How to Look Like a Million Bucks for Minimum Wage

I will never be one of those women who have a designer wardrobe. Even if some day I strike it rich (yes, there might be a diamond mine in my yard, right?), the thrill of finding and styling a great deal is irresistible.

I like sales. There. I said it. Ok, I LOVE sales. I buy stuff on sale even when I don’t really want or need it, which is a problem that there should be a 12 step program to remedy. I am slowly learning how to turn my sale items into something fabulous, though. Take these tips and make them your own, especially if you are sale-satured like me.


I bought a Norma Kamali for Walmart trench a while ago that was actually cut well. The problem? The darn buttons are dangling from their loose threads. That is a sure sign of a poorly-made garment. Solution? Replace the buttons with something truly unique and solid. I think some amazing vintage buttons or even cool colored ones would make the coat one of a kind.

Vintage buttons


Pearls are classic. If you want to invest in them, by all means go ahead, but fake pearls can look amazing as well. If you are going for fake pearls, don’t go for stark white. Real pearls are generally off-white, ivory, pink, etc… Gleaming white pearls scream “Costume jewelery!” as in… Disney Princess costume.

Carolee Faux Pearls- Macy’s $95

Diamond Earrings

Again, I actually dislike real diamond earrings. I will inevitably lose them, and that single remaining stud will bitterly reminded of my careless ways. Here is how to pick high-quality CZs:

  • Setting: shake the earrings; do the rattle? If so, toss ’em
  • Finish: If they are too cheap they will tarnish, and that just ain’t pretty
  • Size: If you want them to look real, don’t get them bigger than your engagement ring
Jessica Simpson Crystal Stud Earrings- $20


Fake gold can look reaaaaly fake, especially on handbags. If you are going for a cheap thrill of a tote, keep the hardware and other bells and whistles to a minimum. 

Ada Structured Crossbody- Francesca’s $44


When in doubt, go black. Brighter colors show wear easier, and black is always chic and easy to match.

Charlize Theron via Just Jared