Hi guys. Feeling lazy. Here’s an outfit. Cute. Bye.
So, while the topic of the minute is that, as of yesterday, I am now a fully grown 21-year-old (though Alexei insists that my nose and ears will continue to grow until I die), this is not going to change any time soon, allowing me the luxury of time to mull over a florid essay on coming of age, and talk about clothes instead.
That’s why you’re here, right?
But, aujourd’hui, we address what may well be closely correlated with coming of age – the dreaded investment piece. Plural that – it would seem that anyone in the ‘K’s on Instagram seems to have plenty of them. Compounded with the fact that they are most likely flaunted at the likes of Fashion Week,* it is certainly a reasonable assumption that wealthy families, sugar daddies, or Frances Abbott fund all of that designer loot. And so be it. This is how the fashion industry sustains its glossy exclusivity and haughty Parisian cool (because none of us are French, but we all wear stripes and boyfriend blazers sometimes). That is, as well as dressing to nobody’s understanding, we also have a thirst for the exorbitantly expensive.
Now, while I have yet to reach the celestial limits of those elusive French fashion houses, I will say that if there is anything that my mother taught me, it’s value for money.
Write it down.
Live by it.
This not about buying a dress because it comes with a free I ♥ DOLLARS t-shirt if you buy with American Express before July 31. This is not about buying sale boots two sizes too small just because they’re on sale. By all means, check which of Shopbop, NET-A-PORTER, MATCHES, Farfetch, My Wardrobe, and Stylebop have the best price tag and free shipping, but when it comes to things like black boots and grey sweaters that you will wear down to the bone, or, on the
other end of the scale, pieces of art that you’d frame, not only does the anti-basic-basic rule apply (to the former, anyway), but also the decade-or-die rule, by which you commit to a garment for the next ten years, or until it falls apart, which it won’t because of your excellent judgment on the quality of a product.
This is not to say, however, that everything hanging in your wardrobe must be designer, or even expensive. The term ‘investment’ should, for most of us, mean infrequency – indeed, it would be impossibly boring if you were married to the same set of clothes and accessories for the coming decade. Fill out your looks with the high-street. TOPSHOP, H&M and ZARA are not the enemy – in fact, for those looking for quality, some of their lines are better made than independent labels. Here, for instance, @badgalriri is keeping me grounded (RIP to the maddest Instagram account that ever was). Embrace repeat offense and push your mix and match boundaries (confession: I’ve been wearing the same blazer for four days straight, and nobody has noticed yet).
And to the matter of how to afford your investments, an oft-flogged question by the anonymously curious (aggressive or not), the principle remains the same as how you afford your groceries.** Buy only what is necessary, spend within your means, read the ingredients, calculate dollars per kilogram (i.e. cost per wear), and don’t fall victim to barely valuable loyalty programs.
And never use a credit card.
Credit cards are the devil.
*guilty as charged…
**And in answer to those who just want to know how I personally have dollars in my account in the first place, “especially because (you’re) a student”, the obvious answer is that I work simultaneously.
Rihanna for River Island Leather Pants