Over a third of Britons (36%) admit that appearances matter greatly and judge people based on what they wear, leading many of us to feel under pressure to overindulge in expensive purchases. We want our friends to think that we have a comfortable lifestyle, and the UK credit crisis does not seem to be a deterrent to be a deterrent to living beyond your means.


Recent research shows that when we meet new people, we judge their financial worth based on certain factors such as their jewellery or choice of clothing. According to the study, 34% of Britons spend more money in order to impress someone whom they perceive to be wealthy.




According to the study, there are five wealth indicators:

  • Clothing – More than a third (34%) of Britons think this reveals much about your bank balance.
  • Jewellery –20% of Britons will take the type of jewellery you wear as an indication of how wealthy you are.
  • Watches– 15% of Britons believe that having a certain type of watch indicates wealth.
  • Shoes– 14% of Britons believe that the person’s shoes reveals a lot about their financial status.
  • Haircut– 11% of Britons (1 in 10), will think more highly of you if you have a good haircut.

This research tries to understand how we finance our lifestyles, and made the startling discovery that the desire to own the latest gadgets will result with 1 in 10 (11%) of us overspending. Looking good in front of friends is cited as one of the other big motivators, with dining at expensive restaurants and owning tailored suits adding to debt levels.

Having wealthy peers may not be that beneficial for the third of Britons who admit to jealousy when among them. A smaller number, 5% of Britons, are ‘jealous’ or ‘nervous’ in front of people whom appear to be wealthier. These Britons may exaggerate their own experiences to impress others.

How age and gender affects us

Men may be more eager to spend vast sums of money to appear ‘well-off’ to their peers. Many of these men – about 18% – are tempted to get into debt for their cars.

Many women feel ‘self-conscious’ in front of wealthier peers (15%), more so than men and they may feel more tempted to spend money on a haircut that will help them to appear wealthy.

Young people in the 18- to 24-year-old category (66%) are more likely to judge people based on what they wear. Over a quarter of 55- to 64-year-olds (28%) do the same.

Age seems to bring financial wisdom, as younger people are more prone to splurging on fancy goods to ‘keep up’ with their wealthier friends or family members. However, there is a vast difference between the 18- to 24-year-old group and the 65+ age group. Only 36% of the 65+ group admit to spending more to impress others, while 66% of the former group overspends.