Invest in your appearance

Yes, I said the dirty word we PF’ers are never supposed to say when we talk about looks and clothes: INVEST.

To be clear, I don’t believe in investing in a good handbag or a pair of shoes because frankly, those shoes will never get you an actual, monetary return on investment (which is the point of an investment in the first place).

To put it this way: You won’t be waking up to $20 bills beside your expensive so-called ‘investment’ shoes every morning.

So if you buy a really good pair of shoes, you just walk better and feel better. Period.

What I am focusing on is less about this crazy talk of ‘investing’ in your work wardrobe, and more about making sure you invest in YOURSELF.

What’s that I hear? You want to know actual numbers?

Investing in your appearance can grab you between 10-12 percent more than your dowdier colleagues for both men and women.

This is what Catherine Hakim of Erotic Capital, calls the ‘beauty premium’.

I know.

You read the word ‘beauty’ and snorted at it because like me, you’re imagining supermodels with brains fit for NASA achieving such results, however I have read the book and she says you don’t need to have been born beautiful, just to take the time to try to look attractive.

The very act of making sure you are well-groomed enough (haircut, a little makeup, clothes) to be considered “attractive markers of beauty”, meaning people will see all of those things together as a whole and find you more attractive.

As if you ever needed any more proof, you only have to flip to TLC and watch ‘What Not to Wear’, to see the transformations made to women who may have looked average and dowdy before, look absolutely stunning after a little wardrobe change to make them embrace their true shape and size, hair and makeup lesson.

Here are a few amazing transformations:

And my favourite one of all because I thought after they were done, she looked like a model. She was just.. heartbreakingly gorgeous.

Every one of these women above look better in the After photo, there is no denying this.

All it took was a little work in getting them to wear what fit them, in the colours that flattered. They didn’t need to lose weight or do anything extreme, they just need a little repackaging.

Almost everyone who goes through this on TV says they feel so much better now. Sexier, and more confident which also helps in the workplace and how you present yourself to others.


  • Exercise and stay fit: It gives your skin a healthy glow and society sees health as a major marker of ‘beauty’.
  • Get a haircut. No need to spend $500 on some designer hairdo, just a simple but modern haircut is good.
  • Have neat nails; but there’s no need to paint them or get fake nails (the worst are those super long, airbrushed painted ones).
  • Wear clothes that flatter and fit. Again, no need to go into debt for this, just make sure you wear your true size. Fitted, not tight.
  • Be aware of your posture. Hunchbacks don’t look attractive. If you are tall and trying to look shorter, don’t do it. Own your height.
  • [Women] Makeup: Try wearing just a smidge of makeup. Nothing crazy, but eyeliner, mascara & concealer go a long way.*
  • [Women] Don’t wear heels you can’t walk in: Nothing ruins a look more than a cave woman stomp.

You do NOT need to spend a fortune on any of the above. You just need to spend the time and use your money wisely to get fewer pieces of higher quality, not to buy in quantity.

Some consignment stores and thrift stores have some amazing pieces, so don’t discount secondhand goods either.

*I don’t wear makeup daily, but I do to go to work and other events.

It makes a big difference for me to even slap on just some concealer under my eyes and be out the door in 10 seconds. So unless you were born with perfect, porcelain skin, just CONSIDER the idea of a little, natural-looking makeup.

So. Do you invest in your appearance?

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.