Pretending To Be Rich

Everyone wants to be a celebrity, especially if you live in New York or Los Angeles.

You may not have millions but if you have an apartment below 96th street in Manhattan, you’re halfway to acting like you’re rich.

First, tell everyone you know about how great it is living in Manhattan and how you “barely use the subway” because you can walk everywhere. This is key – especially when you’re with people who live in Brooklyn and Queens. Bring this up when you’re all out drinking. And speaking of which, make sure you drink at cool, fancy bars. Don’t go to the Standard or the Gansevoort in Meatpacking. If you must go west of 9th Avenue, go to STK or Morimoto or something that’ll add a little bit of credibility.

It’s also important to eat the part. Treat yourself and your loved one or friends to fancy dinners now and then. We’re not talking about Per Se or Le Bernandin, but it is nice if you can go to Momofuku or Striphouse and do an all-you-can-eat sort of thing. Afterwards, smoke Parliaments outside the dining establishment and say “Man, am I full!” followed by some quip about how much you love some trendy band from the 1980s. This shows that you’re cultured.

Now you must also dress the part. Buy designer brands on sale and wear them all the time. Talk about how much you just “love” the new collection from Alexander McQueen. If you’re walking through SoHo, tell your friend you’re with that you just need to “pop into John Varvatos” so you can see if there’s any new suits out. Don’t bother with Fifth Avenue. You can’t afford Bottega Veneta or Emilio Pucci, so just stick with the SoHo stuff. Once in awhile, go to Barneys and buy something from Ermenegildo Zegna just to show you can afford whatever you want but choose to shop conservatively.

After you’ve accomplished the above, go to Crate & Barrel or Room & Board or Milk & Cheese or whatever furniture store has an ampersand in its name and buy a coffee table and some plates. If you’re with anyone and they protest, tell them that you’ll “only be a minute” and that you “need” to buy some new tea light holders. Make sure you’re wearing expensive clothing and sunglasses while you shop and even if you don’t purchase a lot of stuff, ask for a large bag so everyone can see where you’ve been shopping.

Finally, get an iced coffee and keep an iPod on at all times. You need some kind of hip music playing, like Duran Duran or Junior Boys, so you always feel like life’s a fashion show. The coffee must be Starbucks. I repeat: it must be Starbucks. Anything else could risk looking too cheap or too indie. You’re rich. You can afford a $4 iced coffee.

Repeat all of the above until you max your credit cards out or your bank account’s empty. Then lie down on your fold out couch from Ligne Roset and cry. TC mark

image – Laverrue


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  • IndyMommy

    Are there really people that shallow? (I'm from a small city pretending to be a big city)

    • Dan

      yes, and much shallower. Mostly gays. I know some who have racked up enormous credit card debt and have authorities chasing after them.

  • ✔ Lady Blue

    I thought that this was the way to spot someone who's pretending to be rich. Real rich people, the classy ones anyway, are a bit more subtle about their wealth… and the only way to REALLY tell is through their subtle arrogance.

    Also, it's Emilio Pucci.

    • Mifune Anya

      you must be a rich person to believe that trash 

  • Jordan

    How To Pretend to Be Rich.  You can't fool me!

    • Jordan

      I mean, How to Live Like A Rich Person

  • adamhump

    sounds like you hang out with some real d-bags vinny!

  • Michael Koh

    People forget that when one becomes rich and famous, people from the past come out of the woodwork and ask for money or a part of the spotlight. And/or sue because you get both.

  • Meghan Blalock

    Ew. I hate rich people, and I hope this is a satire? Also, the problem here is that you're not “pretending to be rich,” you're just living outside your means. To be truly broke in Manhattan means not being able to “pop” into any stores in Soho, Fifth Ave, or the LES for that matter to buy *anything*. Hunting out $2 beers on Friday night because you love beer and you love your friends and you love bars, but you're too broke to really, really go out. Forgetting what it feels like to shop, except for the sale section at Urban.

    Oh, and I just went to The Standard the other night. I didn't drink except for one $8 beer, which was actually cheaper than I expected. I walked in with $11 in my pocket. I was told a gin&tonic would be $20 and I nearly vomitted in my mouth. There was a cunt with a list outside Le Bain talking down to a man dressed like a punk. Luckily she didn't speak to me that way because I would have clocked her and ended up in jail, because my value comes not from my wallet (or, rather, the rubber band I use to tether my money to my metro card), and anyone who implies otherewise is so wrong that they deserve to feel concrete on their forehead as a reminder of where the ground is.

    All that said, the party was fucking fabulous and I didn't act rich or anything but who I was. Because that's what New York is supposed to be about, and some of us still remember that.

    • fusioned

      It was satire. Nice work.

  • Abe

    I didn't understand any of the brands and most of the items mentioned above. Go me?

    Side note: What's a tea light holder?

    • faith

      it holds tea lights..

    • Dan

      hey ever heard of google? fuckhead.

  • Aelya

    1) I enjoyed the article, but this is actually exactly how to pinpoint someone who is pretending to be rich as opposed to someone who is legitimately wealthy. Big spenders think they come off as rich, but the rich are very low key about their opulence. 

    2) Is there anyone on Thought Catalog that DOESN'T live in New York?

    • Alex Keen

      Well done, you completely missed the point!
      Honestly, has nobody on the internet heard of satire?

      • Aelya


      • Mifune

        QQ   showing your nerd

    • chelseafagan


  • christopher lynsey

    Vince, the Mint, Veneziani on Thought Catalog?  Nice. 

  • Comic Insult

    Not to be one of THOSE commentors…but, didn't Ryan O'Connell write this article like a year ago?

  • yvonne the rich girl no lieing

    i suggest get a group of rich and pretend your rich and say some loser whatever some like that to a poor people and dont let them know your poor and your birthday must be in a hotel ih i dont some so hoppe this helps thx ;)

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