Bourgeois On a Budget: A (Part) Satire
These are real tips derived from real experiences by real people. Our ideology centres on the firm belief that putting time, sweat and effort into giving the illusion that you’re rolling in money is better than actually having money.
Take these tips with a grain of irony and a heavy dose of intended sarcasm but also keep in mind that, having tried and tested quite a few of them…they do work. In only a matter of time, people will be asking whether you’re born into money or if you are simply an international business student.
- Spend all your money on rent and eat like a prisoner; queens live in castles, don’t you know? Comfort yourself with the thought that nothing tastes better than skinny (or wealthy) feels.
- Work with what you’ve got. If you can’t make your ‘crib’ VIP, splurge on decor and have a guest list. Throw cocktail and dinner parties and call yourself a hostess.
- Don’t buy into trends. Ralph Lauren caps, ‘Life of Pablo’ jackets and Thrasher hoodies are cute, but…do you really think they’ll age well? There’s no pride in being a ‘hypebeast’- that’s a derogatory word you simply can’t reclaim. It’s the opposite of hipster and the definition of basic.
- The Most is the Minimum. Dress as extravagantly as possible to suit the given theme or situation (but if you don’t suit it, who cares?). You never know who you might run into- you’re dressing for your enemies, not yourself. After all, Oscar Wilde did say that one can never be overdressed or over-educated- and his word has merit. So, as a rule of thumb, cocktail dresses at McDonalds aren’t overdoing it. You’re not being too much when other people simply don’t try enough.
- There’s really only one way to traipse down the street: listening to 21 Savage’s ‘Bank account’ on repeat, pretending like you’re holding a briefcase full of money. Adorn yourself in a (faux) fur coat. Ethics are important and ‘boujee’ is an attitude.
- Only drink tap water and £3 Prosecco (that tastes like nail polish remover) on nights out. Claim you’re doing it for health reasons.
- Go to expensive looking places. Snapchat all the ‘interesting’ parts- like when the food arrives and your trip to the bathroom. Take pictures of the views and places where no one is likely to be around (selfies in elevators are a classic go to). BUT be smart about it and scour the internet to find cheap deals. Wowcher and Groupon are the way forward. Or, alternatively, go to uber expensive places and get the cheapest thing on the menu.
- Thirsty guys are also the way forward. Remember gold diggers? Put a twist on it and date him just for a few hundred likes on the gram.
- Join plenty of charitable societies without spending a dime. Everyone there is in it to spice up their CVs and you’re doing it for the socials and the cute boys. Who says you’re any less moral? Who are they to judge you.
- Invest in leather gloves. The key is to secure your watch directly above them so that all your accessories help you make an entrance when they’re placed so obviously on show.
- Pretend like you’re a middle aged housewife in a sit com. The key to life is to sound as witty to people to their faces as you do in your head. Don’t hold back and sharpen that tongue.
- Stunt for the snap. Find a boy/girl friend and, regardless of your closeness, exploit the concept of ‘goals’ until you scare them away with your superficiality. Take pictures of your shoes together, wear matching coats. Make him buy you roses on the first date.
- Angles are your friend. You can go to a post-apocalyptic nuclear waste land and still find a way to take a cool picture. I’ve made holiday destinations look idyllic even when, not too far off, there’s been a pile of decomposing trash closely cropped out of the frame.
- Dare to pose. Even if it’s meant to be ‘candid’, just lower your eyes or gaze knowingly into the distance. Have you ever thought about the process behind that platinum Instagram picture? No matter who’s account it ended up on, be it Kylie Jenner’s or Carl’s from your metaphysics class, they had to awkwardly ask someone, “hey can you take a picture of me (quick, no one’s looking)”. Don’t let people judge you for playing the game of social media, especially if you’re winning at it. Everybody does it, it’s practically a norm at this point to indulge in your vanity and live through other people. Everybody is a try-hard these days, even that edgy tom boy you know who has yet to make the transition from emo to hipster. You wouldn’t assume it, but she spends hours picking out that perfectly tousled, ‘I just rolled out of bed’ outfit. You know for a fact she spends half an hour putting basic white borders around her moody, filtered pictures to pretend she owns a Polaroid.
- Be discerning and discriminative about what you post. Yes, you can make a chair look distinguished, aesthetic and intriguing if you know how to. But selection is key.
- Captions are important. Captions are legitimate artistic medium. Adopt Lana or Frank as your lyrical muses.
- Wear a long coat like regalia. Waterfall, trench, Primark, designer. Whatever its origin or style of choice, the long coat is a staple of class and prestige amongst 21st century status whores.
- Perfect the balance between ‘extra’ and simple. Dress elegantly and excessively, with one simple accessory, or choose a simple and casual look bedecked with plenty of statement jewels.
- Pretend like you’re Naomi. Shoulders back, one foot in front of the other, head straight. The hallways, corridors and dusty streets are your personal runway.
- Would Mona Lisa smile? Opt out of being fake amidst a crowd of panderers. Don’t smile at your enemies unless they are instrumental to your plans. Mediate between looking those who intimidate you in the eye and completely glazing over them like an iced doughnut. Find a spot in the far distant future and stare at it intently, pretending you’re modelling for Louis Vuitton. Practice blanking people you know in public to get comfortable doing it before you dish it out to those who deserve it. Be an ice queen. You’ll know you’re doing this right when your friends tell you that you accidentally walked straight past them while they were trying to get your attention. They had to shout your name twice.
- Don’t look; be looked upon. Don’t gossip or marvel. Focus your diminishing energy on yourself and those you actually care about. And know that the greatest form of presence is usually absence.
- Don’t be cheesy. Don’t wear t shirts with cringey slogans on the front. Consider them a fashion atrocity. Only sassy one liners are acceptable.
- Put the burden of conversation on others; you don’t have to be the one to break the awkwardness or make small talk if the other person gives you nothing in response. Feel free to write them off. You’ll find that other people’s silent aloofness is what gives you the impression that they are just too enigmatic and cool for you when, in reality, they’re actually just very boring. Take a leaf out of their book and practice the art of silence.
- Pretend to be social: That being said, take plenty of pictures with people you barely know to culminate the false idea that you’re a social butterfly. When in reality that was your first day outside in three weeks.
- Be an obnoxious fashion snob. Have a few copies of Italian Vogue spread out on your coffee table (preferably from someone else’s subscription). Spend a rainy day reading it from cover to cover and henceforth call yourself an aspiring art director/stylist with a vision. Name drop underground French designers at any given chance. Insist that only you know how to pronounce them and roll your eyes at any one else’s attempt. If you see anything black or slightly old-ladyish, go on a rant about how Prada or Comme started that trend. And be sure to mention at least three collections, adding either ‘Fall’, ‘Couture’ or ‘Ready to Wear’ in the title (your default date can be 2009).
- When in need of inspiration look to your personal icon. Mine is Farah Pahlavi. She dropped out of her architecture degree to become a Persian Empress. She has an art collection worth over three billion dollars, but what I really envy is her eyeliner and her tiara. I look at pictures of her online to fuel me; when I walk around campus I tell people I forgot my tiara but I still came to slay.
- Sleep in a silk negligee. Attend kitchen meetings wearing only that, last night’s makeup and a lace robe to match. Basically, pretend like you’re the reincarnation of Holly Golightly.
- Draw a marsh-mellow bubble bath in the middle of the day and light scented candles. Bath bombs are cute but cost extra. Before the bubbles fade away like your dreams, take plenty of snaps with a sensual playlist to set the mood in the background.
- Take photo shoots with your friends. You simply cannot go without professional lighting but are blatantly broke. If you aren’t, why are you reading this article? So simply dim the lights, use flash and have someone hold an ikea light, or the flashlight on their Iphone screen, up by your face. You’re practically Patrick Demarchelier at this point.
- Splurge on any kind of designer handbag. Even if you pair it with Crocs, you’ll still pretend to be chic and no one will dare to question your authority on all things avant garde. It’s really a stable investment. Don’t forget to document it through consistent photography.
Conclusion: Whatever you do, don’t be yourself and always live above your means
Maya & Ada
Images are either my own and sourced from Instagram, Vogue and film stills.