would you believe me if i told you that i feel more pressure to spend on the on-trend luxury items than the ones appearing in so many mall stores? the miu miu glitter booties, that céline tote…have i ever felt the same way about a j.crew cardigan or a pair of old navy flip-flops? perhaps this is due to the amount of industry publications, street style blogs, and personal fashion sites i read on a daily basis, but i am constantly surrounded by luxury goods that i just can’t bear to bring myself to own.
aside from the fact that the cost of each one could feed a few hundred children in a third-world country for over a decade, the thought of saving and saving only to deplete my checking account so drastically—quite possibly spending above and beyond one month’s rent on a single item—makes me cringe.
on the other hand, there is a level of luxury and clout one achieves by owning such items. the looks of envy received when walking down the street wearing this on your feet or having that on your arm can feel pretty swell. knowing that you had the ability to fund such a purchase is satisfying. “i can pass this along to my daughter,” might you say to yourself. but at what cost, literally and figuratively? will you go into debt attempting to keep up with the crowd? will you be constantly thinking of your next costly purchase, scouring the internet and high-end boutiques, rather than going out and enjoying the sun on your face and wind in your hair? all of that is more than possible if you don’t set limits. and to what end? to have yourself photographed or admired simply for your wardrobe? it just doesn’t seem worth it to me, which is why i’m forcing myself back into the i-just-don’t-care mode out of which i somehow slipped. if i yearn for it, if something keeps me up at night because it would match so many things in my closet and i could wear it for years, then—and only then—will i take the plunge.
now this isn’t so say that i’ll be all about mass retail from now on; i appreciate a well-made product and sometimes with that quality comes a high price that i am not opposed to paying. there is nothing wrong with rewarding yourself from time to time, but as i’ve said before about so many things, you have to know yourself. if you buy it, can you still pay your bills? and if you pay your bills, can you also afford groceries for the month? when the answer is “no,” put it back and walk away. your heart will go on.