Who says you need to be a millionaire in order to feel like a million bucks? With these savvy strategies, even an everyday Jane can feel like a queen for day, while spending next to nothing.
View this as a journey, not a destination. If you focus on enjoying the moment-by-money experience of shopping—the beautiful merchandise, the extravagant store layouts, the background music, the champagne—the actual purchase becomes less important.
Take a Buddy
Shopping with someone equally budget-conscious (not the gal pal with unlimited spending power) will double your “oohing” and “aahing” pleasure. When you’re both trying on red-carpet gowns that you know you’ll buy “someday,” your memories of the laughs and smiles will trump the fact you didn’t actually make a purchase.
Stop and Smell the $500 Perfume
Who cares if you can’t afford the latest fragrance from France? You can still test-drive it. Shop like you plan to buy — spritz on scents, try on couture boots, ask to see the Cartier watch behind the glass. Even trust fund babies try before they buy, so do the same. For all anyone knows, you’re not purchasing the five-piece Louis Vuitton luggage set because you already have one from Gucci.
Rubbing handbags with the elite is an equal-opportunity event, and when you immerse yourself in luxurious surroundings, you’ll feel more luxurious. Upscale boutiques and department stores are masters in the art of creating an experience for the wealthy.
Expand your Fashion Expertise
If you’re lusting after high fashion, ask the sales associates about the designers, fabrics or the color inspirations. Ask about exciting trends and upcoming brands. You’ll learn more about what you love and you’ll make the experience richer.
Dress to Impress … Yourself
Rich women dress, well, like they’re rich. Your outfit doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but if it makes you feel special, fashionable and beautiful, you’ll have all the confidence you need to try on Manolos, without buying a single pair.
Buy a Little Something
Couture designers have made themselves far more accessible by offering smaller priced items, like key chains, scarves or business card holders. If you can’t afford a $2,000 Armani dress, hit the beauty section and buy the brand’s most fabulous shade of eye shadow for far less. You only need to budget $30 to $50 to get something small from your favorite fashion house.
A Rich Post-Shopping Treat
A glass of wine or pedicure with your window-shopping buddy lets you extend the experience of affordable luxury—at price that easier on your purse.