A big apology
While the intended message was "if you can afford expensive things, make sure you'll get value from them by wearing them to death", this is what was actually said:
This is a great lesson to remember when you're out shopping: if you stick with classic things that you love, you can buy expensive things and still be a Bargain Queen. Let's start with The Bargain Queen's personal obsession: bags. A $1,000 bag like the ones in the story is fine, if you really will carry it every day for 10 years - and as long as you can afford it without resorting to plastic. Over its life, it costs the same as two fashionable $50 bags a year, and a great bag will look a lot better than a bunch of cheapies. (The Bargain Queen's most expensive bag was a present from Mr Bargain Queen and even that was under $1,000... no wonder she's not a fashion editor!)This is the immediacy of blogging at its worst. The Bargain Queen meant to say one thing, but kind of managed to say something else entirely. And was bitchy in the process. The post in question has now been updated, so you can see what she meant to say over here.
If a $200 bag is a big splurge for you, work with that: buy the nicest fabric bag you can find and treat it well. (The Bargain Queen finds the majority of $200 leather bags are a bit ew.) Or if you're a fashion chameleon and get bored with a bag after a few weeks, forget the 'investment' bags and have fun with cheap and cheerful.
The point is, spend according to the amount of wear you'll get from each garment, and you'll never look like a slightly unstable fashion victim.
To clarify The Bargain Queen's views on expensive bags:
You don't have to have an expensive bag to be stylish. You don't even have to 'buy the best you can afford', as magazines often say. Any bag that suits your budget, personality and lifestyle is great, even if the magazines say it's a 'don't' this year. ('Cos if it's 'out', it'll be back 'in' as soon as you've thrown it away!)
The Bargain Queen likes to look at super-expensive fashion the same way she looks at Jackson Pollock's Blue Poles: as fabulous, inspiring artwork that has no place in her life or her credit card statement.
The Bargain Queen HATES that "my stuff is not good enough" feeling that she sometimes gets when she's reading magazines or looking at things online. She hates feeling cheap because her budget didn't stretch to an extragavant wedding, fully colour coordinated home furnishings or this season's throwaway fashion trend.
Noboday should ever feel bad about living within their means. Ever.
Fashion magazines applaud the personal style of people who buy couture dresses, and regard $5,000-10,000/year clothes budget as minimal. That's because the majority of their revenue comes from companies that sell vastly expensive clothing. People who have the money for couture and their own personal stylist have it relatively easy. They're scrutinised more, but they also have a big team of people dedicated to making them look good.
The people who really deserve applause are people like Rebecca, who's stylish on $1 a day. Finding a great sweater for a few hundred is easy; finding one for $1.77 is fantastic!