Saturday, March 25, 2006

When You Can, Buy the Best!

Bargains are super! I’ll be writing about bargains constantly, but remember that a bargain is not necessarily something that is low cost on the surface. You’ll read about it again and again in fashion magazines and books, but you need to think about cost per wear of what you buy. A blouse that you pay $20.00 for that you wear once is expensive, while a blouse that you pay $200.00 for that you wear 20 times costs 10.00 per wear; wear it 40 times and it is $5.00 per wear, and if it is a blouse that you wear regularly over several years time, it can end up costing pennies each time that you wear it. Now, if you don’t have the $200.00 to begin with, this is moot. But if you wear the $200.00 piece (blouse, pants, whatever) to work often, it suits you, you feel good wearing it, it fits well, you’re better off buying that one instead of 5 cheaper ones. What you can afford depends on how you decide to look at your wardrobe.
You see a $400.00 blazer, and you fall in love with it. Ask yourself these questions:
  • Does this fit well? (This means at your normal weight, not that it’s a little tight and you’ll lose some. It also means that it will still fit if you gain 5 pounds.) Is it a good colour? Does this colour compliment your complexion? Is the colour slimming (if you need that)? Is the colour too trendy – will it look dated in 2 years? Does the colour complement other pieces already in your closet? Does it have details that will date it? Again, this has to do with trends. Does it have a trim that is terribly in style this year, but won’t be the next? How is it cut? Some styles, while they may reappear, can look very dated. Think of the extremely boxy large cut blazers of the ‘eighties. Is this cut in a classic style? How versatile is this piece? Can I wear it to work, to the theatre, on a date, over jeans? Ideally, it should go more than one place (and by the way, if it is something that you can wear while traveling that is really an extra plus). How well made is this blazer? Check the seams to make sure that they are ample and well-sewn; that the lining doesn’t wrinkle and bunch, that it doesn’t hang down too low in the back.
When thinking about accessories that can be expensive, the same rules basically apply. For handbags,
Versatile? Handbags should be able to go to work and out to casual affairs. Colour? How often can you carry this bag? Does it go with many of the clothes that you already own?
Do you look good carrying this bag? People forget that you wear bags also. Does this bag “fit” you or does it hang awkwardly when you try to walk and carry it? Does it add unnecessary bulk to your overall profile? How many seasons can you carry this bag? Remember that if it is white, for instance, you can carry it from Memorial Day to Labor Day – about 3 months a year. This is fine if you’ll be carrying it for several years. What is the design of the bag? Is it too trendy? Will it look dated in 3 years? Will you grow tired of it or is the design a classic shape? How well made is it? Check the straps for stray threads, the inside lining, the zippers to make sure that they slide smoothly. Is it a brand name that you can get repaired? Most brand names such as Vuitton, Dooney, Coach, Prada will guarantee their bags, and if you have a problem will repair them free or for a low charge. Some also will refurbish it when it starts to look “tired.” Does it hold everything that you need to carry with you? If it doesn’t, no matter how inexpensive, how much you love it, how beautiful it is, you won’t carry it often, and it will end up being a very expensive bag indeed.
Rethink what you mean by “expensive.” You may be spending money on that closet full of “nothing to wear” that could instead have gotten you a few designer pieces that you wear constantly and feel good in.
This Gucci bag will last a long time! Above is a drawstring Dooney that holds everything and is a real classic.
Very top is the great Coach Station Bag - it's been around for years and will be. I have one in my closet in navy that I've used since 1990 - and it still looks great!


Very_Vera said...

great concept
like your blog

Andrea said...

I love my gucci bag!!!! The best is when you find a well made nicely cut suit for only 30 bucks!! That made my month!!

clunygrey said...

Wow! $30.00 for a great suit!! That classifies you as the Great One of Bargains! Donnachloe

jules said...

I thought this article was great, lots of wondefull info in many ways. I love the part about bags you made some good points.

Juli Jabbi