Guide to Being Bougie: How to Fake Being a Scottsdale Girl

We have all seen them. We have all envied the authority with which they strut the aisles of expensive stores like Neiman Marcus and Barneys. Scottsdale girls: they have a false sense of superiority and bulging Marc Jacobs wallets. They have bump-its in their hair and perfectly manicured nails.

Now, God forbid that you should ever feel inferior to these women, but on the off chance that you might need to covertly slip into their ranks undetected, fear not. Today I will dissect for you the essential elements of a Scottsdale girl.

I recently had occasion to blend into this wealthy group– just long enough to convince the woman at Nordstrom that I might actually buy that $800 dress I was trying on. The purpose of my lofty shopping that day was to get a picture of myself in the dress so that I might be able to paint it later. And naturally I was not going to purchase the dress. Eight hundred dollars? Come on.

I suited up that day, ready for retail battle. I left my hipster wardrobe and my comfortable home in Tempe and drove my Lexus (AHEM, I mean Toyota) up Scottsdale Road, ready to deliver a performance that would have the salesperson convinced I was royalty.

So, without further ado, here are the necessary elements to dressing like a Scottsdale girl.

DESIGNER JEANS: These are absolutely essential. If your jeans didn’t cost more than $150, you’re being judged. But here is the key, Tempe-dwellers: you can buy a pair of Seven Jeans (just like mine) at TJ MAXX for just $30. You would be a fool to spend $150 on pants. I have also found that the bigger the seam thread, the better. Notice the thick light blue and gold threading in this pair of jeans. Scottsdale is all about obnoxious threading.

SHOES: The key here is to go simple. Something shiny and strappy. Scottsdale girls love their thongs, so grab your  shoes that don’t scream “Forever 21,” but aren’t exactly Stuart Weitzman. Throw those puppies under your jeans and hope nobody looks too closely.

PURSE: This is a tricky one. I luckily own a really great fake Coach purse. For those of you who don’t have a younger sister who donates to you all of the things she is bored of, you might have a harder time with this one. I would recommend going with a small, simple purse that is in great condition. You don’t want to be spotted as the owner of a big, Mary Poppins purse. Designer purses or knock-off designer purses are obviously preferable. Even an ugly one like mine (pictured above) works. They don’t care if it’s hideous, only if it was expensive.

BLING: Gold shiny watch? Yes. Mine happens to be Betsey Johnson (again, younger sister hand-me-up), but yours can just be something big and shiny. I would recommend gold. Show those Scottsdale girls that not only are you rich, you are also punctual.

MAKEUP: Big, luscious eyelashes are best. Keep your makeup fresh. And when I say fresh, I mean caked on heavily. The more plastic your face looks, the better.  I tend to like my makeup on the more natural side of things, so I definitely could have jazzed it up a bit more here. Fake eyelashes would have come in clutch. Also, in retrospect, a heavy-handed application of blush would have also served well in this case.

HAIR: Go big or go home. Big curls, big color, or big bump-it. Make sure your hair is a statement. The longer it looks like you toiled over curling or straightening your hair, the better.  For lack of a bump-it, I attempted a poof with only a rubber band, to no avail. Which really just proves that poofs bigger than an inch or two are clearly fake, because my hair holds shape like a champ.

Finally, the STARBUCKS CUP: The goal here is to look like you would never dream of leaving the house without an overly priced beverage in your hand. This also says to the world, “Hey world, I’m never doing anything strenuous enough to need both of my hands.”

So there you have it, girls of Tempe (and beyond), you shall never stride the streets of Scottsdale unprepared again. For me, this mission proved fruitful because I was able to get pictures of myself in a fancy dress for my next painting, and I felt like an undetected outsider at the Fashion Square.

SOON TO FOLLOW: Images of the painting I am creating from the fruit of this mission. The painting will be a traditional self portrait in fancy dress. In this case, $800 worth of a fancy dress.

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