I go a tad insane when it comes to luxury goods. More in particular, luxury handbags and shoes. Ever since I laid eyes on my aunt’s Vuitton and Delvaux when I was 14, I’ve been hooked…. that feeling I had when I finally managed to borrow her Vuitton and go to school with it still shivers through my body. And yes, I partially did it for the envious looks from girls I didn’t like… no shame in admitting that.
However, these days I don’t crave for luxury bags to impress others, now I buy them because for me they are a piece of art that I can take with me. I enjoy the craftsmanship, the quality of materials used and of course the customer experience that comes with it.
But I’m still a realist at heart and I do believe that these are just ‘brands’ and you should still be reasonable when it comes to spending your money on clothing and such. Therefor I wanted to share with you guys how I choose between high end and luxury goods. Because a pair of Jimmy Choo’s sound amazing, but there’s no fun in ruining them on a party…
The eye catcher
Mostly it all starts with that one piece that I constantly see on Pinterest or Instagram, for example, those amazing Gucci loafers you see everywhere. They are just stunning and I’ve only read positive reviews on how comfortable these shoes are, but they do cost over € 500 and that’s not something I easily spend on shoes.
So the decision-making-process to invest in luxury or go for high end always starts with what I actually want… after that, I kind of do a checklist in my head with following points.
Trend or classic
I always take the trend-factor in consideration. Is it a trend piece to go as quick as it came or is it a piece I see myself wearing for years to come? I know I’ll always wear a black blazer, black chelsea boots and a striped tee. But pink denim or shoes, I don’t think so… It’s a no-brainer to go for high-street items if you know you’re only going to wear something this season or if you’re just trying out something new.
It speaks for itself that you can’t buy € 500 shoes if you don’t have that amount of money to spend on them. For some people a certain luxury piece can be so attractive that they would give anything for it, but don’t. It’s only worth it if you do have that money to spare. And for the younger readers out here, your time will come.
Cost Per Wear
Cost per what?! Cost per wear, or as you call it, C.P.W, is actually what this item will cost you every time you wear it. It’s a measurement in the long run. I still remember buying a t-shirt from a big retail store for about € 5.99 but I only ended up wearing it once because the seams shifted after just one wash. So that t-shirt cost me € 5.99 per wear. Where my cashmere sweater from Grana, that was more expensive to buy (€ 123), has a C.P.W. of € 2,61 at this time and still looks amazing.
Having a higher quality item that will last longer is always a good idea.
Of course you can’t exactly know how much wear you’re going to get out of an item when you buy it, but there are some indicators you can check with. And the most important question to ask yourself is
How many times do I see myself wearing this for the months to come?
Maybe you’re buying a cute summer top that is so on trend, but by the end of summer. Will you be wearing that same piece next summer? Maybe you can consider buying a cheaper version or don’t buy it at all. Trends will always be there and will change so much, so why not save your money for the next trend or maybe something more expensive?
It kind of goes together with the trend-thing and C.P.W. Checking the quality of an item is always important, no matter where you’re buying it or how much you’re spending on it. I like to invest in items that have a nice feel, like soft lambskin leather or a good quality denim that’s a bit stiff – classic Levi’s 501-lover over here. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I own a very moderated wardrobe and I like to wear my items over and over again until they are worn to shreds.
So high quality is really important.
Do some research on the materials used, maybe read some reviews before spending a lot of money and consider your lifestyle and how a certain quality fits in it. I don’t have to say that it’s not a good idea to invest in soft leather boots if you’re constantly out in the rain.
Follow your heart
And whatever you do, always follow your own common sense and gut feeling. Most people I know call me batshit crazy for wanting a Chanel bag, but it’s something I dreamed of for the past 15 years… Of course I listen to the advice of others, but in the end, only you know what will make you happy in the long run.
About the outfit
It’s been the coldest spring I can remember, so it wasn’t easy shooting a realistic outfit that I love. I do have some issues with my spring capsule this year, but hey, that’s life. So on colder workdays, where I spend most of my time inside, I mostly go for a mostly black outfit. The blouse adds a little more spring-vibes with the blue-white print, and my wool scarf keeps me warm. With this background – yes it’s taken end of march – it more or less looks like a fall outfit. But hey, that’s the weather situation in Belgium.
Oh and these Sam Edelman loafers are just the best dupe for the Gucci ones on the market. They are so soft and comfortable and I feel the design is so timeless and detailed. However, still considering upgrading them with the Gucci ones. To be continued…