Friday, November 6, 2009

Keeping up with company

However often I go shopping for clothes (quite often, as it is) I can never seem to keep up with the things that I see other people wearing and therefore want. I spend a lot of money on clothing and my wardrobe is bountiful, but I find that as soon as I wear something out once its fashion value is suddenly lost.

I’m not talking about work clothes. I have plenty to work with there and you tend to find that you just wear the same clothes in different combinations each week. It’s the Saturday outfits I can’t seem to ever have enough of. It feels like as soon as my friends have seen me wear something I couldn’t possibly wear it in their company again. Especially those friends of friends who you only see on Saturday nights and who seem to have a endless supply of gorgeous on-trend clothing that is flattering and understated yet has that designer store look about them.

And there’s a catch 22 about buying clothes as well. These beautiful pieces the friend of friend has look like they come from expensive shops. I have no problem spending $100 on a nice dress, but I’m a real sucker for value. Why buy one expensive dress when you could get two or three items for the same price? Ok, so the items from “value” stores like Glassons and Supre never quite have the same expensive “look” to them, but they do the job nicely in most situations. Getting more for my money is my downfall in this case. Maybe I need to see the value in buying one beautiful item a week, rather than the bulk lot.

It’s all about the accessories as well. Not only do you have to buy a dress, top or tunic every week or so to keep up with things, you have to buy a scarf or belt to go with it. I have never had so many types of belt in my life! When belts first came back into fashion (the “over-the-clothing” type of belt rather than holds-your-pants-up) I didn’t get into it. Now I have, I dunno, one million of them, in all different shapes, colours and elasticity. Now that I’m embracing the belt, it seems that I can’t keep up with them either. But I’ve gone beyond the point of no return, and I could not give up the belts at this time. Those faithful dividers enhance my waistline like the Great Wall – once a mark of exclusion and suffering, now a landmark of great wonder…

Yesterday I calmed my shopping need, in order to keep up with my fashionable friends, (and to retain sanity), and I went both ways. I got my bulk lot. Five items for under $100. I then invested in a sale item of great beauty and expense. It has that expensive look about it, and although I saw similar items in the value stores, they didn’t have the luxurious appeal of this piece, and they screamed “replica”, rather than the subtle originality that this dress possesses. I then bought a $5 belt to finish it off. No one has to know!

If only I had somewhere to wear it. I guess part of the problem is that when you buy nice things, you don’t want to spill drinks on them, sit on dirty pews, or associate with smokers – all things that make up the weekends of my life.

Perhaps I need to invest in some more high-priced friends also, so I keep my nice things exclusive, and persist with my replicas for my usual plebeian company.

note: the top dress is $199, the bottom is about $30. This is what I'm talking about in terms of cost vs value. Although you may essentially get the same look, the more expensive item is clearly nicer in terms of material, design and colour.

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