PART 1: Saving to Splurge
Many of us never stop to consider what creates true fulfillment, purpose, and satisfaction in our lives. Several have tried to look for it in the hollow world of materialistic thing thinking that the next “hard to get”, “limited edition”, “unicorn” , or “special order” piece will bring happiness. After thousands of dollars spent and looking back years later, some people wonder why closets full of “things” have no lasting significance.
The bottom line is that we all need to make an effort to establish our value for things — independent of their cost.
The Unhappy You/Psychological Reasons
A few weeks ago my “Saving to Splurge” article went live, and I received many messages. From your questions, concerns, and comments, here is what I gathered: Senseless and impulse spending mostly stemmed from loneliness and sadness, followed by boredom and social peer pressure.
I am grateful to all the people who shared their personal situations. My heart goes out to all of you suffering with critical illnesses. Many of you are even taking care of a child/spouse/parent in need. Some women even reported suffering from postpartum depression etc;
These traumas definitely take a toll, mentally and physically. Of course, most people with good physical and mental health tend to take it for granted. Gratitude eliminates most of our stress. What’s above good health, right?
I understand most of the reasons for impulse spending, but I’m skeptical about boredom. Hmm, I can’t even begin…really?? Wine tasting, horse riding, cooking, baking, painting, track driving, learning a new language, salsa/tango, kick boxing, martial arts, yoga, pole dancing, discovering new cultural foods…there is an endless array of material in this world to read. There seems to be many ways to cure boredom aside from spending.
One of the most important ways, in my opinion, to curb the feeling of boredom is to take on volunteering.
By the way, just donating money is not going to cut it. This is the one and only “hobby”, if you will, that will help you by helping others. Volunteering serves others, but also allows you to discover parts of yourself and add depth to your personality. It’s so gratifying. Helping others will seal that void you are desperately trying to fill by buying aimless things. Charity starts at home. I personally believe in helping locally, and I am reluctant to write a check to the big organizations. I am sick and tired of charity scams (don’t even get me started), so I tend to donate money and time where I can see my efforts making a difference.
If you need some ideas: how about visiting a local animal shelter and jotting down all the essentials required and buying them for the animals? There are several soup kitchens in cities that require time and effort. You show up and provide assistance by cooking and feeding the less fortunate. There are Habitat for Humanity projects, are you aware of this organization? You could help someone by simply getting rid of your clothes, which you already have in your wardrobe, tags still on, that you will never wear. Try donating to the local women’s shelter. Ok, you may wear that dress in future (ugh, you seriously won’t — but I digress) and you aren’t up to the task of donating clothing. You could donate your time by babysitting at certain shelters while the single mothers go job-hunting. If you have good ideas/experiences about certain organizations, please share with others. Heck, I see no problems with us when it comes to sharing our daily outfits, what’s in my bag shots, and our shopping hauls. Why not share volunteering/causes we believe in? (Let’s start the conversation on BopTalk!)
P.S. The women shelters are always in desperate need of work attire and personal hygiene items. Please wash your clothes and for the love of God, only donate brand new undergarments. I have personally sorted outfits at shelters and couldn’t believe the horrendous condition of certain articles people chucked in the donation boxes.
Come back and let me know if you were still capable of finding time to get “bored” after investing in these activities.
Cultural/Social Aspects – East vs. West
As Sartre the French philosopher describes in the second chapter of “L’Être et le néant”, one’s self-deception about the human reality can take two forms. The first one is making oneself falsely believe not to be what one actually is. The second one is conceiving oneself as an object, and thereby denying freedom. We are creatures haunted by a vision of “completion”. Reminds me of the bag, you mentioned about 5 bags ago, that was going to complete your collection. Don’t hate me for saying it out loud. Anyway, staying on topic..
In a few countries, luxury consumers are predominantly inclined by what others think of them. Goods are consumed to achieve an acceptance, reflecting the hierarchical nature of the society. The use of brands indicates social status, symbolizing wealth and prestige. Logo’d out from head to bottom. “I only wear –insert brand name here– clothes”, “I am obsessed with –insert brand name here– everything”, sounds familiar? In one of these countries, there was a proposal of special boot camps to educate the children of the Nouveau Riche because they have become terrible role models of the society. Yes, a lot of this aspect has been transported to the West with the big immigration movement. Like my friend says, “I could always spot an international student at the campus from a mile away.”
Someone indicated how her friends have always been making fun of her minimalistic wardrobe. Seriously, how many blue jeans or black pants/skirts/dresses/shoes or bags are required in one’s closet? Anybody could whip up endless outfits with closet full of stuff (what a waste of money, by the way). It takes a creative mind to revamp multiple outfits with just limited pieces while keeping the cash stashed where it rightfully belongs. More clutter only creates gutter, and that is evidently not the motive here. We are rapidly moving to the “less is more” era. Have you noticed the size of laptops, phones, and gadgets shrink in the past 5 years? What’s wrong with doing the same to your wardrobe? Have you ever wondered about the future of all the matching wallets and coin purses you have collected? I personally admire and follow people to see the repetition of accessories and clothing – I appreciate seeing same items paired with different outfits, worn numerous ways etc; Yeah, you know just like in the real world…
Working on a budget
This is for all the levelheaded and determined fashionistas. Most of you go right in, with your shoulder to the wheel and just grind. Extra hours, working on the weekends are just examples to get your hands on, that whatever, you saved or are saving for. If you follow an influencer on Instagram/YouTube, the tweed jacket you saw on him/her is now stuck in your head. Don’t sweat it; remember the admiring vs. owning theory here from Part 1 of Saving to Splurge. This person could have an overflowing closet, remember you don’t know his/her lifestyle. Maybe that tweed will add years to your age, did you think of that? Have you tried it on? The “Seeing is believing” theory doesn’t quite apply to Instagram. Maybe the fashionistas you are following have too much money to burn or just don’t know any better. Are you constantly seeing new items added to the account? Maybe you could just keep that account filed under “admire only”. Always try to make logical sense of things. Is it really worth blowing all those hours you are going to slave?
Instead of owning 20 bags, I would happily take 10, take the money from 10 bags that I didn’t buy ($100,000) and put that money as a down payment into real estate like a condo in downtown that gets rented in a fly, hello! In a decade or two, it will be a free hold property, I could be buying a H bag every few months while the value of my property keeps climbing up. Now those 10 bags that I didn’t buy turned out as real investment pieces, huh? I never said bags are not investments; the above mentioned formula is tested and true. I would like to be a fashionista, but an intelligent one. Maybe this kind of talk is for another day. Moving on…
Keep in mind – You are working on a budget to get the best you can afford. Try to stick with the classics. And, never forget the value of money. A good brand will fetch you almost the same, more or less, of what you paid for an item if you ever required reselling.
I clearly understand that no other brand will able to substitute your itch for Chanel, Hermès, Dior, Gucci, Valentino, or any of the haute couture fashion houses. You could work vigorously on other aspects, for instance – I like my classic/iconic Levis for more pizzazz (Levi: First blue jean inventor – 1873) so I’d skip on those $1k+ jeans, it’s not in the name, but in the fit (no pun intended) and same goes for the classic Ray Bans. After going through almost every high end brand, I realized only Ray Bans did the trick for me. Have you noticed insane prices like $2k+ for a plain pair of black leather booties? No, thank you! Expensive doesn’t always translate to “the best”. Just beware; some people will just buy about anything because it has a certain name brand’s tag slapped on it. Would you buy jewelry from the same place you buy clothes, shoes, or bags? Exactly, I didn’t think so either.
I get exhausted of clothes really fast, so I try not to invest in haute couture. I have no desire to see it hanging in my closet/wear that same dress for the next 10 years, just yet. I tend to go for the good material and fit — both aspects that are extremely vital for any outfit. My favorites are crêpe, silk, and cashmere. I typically wear neutrals and clean lines, so logically I don’t require running to big designer houses to pick four to five digits priced ticket items. Maybe I would hit these places up if a certain logo or brand tag had a critical significance to me, but at this point it doesn’t. Remember value and worth will change from person to person. Your $100 candle money could be spent on my food adventures or a bottle of wine; make it a board of Charcuterie and cheese with a glass of Pinot please! I rather eat it than watch it burn down. Foodie life! The only person, I am trying to impress in life is “I”, OK and maybe my dog Gingy. It helps me to keep my magnifying glass clean for a positive outlook and gain more contentment and inner peace. When you make decisions always check in with yourself from time to time, and remind yourself about “your” choices. Give yourself enough validation and credit for just being you!
You could save thousands of dollars if you just do your research and buy smartly. There are intelligent ways to spend your hard earned money — on a budget or not. Pointer to my friends who are single, looking for a job or next promotion: outfits and accessories only amaze someone until we open our mouths, intelligence is for forever. Balance is the key in life. Well put together added with intelligence, now we are talking about a whole another level of fashionista, Fashionintellectista! (Hmm, I need to copyright this word…)
I hope there is some sort of change happening in your wardrobes. Don’t forget to your share your stories and feedback as usual. Always be the ultimate, clutters free fashionistas. Please do join me in the conversation on BopTalk as well.