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August 05, 2017
It’s no secret, but I’m a bit of a clothes hound. What may be a bit of a secret is that I became a style blogger when I left my law firm many years ago. Style blogging then wasn’t what it’s morphed into now. That said, I wanted to share an article I wrote back then on The Price of Happiness (as it relates to clothes!) because what I said in 2010 is still just as true today 7 years later.
How much is too much to spend on a handbag? A pair of shoes? A dress? A suit? . . . We all have different thresholds based on our own incomes, lifestyles and paradigms. That said, regardless of your income-bracket, it’s sometimes difficult to justify spending what seems like an ungodly amount of money on a pair of shoes (my ungodly amount might be different from yours and yours might be different from your best friend’s, but you get my point here). However, all of us engage in a little Retail Therapy from time-to-time. Feeling a little down, frustrated because you have to work the weekend yet again, wading your way through a horrible break-up? It happens to all of us. Before you know it, your fingers just start dancing all over the keyboard as you participate on that conference call and peruse Zappos, Amazon or Gilt to find your “fix”; you know, that item that once you have it in your possession will make you feel soooooooo much better! A little retail therapy never hurt anyone and it’s certainly helped keep the economy afloat, but how many of those purchases have really given you more than a momentary high?
There’s a FAB pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on, but they’re really really expensive. So, you pass on them and buy 3 other items that you like but don’t love. Duh!?!?!?! You coulda had the FAB pair of shoes and been really happy. Your high would come back each time you wear them! Instead, you’ve got 3 new items that in all likelihood are going to be relegated to the back of the closet or to The Salvation Army once the shine of having something new wanes.
Lesson learned here? We ultimately end up spending more money not buying that expensive handbag, pair of shoes, or beautiful suit because we buy to fill the void we feel by not having the item we really wanted. Sounds crazy, right? Maybe so. Pay attention as you clean out your closet this Fall, what are you purging? Rarely is it those coveted items that you treated yourself to (unless one’s gone beyond its shelf-life), it’s the things you bought instead of that coveted item.
I’m not advocating that you go out and spend a paycheck on a handbag. Far from it. My point here is, think about your Rate of Return and spend wisely rather than spending to spend. There’s always a first time, but to date, I’ve never regretted purchasing something I really really wanted. Spending the money is always hard for me, but each time I pull out my YSL Tribute shoes (yes, they came out 11 years ago and yes, they are still being sold in all reputable department stores and at YSL itself), for example, they take my breath away. On the other hand, when I purge my closet each season and get rid of those filler items, the regret is palpable.
Oh and that blue Gucci handbag? I fell in love with it when I was 17 and have had it ever since! Create a closet you can shop in, I promise it will serve you well.
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