Because you shouldn't feel out of place, even when you can't afford it.

Words by

Veronica Stanford

Just because you can’t afford to buy luxury labels doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to look. We all deserve a chance to dream and have a plan in place should we miraculously win a million dollars and need a quick wardrobe re-invention.

If being prepared for the above, or just feeling expensive for a day, means browsing those lovely items you might perhaps (but probably not) be able to afford one day, then you will need the tools to pull off the illusion.

Have some pre-made excuses as to why you can't buy today

This will be particularly important if you decide you want to live the dream in a slightly more real way (read: twirling in the changeroom). Ever noticed how many expensive boutiques only have mirrors outside the changeroom? It’s a trap. They will tell you that you look fantastic, and while that is probably true, your wallet will be screaming “NO.” So instead of getting caught in a super-awkward situation, some ready-made excuses are key. For example, “My birthday's coming up, I’ll have to put it on my gift list.”

Take your time getting to the sale rack

This is the most fatal mistake you can make in giving away your disguise. Take a little time to browse all the racks, ensuring every so often you take a piece off and consider it before putting it back. Once you reach the sale rack, keep your cool and look until your heart is content. If you wish to try anything on, you may consider grabbing a non-sale item and then using one of your ready-made excuses (as above) when it comes to the crunch.

Keep a straight face

Be prepared. If you know you generally can’t afford a brand then expect the hefty price tag on that item. If you want to check the price tag do it subtly, and keep a straight face when you read the figure. Then remember that eBay exists for a reason.

Lay-by is God

Want it but don't have the dollars at this present moment? Put it on lay-by. Paying it off in segments seems to hurt the bank account far less noticeably than handing it over in full.

Act confident

When all else fails, just remember, "You is kind, you is smart, you has every right to look in a store." Be confident and act like you deserve to be in that store, because you do. Don't forget, that judgmental shop attendant is working for a luxury label for a reason, and it's probably the staff discount.

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