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Status symbols #thrifty

status symbols

We are all aware of status and we all pander to it to some degree. Jeremy Corbyn may deny he uses status symbols when he dresses down to attend parliament, but on the street, it is a different story. At those left-wing political rallies, he dons his left-wing rebel leader outfit and looks more like Che Guevara than a serious British leader; which is a little worrying.

Cell phones

Cell phones are the high-tech status symbols. Someone showed me his Samsung S7 recently and was enthusing about its qualities when he began to describe how good the camera was. He stopped and smiled when he realised I had a Nikon hanging around my neck. Even a camera can be a status symbol. It can be expensive buying posh clothes to look your best when you go out, so how can you do it on a budget?


Today’s fashion depends on an association. People buy fashions associated with their heroes. The heroes are status symbols they want to be associated with. The celebrity heroes range from pop stars like Justin Beiber to soccer stars like David Beckham. People buy the jogging suits, not to go jogging, but to go to the pub! They will also buy the incredibly expensive trainers too.

You can study what the rich and famous are wearing and copy them but you probably won’t get the look quite right because they can afford tailor made suits from Saville Row and Matalan suits don’t quite look the same. I doubt if anyone in the pub will notice, however. Most people just want to fit in or sometimes stand out. It is your choice, but with a little thought, you can do it on a budget. Think about accessories, for example, even a pair of sunglasses can make you look cool in summer. I don’t think tattoos are cool and you must remember that fashions are usually temporary. Remember that tattoos are meant to be permanent and they are more symbolic of rebelliousness than of success.


Retro can be really cool and so a great status symbol. If you have the confidence to dress in 1940’s fashions and drive a 1960’s car, that will, of course, look very cool. Better still, ride a 1960’s Harley Davidson. Owning a collectable car can be expensive, but my car at 19 years old is a sort of compromise. It is cheap to run but I keep it looking good and so while not an outstanding status symbol it still catches the eye. I did think about a little customisation this week and that too can elevate the status of a car.

Homes as status symbols

I suppose the ultimate status symbol is a mansion but they can also be a bit naff. You see lottery winners who buy mansions and then don’t really know what to do with them. They have a barbecue and invite all their family and friends around who all get drunk on cheap lager and become a serious embarrassment. Block paved drives are a status symbol too, for some reason.


The ultimate status symbol can be education and a title that confers respect. If you’re not too clever you can get a title by becoming a politician. Some people are, of course, born with titles but that doesn’t guarantee respect either. We do have to earn people’s respect to think respect can be bought is simply self-delusion.


The most expensive art is bought by the wealthy as status symbols and also by art galleries for the same reason. Art is all about status, aesthetics, is important in projecting status. The way things look rather than the actual substance is important. Grand buildings will impress even if they are full of officious idiots.

That is all for today. Think carefully today before you part with your money. Are you simply buying the appearance of status?

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