Fashion confession: my splurges
So today, The Bargain Queen's going to confess her fashion splurges.
As a quick aside, 'splurge' doesn't have to mean 'things you pay off your credit card just before they wear out' as fashion magazines sometimes imply. To The Bargain Queen, splurges are things that are worth spending more on, so she economises on everything else to afford them. She buys things like t-shirts at op (thrift) shops, cheap chain stores and sales so she can afford a few insane expenses like:
- Designer jeans. In Sydney, denim is the prefered apparel for going to the opera, hitting the town for a big night out, meeting friends for coffee, going shopping, even working if your boss will permit it. Jeans have become such an important wardrobe staple that finding a pair which make your bum / saddlebags / love handles look great can turn into some sort of unholy quest. The Bargain Queen has tried to love chainstore jeans but ended up looking like a dumpy dwarf, and in the last five years she's found only two great pairs in her size in thrift stores. So about once a year she splurges on a pair of designer jeans in the sales. She'd rather have two great pairs than a dozen that make her butt look bad. The things we do for vanity.
- Well-cut work pants. Staying on the theme of The Bargain Queen not liking her butt much, her next splurge category is well-cut work pants. Again, a long exploration of every cheap option available convinced her that she'd have to spend more to look better. It's still a search to find flattering, attractive, professional-looking trousers that don't need constant ironing, but with a budget of a couple of hundred dollars it becomes much more possible. (Tip 1: MaxMara's Max & Co. stores have pants that emerge from a suitcase looking perfectly ironed - LOVE them! Tip 2: buying a cheaper coordinating jacket saves money and is less stuffy than a 'proper' suit if your workplace allows it.)
- One nice watch. The Bargain Queen is currently saving up for one really nice watch. No Chanel chronographs will make it into the budget this time around, but if her winter fashion expenses are sensible, a gorgeous Michael Kors one looks realistic...
- Nice dressy shoes. The Bargain Queen owns a total of three pairs of heels, none of which would meet Carrie Bradshaw's Manolos-all-the-way standards. Still, one pair of Marc Jacobs at 75% off is a big enough splurge to keep The Bargain Queen swooning every time she dons formal wear.
- Longchamp! The Bargain Queen's only true fashion obsession is Longchamp bags. Over a few years she's accumulated three (one on sale, one a gift, one a present-to-self for winning an award), which she LOVES. They're as classic and (mostly) really cute, and since they're not big on branding, they're cheaper than others of similar quality. OK, spending $200 on a handbag is still excessive but it's never going to become a regular expense, but one expensive obsession in a wardrobe of bargain purchases feels alright.
Still, as The Bargain Queen's mentioned previously, she does have a pretty generous wardrobe budget, which is the result of a whole bunch of trade-offs. Looking nice makes her far happier than a car would, but it's not a trade-off everyone could make. If you put your money into a mortgage, kids, investments or anything else that's important to you instead of fashion, you're doing great! Don't let the ravings of a confessed fashion tragic like myself make you feel bad - it's possible there are more important things in the world than handbags ;)