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Suze Orman: A Very Special “Being Broke Ain’t Cute” Celebrity Style Deconstructed

The Budget Fashionista’s Annual “Being Broke Ain’t Cute” Series features tips and advice to help you improve your personal financial health. For more personal finance information, please visit our Financial Health Series.

For this very special edition of celebrity style reconstructed, we break down the personal style of America’s favorite personal finance advisor, the amazing Suze Orman.

There’s no doubt that Suze Orman’s style comes from, well, Suze Orman and nothing is more stylish than a woman who understands and develops a personal style that comes from within herself (versus some hired stylist). From her love of a good jacket to her stylish and easy to take care of short hair-do, Suze’s style reflects her bright personality and the realities of being a financial advisor to millions, without drowning herself in traditional banking blue. While we want our financial peeps to be fiscally prudent, Suze shows that as financial person, you don’t have to carry that prudence over to your wardrobe.

Here’s how to get Suze Orman’s style

The Suze Orman Jacket Strategy


Suze’s love of jackets is well documented (Saturday Night Live’s Kristen Wiig does a HILARIOUS send up of Suze and her love of a good jacket). Jokes aside, Suze’s strategy of focusing on colorful tops and simple bottoms is great for those who either don’t like to shop or find styling themselves each morning to be one step above getting a root canal.

Here’s How to Apply the Suze Orman Jacket Style Strategy to Your Closet:

  1. Create Three Sections in Your Closet
  2. Cut three pieces of cardboard in about 3 inches height by 4 inches wide.
  3. Write “jackets”, “tops”, and “bottoms” each on a separate piece of cardboard
  4. Cut a slit in each piece (big enough so they can fit snuggly on the bars/railings in your closet)
  5. Divide your closet into each of these sections (ie. pants in “bottoms” section, shirts in “tops” section, etc).
  6. When going shopping, focus on purchasing tops in colors that work for your coloring (Here’s some tips for finding colors that work for you), but keep your bottoms (pants, skirts, etc) as basic as possible (meaning black, gray, dark brown).

Buy Pieces That You Can Wear Again (and Again)


Take a page out of Suze’s style book and buy pieces that you love and that can worn time and time again. I can imagine Suze applying the Cost Per Wear(TM symbol) to her purchases at the local Chicos and by the look of it, it seems like it’s working. Now we’re pretty sure that the bronze shaw collar jacket wasn’t exactly budget, but as you can see Suze is working it on the red carpet, at a photoshoot (color change due to photo editing), at the Human Rights Campaign’s Annual Dinner in 2008, and on the red carpet as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people

Keep it Short, Keep it Highlighted


Busy, mature fashionistas should pay particular attention to Suze’s easy, nonsense short hair do. Now, before you write a ton of comments about the length of women’s hair, there are reason behind this advice- highlights reduce the contrast between your face and your hair (thus reducing the appearance of wrinkles) and long hair draw attention to a problem area for more fashionistas of a certain age (especially if you hate your neck like Nora Ephron).

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Lynn Langlton

Sunday 25th of September 2011

Can you tell me where Susie bought her drop dead gorgeous blue leather coat and wide black belt that she wore on the Channel 8 show in Houston, Texas.

Thank you.

A fan.

JoAnn Arnold

Thursday 22nd of September 2011

I would like to see the sides and the back of Suze's hair. I am trying to switch from a hairstyle that identifies me. People remember me because of my style...but I love Suze's style and it's not a far stretch for my style to be trained into her style. I have taken into consideration that I am not going to look like her. Our face shapes are different but the front of the style is very similar. I have the cut but am not sure about the sides and the back. Can't seem to find any photos showing these. Love her messages about finances and clothes too. j

Rae Frances Chappie

Wednesday 27th of July 2011

Love this Lady and how she dresses. Is there a Label she looks for in Jackets or tops?


Thursday 23rd of June 2011

I have been following Suze on Oprah shows, and I would love to meet her in person and would love to have her sort out our finances as pensioners. Anyway, I agree with her sense of style as I am also a person that can mix and match and do not have cupboards full of clothing. I also like my hair short it is easier and cheaper to manage and less time consuming. Keep it up Suze. Ria Durban RSA


Wednesday 23rd of March 2011

This article has been a huge help to me. I love Suze's approach. Thanks for deconstructing it for me. I wear sweaters instead of jackets, but otherwise, her formula is perfect for me. I've recently gotten my hair cut shorter, and have received compliments galore. I'm going shorter still. Thank you for this excellent piece!

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