Color of Money: When a $4,000 dress is a symbol of frugality

Michelle Singletary on

WASHINGTON -- My new favorite comedian is Tiffany Haddish. She's a penny-pinching heroine.

Don't know her? You will.

Haddish was the breakout star in last year's comedy box-office hit "Girl's Trip." Offscreen, Haddish -- who grew up in foster care and is now socializing with such big-time uber wealthy actors and actresses as Will and Jada Smith -- is holding on to her frugal roots.

Most recently, Haddish shared the stage at the Academy Awards with fellow comedian Maya Rudolph. They both were hilarious but right away I noticed Haddish's dress, a stunning white gown from Alexander McQueen with a bejeweled neckline.

Haddish paid a lot of money to wear it for the red-carpet premiere of "Girl's Trip." And she has vowed to keep wearing it to get her money's worth.

The gown co-starred with her when she hosted "Saturday Night Live" last November. It was during her opening monologue that Haddish first introduced me to the dress. I'm not embarrassed to say I had never heard of the designer. I mean, I can't bring myself to purchase a $110 pair of Ugg boots, which are supposedly the winter footwear to have.

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Haddish riffed on "SNL" about how people will try to shame you over what you wear. She set up the punchlines about the dress starting with a conversation she had with mega-star and comedian Kevin Hart. The two of them had worked on a movie last summer, and Hart took notice of Haddish's love of travel.

"Kevin came up to me one day at work and said, 'Tiffany, you been to Thailand, China, Japan. You went to Florida. You went to Texas. You went to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and you did all that in the same day?' I said, 'Nah, Kevin, it took me like two years to go to all those places.'"

To which Hart said, "Really? Because I went on your Instagram and you was wearing the same outfit in all those places."

People are always trying to call you out for your frugality.


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