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So. I (may or may not) have purchased something substantial recently from the house of C_ _ _ _ L. Don’t judge. While this isn’t the first time dropping serious dollars for designer goods for me – and I am not bragging by any means, I wanted to talk about women, investments and luxury items especially luxury handbags.
Evidently, countless notable bloggers and influential youtubers throw around the phrase “investment pieces” while reviewing their latest designer purchase – be it a luxury brand bag, a pair of expensive designer shoes, articles of clothing and/or accessories. And, while going through my usual thought process before I make a hefty purchase, I sidetracked a little to thinking about the relationship between women, investments and luxury items.
I have to say that it is quite natural for my pre-purchase thought process to swing from, “is it ever really a need?” to, “it is a classic and prices just increase; eventually I’ll still want it and I’ll end up paying more for the same item if I don’t get it now.”
Sadly, it is true. My mind is at its noisiest at the cusp of making a big purchase, even before I physically go into the store to browse.
Which brings to mind Carrie Bradshaw and Sex And the City. Carrie was never a role model for money, investments and having it together despite her fabulous outfits. In fact, here is something epitome of Carrie Bradshaw (not forgetting also the woman who lived in a shoe).
When it comes to fashion, investments and making sound decisions, do we have to look frumpy while squirrelling away every cent in order to be retire early and be financially secure? Where is the balance? Affordability certainly doesn’t have a direct relationship to being cost efficient. Likewise, style doesn’t always translate into spending. Or, does it?
For instance, I’ve always been told to invest in GOOD shoes. Good doesn’t mean expensive or strictly Manolos, for that matter. Good shoes just mean ones you can wear again and again, and ones that will treat your feet well. Now, everybody who has watched Sex and the City knows Carrie wasn’t a role model for savings or known for making sound financial decisions. Her biggest weakness – designer shoes, where she spent a chunk of her disposable income, eventually not having enough savings to own her apartment.
As an independent woman of today, I would like to think that financial security and a strong fashion sense are both equally important. Because we are no longer judged by our appearance as much as we are by what we speak and our collective consciousness. Cry blue murder all you want honey, but the world ain’t unfair, and you just gonna hafta deal with it and move on.
I think it’s easy for us girls to fall into stereotypical gender roles and not take an active role in our finances beyond the state of our bank accounts. And, it would certainly be ideal if for every fashion investment we make, an equal amount is invested in stocks, futures, bonds and the likes. But, I would like to know – in our generation of “new”, do our fashion ‘investments’ of today thrive or pan out as well as we would like them to?
To the defense of many women though, designer houses increase their prices every year, sometimes as much as thrice a year and by as much as 15 percent. Which basically means we end up paying more for the same item. Case in point, a Chanel classic flap bag: like S$7880 today and S$8410 the next (Chanel Classic Flap Jumbo Bag in September 2014). The graph below was taken from Bragmybag.com. Prices listed in USD. The most recent Chanel price increase was for the Cruise 15 line which is currently in-stores.
Now after having said all this, I would like to know – in our generation of “new”, do our fashion ‘investments’ of today thrive or pan out as well as we would like them to? Does it really make sense to throw top dollar on luxury products if affordability is not an issue? Why then, do some of us sometimes experience post purchase cognitive dissonance or buyer’s remorse?
Share your thoughts with me please, I would really like to know.