There’s something about the holidays that always makes me obsessed with shopping and duh there’s no shocker there. This is after all the time of year we’re all constantly bombarded with messages both subtle (constant holiday music playing) to not-so-subtle (Black Friday stampedes and the associated followup sales everywhere) enticing us poor fools to buy, buy, buy.
But what about the times when we stubbornly resist the siren song of consumerism? Certainly this is something to be proud of. Having a great wardrobe to go to parties with or a stash of awesome gifts to present your loved ones with isn’t actually a good idea if it means you can’t pay your rent or bills or if you’re just putting everything on credit cards. Of course then there are those other times… when spending the money is actually worth the next two weeks being hell until you get paid again, or worth getting nagged by your disapproving husband or your mother or whoever it is who likes to roll their eyes whenever you purchase something. Let them judge. You got what you wanted. Only… you didn’t, because you talked yourself out of the purchase.
Yes, folks I’m talking about unbuyer’s remorse. Those times when you wished you hadn’t listened to that nagging voice (even if it was your own and you were just reminding yourself the cupboard was still bare and the new flat-screen should probably wait.) The fact is that sometimes something so fabulous comes along that you need to snatch it up while you have the chance, because… contrary to pop lore, not everything ends up on eBay. At least not everything you want when you want it. I know this because of my love for vintage clothes. Part of the fun there is that odds are no one else will be wearing what you’re wearing. But that also means you can’t take forever decide whether you want something.
And speaking of witch…
Years ago I found the most splendid fur coat in a vintage store in Soho. It was three quarter length and fitted and mostly white with spots that were brown and in some areas almost blue. I don’t know what magical bunny farm the designer went to to get that blue-spotted fur, but it looked amazing. The price? $750. Not a lot to pay for real fur, especially in good condition, but as a young woman just out of school, I just didn’t feel I could afford it. Truth to tell that’s still a lot of money for me to drop on a single thing, but I’ve regretted not getting it ever since. Here’s my watercolor version of the coat, as best as I can remember it. Please do not steal this design… unless you want to give me a free coat, in which case, we’ll call it even.
I do wish I could say there was some moral to this story, other than if you love something, buy it, but er, that is kind of it. A touch obvious perhaps but I’m just mentioning it because it is okay to splurge sometimes, as long as you’re not plunging yourself into debt as a result or ignoring your financial obligations.
Another point is that some clothing could be seen as an investment. Designer goods from well-known labels, for example, as well as vintage items in good condition and especially fur tend to retain their value.
I know fur brings up a slew of ethical issues for some, but personally I feel buying vintage fur isn’t cruel to animals, because if the item gets a new life then it’s recycling and not excessive. Anyway I’m done preaching for now. Hope everyone finds some fashion inspiration this winter.