Some people love to flaunt their cash by toting everything from clothing to pet carriers with designer labels slapped all over them. Whether you think these folks are tacky or not, they certainly do a good job of advertising their wealth (and making us jealous). But sometimes you notice the fine cut of a jacket or the high quality of a handbag, and realize that a person is subtly wealthy. Just yesterday a woman came into the boutique where I work, and while she at first seemed to be an average shopper, I noted her tailored gray cape and fine shoes. She ended up being our highest sale of the day. The cape was from a recent trip to Paris.

While you may not have the money to own a Parisian cape, there are subtle ways to help yourself feel confident and classy.  Check out my suggestions for doing so after the cut!


1. Craigslist. Most of my friends flock to Ebay for cheap designer goods. But remember when Craigslist was about more than missed connections and job postings? It still is, but nobody else recalls that fact. Which is why I’ve found everything from a car my Marc Jacobs handbag for dirt cheap on the site. People don’t necessarily post goods at low prices, but since so few users seem to peruse the listings it’s pretty easy to talk sellers down. I bargained $2,500 off my (already well below Blue Book) car, and picked up the handbag for $150 less than asking price. Try looking up a designer name in your listings and see what deals arise!


2. Don’t be picky.
No, my Marc Jacobs bag wasn’t the exact kind that I wanted. And it did have some wear on it. But I still love the darn thing, and its rough look actually adds to the style (I’m still surprised by how many people tell me they love how “well worn” it is). You may not be able to get the exact nice item you want, but honestly, you probably can’t afford to. Sometimes settling for second best is just fine, especially when first is unattainable.


3. Tailoring.
A well-tailored outfit can look like a bazillion bucks, even if you thrifted it from Goodwill. Actually, I’ve done just that, and receive more compliments on my well-tailored items than anything I’ve dropped tons of cash on. Conserve money by buying secondhand (but don’t settle for items made with cheap material; you can find high-quality fabrics at thrift stores) and then use the dough you saved to get items tailored. Because who doesn’t look high class in nice clothes that fit well?


4. You’re going to have to spend some money. Tailoring is somewhat expensive. My purse was still a personal splurge. Those designer sunglasses you’ve found on Craigslist are going to cost good money. Frankly, getting high-quality goods is never going to come cheap, but it can come at a huge bargain. You just need to decide what items are important to you. Some of my friends would laugh at the price I paid for my bag, but it makes me feel confident and classy every time I walk out the door. If you want to put your money somewhere else, do it!


5. Investment pieces.
I’ve written about them before, but investment pieces really are a crucial part of my wardrobe. If you’re going to drop good money on an item, why not get a watch you can wear every day instead of a dress that comes out once in a while? Some good investment piece ideas include shoes, purses, outerwear, eyewear, jewelry and even a haircut.

Do you have any items that make feel super-classy? What suggestions would you add to this list?