It's all well and good to talk about spending one's income intelligently, on clothing that will last many years - ensuring quality and supporting one's national economy and being seriously chic in the process. But it does smart momentarily.
To wit: this fall I've bought 4 things*
- A black, crew-neck bodysuit in miraculous fabric from Kit and Ace of which I cannot seem to find a pic. It doesn't get more neutral - or easy to tuck - than this.
- A navy pair of cropped pants (link is to pic of me wearing them) that are basically lounge wear that looks like work wear, also from Kit and Ace. I wear these once a week. Alas they are now sold out:
- A pair of knee-high Stuart Weitzman 5050 boots which are just like these other ones I own (scroll to the bottom of that link):
- And, as of today, this cashmere blazer from Black Goat:
|Note: I've had my eye on this jacket since I bought the world's luxest scarf...|
Only one item was on sale - the pants - and they still cost in the neighbourhood of 200 bucks. Note to reader: Spend on the freakin' pants! Cheap trousers are easy to spot a mile away.
The bodysuit was definitely a stretch (pun intended) and I bought it entirely because I'm at the whim of awesome fabric. It was stupidly expensive for a glorified T shirt though, in my experience, Kit and Ace stuff wears awesomely (in true "technical fabric" style - whatever the hell that means). Also, if it shows the slightest bit of wear and tear, for 200 bucks, I will return it, for a refund, without a second thought.
However, I truly had to check my anxiety at the door when I bought the boots. I mean, you never know if boots are going to work until you start wearing them and I've made enough shoe-fitting errors, over the years, to be appropriately gun-shy. Particularly given that my shoes are my car. And, as a person managing early-onset osteoarthritis (the original wear-and-tear condition), I am not fucking around with the footwear.
Here's what made me take the plunge: I do already own these boots in the suede over-knee version (not practical peeps) and those fit well. The style is flat but utterly chic. The leather drapes perfectly. They're excellent for the thin-calved among us. They go with everything. They're wearable in winter (though not so much in snow). Furthermore, I am not prepared to buy another pair, in this style, made of plastic-covered fabric, designed to represent leather. (I think we call those "vegan".) On the plus side, those plastic-wearing years taught me that the style is eminently useful in my wardrobe.
I have one complaint about these boots (having worn them daily for the last couple of weeks): Initially, they smelled strangely like chemicals (vaguely vomity, to be honest) when they came out of the box. In truth, the entire Stuart Weitzman store smells that way so I think it has something to do with how they treat the leather. But I seriously considered returning them on that basis. I left the boots airing in my house, for 2 weeks, before determining that the smell had faded adequately. I still catch a hint of it occasionally, while wearing, and I am not impressed. For 900 bucks after tax, is perfection too much to ask??? I do believe, however, that the issue will resolve itself in the near-term.
All of this brings me to today's purchase: The cashmere blazer of my dreams. It's far less mumsy looking on me than in that photo (above), in large measure because I have boobs and a waist. The notched collar is chicness personified. This is the perfect garment to wear with work-appropriate denim (or basically anything else). It is timeless. The colour is rich, but neutral. The fabric is indescribably luxurious but oddly durable-seeming (for cashmere).
Intriguingly - I could wear all of these purchases simultaneously and they would all work together exceedingly well. Don't the fashion beings suggest that you buy such that everything in your closet is wearable with everything else?
Here's the thing. I need very few upgrades, on a seasonal basis, to keep my wardrobe running. I make a lot of my own clothing (if not recently) and those items are replaceable at a very reasonable monetary price (though at a rather steep cost if one considers the value of my time). I work my ass off and I've hit a point that I'm earning enough money to afford a semi-regular splurge. Moreover, those splurges become ever less necessary as I stabilize my wardrobe with timeless purchases which reflect my (fairly stable) style. I'm not buying to scratch an itch. I'm buying to meet a wardrobe need - and I intend to do this as sustainably, and elegantly, as my means permit.
So that's how I'm handling mid-life fashion these days, not that you asked...
But what about you? Does my system resonate? Do you spend to save? Do you shop for other reasons? Do you think I'm insane? Let's talk!
*Just FYI, lingerie doesn't count.