We all have something perpetually sitting at the top of our wish lists…RIGHT?!
Although all luxury isn’t created equal – we all know some of it is just a fancy label slapped on something basic – there’s a certain status factor that comes along with owning things that only the elite (or those who like to pretend) can afford.
True luxury, whether it’s a piece of fine jewelry, a piece of luggage, an SLG, or anything between, is designed to stand the test of time. They are well-crafted and generally made with durability in mind. These are not pieces that should be replaced often. They are also not pieces that should sit on your shelf to collect dust. There’s nothing worse than buying something and hating it as soon as you go to wear it. Okay, buying something and realizing your accidentally left the bag in the back of your Uber hours later would be worse, but buyer’s regret sucks. When you splurge on something you want to love it for years. Here’s how to make the right choice when deciding what to splurge on.
Calculate the CPW.
A.k.a. the cost-per-wear, or how much you pay each time to wear something. The equation would be the price you paid for it divided by number of times you’ve worn it. Using this formula, the lower the CPW for a certain piece, the more bang for your buck you will get. Granted, this will be an estimation, but you will calculate this number based off of two factors: what void it will potentially fill in your wardrobe, if any, and the CPW of similar items in your closet. This way, you will get a pretty accurate figure to use to judge whether the splurge is worth it in terms of how useful it will be to your wardrobe. What you want to avoid is splurging on pieces that will not close gaps or fill holes in your closet because you won’t end up getting your money’s worth. Pieces that have clear-cut roles are the pieces that will be worn the most, therefore will accumulate the lowest CPW.
Decide if the “luxury” is an investment piece.
Legitimate investment pieces are pieces whose value will increase after the moment of purchase, not decrease with time even despite being used/worn. It’s the same principle of investing in real estate. The most classic investment piece is a classic Chanel bag — think a style like the medium double flap. Unlike most designer bags that typically fall into the IT bag category, the value of this bag increases every year. That means if you purchase it today, five, ten years down the line you will probably get what you paid for it and more. And that’s true even if it’s gently worn. If it’s seen a considerable amount of wear and tear, you’ll still get at least what you paid for it.
So, point is, if you’re going to splurge, be clear on the intentions you have for your purchase so you know whether to preserve it or not.
Test it’s versatility.
Versatility can be measured in a few different ways. The most versatile items can be dressed up as easy as they can be dressed down and worn year-round. Some elements you’ll want to consider the versatility of are: the color, the style, the fit, and the fabric.
Neutrals are by far the most versatile shades. They can not only be mixed and matched with each other effortlessly, but all neutrals can be paired with even the wildest, boldest hues. But you should also consider semi-neutrals that in certain circumstances can act as neutralizers without coming off as boring or predictable. These are colors like Bordeaux, indigo (denim), blush, and leopard print/snakeskin. Aside from red, primary and secondary colors (think rainbow blue, green, orange, purple, and yellow) are the least versatile colors.
Consider the durability.
You’re probably noticing a trend here – the more you will potentially wear something, the better a splurge it is. Hard-wearing pieces are worth the money because they will last. When it comes to measuring durability, you want focus on these two categories: the craftsmanship and the fabric used.
When you first consider buying a piece, go straight to the seams. They will tell you everything you need to know. If hanging on the rack there are already loose threads, then the item is not made well and definitely will not be durable. Thick fabrics tend to the most durable. Think high-quality denim, canvas, and cotton.
Wait three months before purchasing.
If nothing else, a splurge should never be an impulsive purchase. It should be a well-thought out decision based on all the factors listed above. They say it take 90 days to break a habit. Steve Harvey even says that’s the amount of time you should be monogamous with someone before getting intimate. Point is, there something special about that three-month mark and we think it’s the ideal amount of time to spend contemplating a significant purchase.
We know, we know – waiting three months seems like forever. Trust us, we get it. When you want something, you want it five seconds ago. There’s nothing wrong with taking this approach with cheap, trendy clothes that don’t do any damage to your bank account. But with pieces that you’re going to be saving up for, you want to make sure you’re making the smartest decision and aren’t reacting to an impulse.
Don’t go into debt over it.
After you have your date selected, be detailed about planning how you’re going to save up enough money to actually purchase your splurge piece. Calculate how much per paycheck you will have to contribute to your fund. A great place to start is 5%, but if you can commit to contributing more, great.
During this step, you may find that you have to readjust your goal date and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s actually best to add a little cushion or contingency of time to account for any unexpected expenses that may come up while you’re saving. This way, you avoid being disappointed!
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