such as The Row and Phoebe Philo for Céline, who show that timeless, classic pieces always add an air of sophistication to your look. Think biscuit-coloured tailoring, an oversized trench coat and a perfectly starched white shirt.

Intrigued? Keep scrolling to see the nine things that will always make you look richer than you are (without sending your bank balance into the red).

1. Invest in a White Shirt—Keep It Crinkle-Free!


(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

Style Notes: An easy way to look expensive is to make sure your clothes are as immaculate as possible and in our book, nothing looks as luxurious as a freshly pressed, white shirt. Plus, you don't actually have to go to the dry cleaner or spend hours ironing; just invest in a decent steamer.

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2. Try Neutral Head-to-Toe Colours


(Image credit: @thestylestalkercom)

Style Notes: So the argument could be that wearing neutral colours head-to-toe isn't going to suit everyone's personal style, but there's something eternally elegant and confident about the choice. If you can risk going for all-cream, then we salute you (and your stain avoidance).

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3. Invest in Shoes


(Image credit: @smythsisters)

Style Notes: There's something about ultra-cheap shoes that has the potential to really ruin a look—not to mention they might be poorly made and therefore less beneficial for your foot health, and probably bad for the environment if you can only get a small amount of use out of them before they have to be discarded. It's a good idea to invest in slightly more premium footwear options that are timeless, and then ensure you get them resoled and keep them looking in good condition in order to last longer.

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4. Wear Silk


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Style Notes: Invest in quality fabrics such as silk. Timeless, elegant pieces add an air of sophistication to your look and can easily be dressed up or down. Plus, the high street has a great offering of such pieces right now. You can wash many silk pieces at home—ensure you have a detergent for delicate fabrics and a very low temperature setting on your washing machine. Rejoice!

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5. Keep Your Accessories Understated


(Image credit: @_marisamartins_)

Style Notes: Whether pricey or affordable, understated accessories—and that's covering everything from watches and jewellery through to belts and handbags—will always look considered and premium when they tap less into trends and more into classicism. Keep the lines clean, the detail to a minimum and print and colour muted.

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6. Rely on a Proper Overcoat or Trench


(Image credit: @anoukyve)

Style Notes: All Who What Wear editors agree, a tailored coat or classic trench instantly elevates any outfit. Choose camel or monochrome for extra style points.

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7. Opt For a Mini Bag


(Image credit: @symphonyofsilk)

Style Notes: Okay, this might not be the most useful advice in the world, but there's no denying that mini handbags have become a status symbol—even if they are completely impractical on a day-to-day basis. Perhaps that's precisely why they're favoured. In fact, Gigi Hadid often leaves the house with a tiny handbag that's only big enough for a lipstick and a credit card. Because, really, what more could you need? Um… Kindle, hand sanitiser, umbrella, makeup bag, phone charger. So mini bags are for specially appointed days!

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8. Aim for a Great Fit


(Image credit: @monikh)

Style Notes: Even if your clothes are affordable, it's worth investing a little extra in getting pieces tailored to fit you like a glove. You'll get more wear of them if they're flattering and comfortable, fact. Influencers such as Monikh often share the process behind taking items to their local tailors, but there are also apps such as Sojo that you can book via your phone.

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Poppy Nash
Managing Editor

Poppy joined the Who What Wear UK team as managing editor in 2022. After graduating from university with a degree in English literature, she worked for a number of print and digital publications, including Women's Health, The Times, Hello! and Marie Claire. In these roles she assisted the fashion teams with print content as well as digital shopping features, shoots and celebrity news.

Prior to Who What Wear, Poppy worked at SheerLuxe as the commercial content manager. There she oversaw all paid-for site content and inclusions, managed the visual assets and briefs for branded content, and ensured all content—whether editorial or commercial—was in line with overall brand guidelines and tone. She also supported the editorial team by looking after visual merchandising on site and reviewing the brand’s daily newsletters.

As WWW UK’s managing editor, Poppy spends most of her time looking after the content calendar and all output across the brand, in addition to working with contributors, supporting with social media planning, assisting with branded content and contributing to brand strategy. Poppy prides herself on being organised, and a keen eye for detail means she oversees the production of tentpole moments such as Who What Wear’s quarterly celebrity covers, the Wedding Issue, team shoots, events, industry-facing moments, gift guides and more. In addition to this, Poppy ensures processes across the brand are efficient and effective, and is always on the lookout for ways the team can work smarter, not harder! As someone who works behind the scenes (Poppy loves a spreadsheet!), you won’t find many articles by Poppy on site, but when you do there’s no doubt they will either be focused on dresses, handbags or classic high-street buys. Or better yet, all three!

Born and raised in London, Poppy is a true city girl. When she's not thinking about clothes (or raiding her mum’s wardrobe), Poppy fills her time walking along the river with her 11-year-old labradoodle, getting stuck in a good book and enjoying as many of the city’s amazing restaurants and bars as her purse will allow! Her favourite London spots are Caravel for dinner, the Ham Yard Hotel for a fancy pre-theatre drink, Daunt Books for a new read, 26Grains for breakfast and Coal Drop's Yard for a spot of shopping.