Here is a post to answer a very interesting question I received from Joanna: « What items to spend more money on and
what to save on. For instance, I think that accessories need a bit more money- or am I wrong? Should they be cheap and cheerful?! And what about the basics? Cashmere jumper and white shirt. ‘Save or splurge’?! »
As I already wrote it, before running to the cash desk with the dress of your dream, you need to calm down and take a little time. Here are some clues to make the right decision.
WHAT SHOULD YOU INVEST IN?
1- Natural materials as leather, wool, cashmere, linen, cotton, etc. need to be good quality materials.
Therefore, if you want to buy a pair of leather shoes (or a leather bag), a wool coat (or sweater) or a cotton shirt you can’t go for a cheap option.
That means no plastic or fake leather shoes/bags ; no acrylic coats or sweaters ; no polyester or nylons shirts… For these items, you need to invest money because quality natural materials have a price. If they are cheap, they are probably not 100 % natural and you will soon see the consequences. As shoes hurting your feet (fake leather isn’t flexible), ugly marks on a fake leather bag that’ll never disappear (vs. marks on a real leather bag that give it a nice patina), a sweater that pill or loose its shape the day after you wear it, a white polyester shirt unpleasant to wear and so transparent that everybody can guess your bra, etc.
Besides the fact they make your shoes or clothes look beautiful, natural materials are good investments: they will last for years and always aged well. So in consequence, you should invest in them for all the clothes and accessories that you’ll keep for years. As the proverb says: « I’m not rich enough to buy cheap things »!
Still, what I just wrote doesn’t mean, you should never buy items made in synthetic fabrics… Synthetic fabrics are right for a number of clothes as jackets, pants, dresses, skirts, tops as well as they come in a nice quality too.
2- Nice fabrics in fact also include some synthetic fabrics. Just as for the natural materials, these good quality synthetic fabrics might be then a little more expensive.
But how do we recognize a nice synthetic fabric?
For Viscose, it has to be soft and supple (like as if you touch a soft cotton). Avoid all the shiny ones or the ones that look already crumpled or that crumple when you tight the fabric into your hands.
For Polyester, it must be mat, soft , opaque and should not crumple or crease. These are the conditions for a beautiful appearance and a perfect fall. These fabrics can easily hide small defects. They ca be a great ally when you want to hide small flaws or when you want a clean silhouette. In addition , they are ultra -resistant material. Machine wash (30 ° ), no faded laundry ( the colors are fixed). It dries super fast and it’s perm press (no iron !). Or almost.
But it doesn’t suit for these shirts
3 – Good design that means a good cut or a shape that fits you perfectly or a creative design… just as for furniture, cars or architecture, good design is distinctive. On clothes/bags and accessories details, or finishing touches make a real difference. So go for the designer or young creator clothes. It’s often more expensive, but it’s worth it!
WHAT TO SAVE ON?
In fact, I will answer that there is not a definitive list of items that you should include in that category.
But you can make good choices.
1- About label and brands
Because of their pushing marketing, some labels try to make us believe that we always should spend a lot of money on their items. Well, when the design is awesome and the quality remarkable, they can be right.
But sometimes, the price is just too high and it doesn’t worth it.
Just taking an example with a white tee.
Why should a plain white t-shirt cost 270€? Will it last longer than the 12.90€ one? I doubt it!
Is the design unique? The answer here is no!
Is the quality really different? No, they all are 100% cotton or linen.
So in that case, you can easily save money buying the cheapest one (and still in a good fabric).
It’s about the same about jeans and sneakers. Don’t invest too much money on this items. As it’s good fabric and it’s fit you well, that’s perfect. It doesn’t need to claim « Versace », « Givenchy », « Saint Laurent » or whatever on it…
When you’ll get use to pay attention to fabrics and design, you’ll buy at the right price a lot of different items. If you follow certain rules, some of them can even be found in « low cost » stores as H&M, Zara and Co.
2- About accessories
Accessories are important and you should not really save on them. Just as for bags and shoes, never NEVER buy accessories in « low cost » stores. As they signed your outfit, accessories hardly bear poor materials as plastics, imitation gold or silver metals. Besides these metals don’t age gracefully: they’ll usually blacken and could leave undesirable traces on your skin… Even if you wear a nice dress, cheap accessories on it will instantly make it look tacky, fake or really cheap… As I already wrote it, at the opposite nice accessories can upgrade any of your jeans, inexpensive tops or dresses.
Still it’s getting complicated because accessories as jewelry for instance can be really nice with fantasy beads or wood pearls… in that case, they won’t be necessary very expensive. So the question to ask yourself before buying is: does it look natural? Does it look genuine? If it does, that’s fine, if not, pass your way!
That’s why you can cheat a little… I just wrote that a leather bag has to be in genuine leather. And that’s true. But if you can’t afford it, why not buying a nice fabric or nylon one? Or even a straw one? If the quality and the design are good, that will look perfect!
They will always look much better than a poor quality leather one!
Another solution is looking in second-hand stores. It’s particularly wise for a leather high brand bag for instance. I often browse on Vestiaire Collective website. Their catalogue is comprised of the most inspiring items coming from the wardrobes of hundreds of thousands of users throughout the World. This selection meets the specific expectations of buyers from across the entire World. Each week, more that 20,000 new items selected by a team of stylists are put on-line and add to strengthening a permanent catalogue of 400,000 products. The site stands out on the basis of its unique quality control. 100% of the products are physically checked by a team of experts. Here is the link to Shop at Vestiaire Collective
Few examples below of what you can find at real good prices:
Vuitton clutch bag 220€ – Saint Laurent clutch bag 344€
So, to sum up: take your time before buying, read the tags, try the clothes on you, don’t think that it’s always worth it if it’s expensive or if it comes from a high brand, always touch the fabrics and think about how long you want to keep your buying.
What about your list for save or splurge?