BECOMING A WISER CONSUMER

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GROWING UP WITH MY FASHION CHOICES

Comfortability is extremely important to me. Being comfortable is unequivocal to anything else. Just like everyone else, I make decisions when I shop. It is very essential to me that I invest in what I wear and in my own comfort. As I am getting older, I’m beginning to realize that obtaining items considered fast fashion isn’t much of an interest to me anymore. I am done with splurging on things that won’t last after a few washes. I'm sick of buying items that I will get over as quickly as I bought them. I want to be able to always go back to these material things as time goes by. Please don't take this out of context when I say that fast fashion is not much of an interest anymore. I haven’t rejected fast fashion or the idea of fast fashion completely. Fast fashion has its moments. It cannot be wholly dismissed. I am just sticking to the notion of investing my money and not squandering it.

I usually have some questions running through my head when I’m shopping:

  1. Should I spend $5 for an item and buy it again in a month or should I pay the extra cash for an item that will last and possibly be a staple piece?

  2. Do I need this or do I just want it?

  3. Will I wear this again?

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INVESTING & THE BIGGER PICTURE

Someone once gave me some funny and great advice. They said, "We must select what we let into our life the same way we select our significant other: be picky. We don't want a bunch of significant others. We just want that one. We want our forever. Who cares if I'm only talking about material things? They can last forever." We invest in so many things in life without spending a dime. We invest our own time in other people. We invest in ourselves to become better. Why not invest in what we wear?

Another important idea to keep in mind is that striving to obtain quality in life is better than striving to obtain quantity. We can always go back and repurchase an item if we fancy having another, especially if we're looking at a different color or print. We don't want to continuously purchase a multitude of one item when we know it's temporary. If you knew the lifespan of an item is less than a season, would you by it? Would you keep buying that item over and over or will you become upset? My personal goal is to purchase items that can last me for the next year. It's a personal achievement when I know that the item purchased will outlast the year ahead.

Storytime! The suit I am wearing in the photos is an example of having my cake and eating it too. This suit is a product of fast fashion. I bought this suit last spring. Before I had come to any conclusions that it is more important to invest, I just asked myself why not. I thought about how cute this suit would be to have in my closet. The first time I wore this lovely suit was the first day of New York Fashion Week. I wore it multiple times after that. This is one of the reasons why fast fashion can't be completely dismissed. Fast fashion has produced great things that are worth spending money on.

There are many reasons why this suit is a personal achievement and has become more than just a purchase. Here are a few:

  1. This suit is grade A quality.

  2. What was once a purchase on a whim is now two pieces of clothing that can be paired together or worn separately. There are so many outfit ideas running through my mind!

  3. This suit can be worn for almost any occasions.

  4. This is a suit that will last me a long time.

  5. I got it on sale.

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YOU DON’T HAVE TO BUY DESIGNER IN ORDER TO INVEST

You may have seen a sweater for $800 and loved it. You may have also noticed a very similar, almost indistinguishable sweater with a more affordable ($$) price tag that was stitched better. You bought that sweater. You have loved that sweater for a long time and continue to love it. Ditto.

A lot of people have this preconceived notion that investing in their wardrobe means that their clothes will come with a hefty price tag. That is not always true. There are wonderful companies where we don’t have to drain our bank accounts for some great things. ASOS, M&S, and Primark are a few of my favorite companies where I get great things at a reasonable price. Of course, I am aware that these companies sell things with hefty price tags, but they also give us the option of choosing the latter when it comes saving money while shopping for the best.

Sometimes people believe that quality means designer tags. That is also not true. It's nice to have designer things, but designer things don't always mean quality. Sometimes we just pay for the name. Everyone has different standards. This means we will have to inspect and decide for ourselves. Still, it is a no-brainer that people like having additional funds in their pockets. Save it for a rainy day.

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We must select what we let into our life the same way we select our significant other: be picky. We don’t want a bunch of significant others. We just want that one. We want our forever. Who cares if I’m only talking about material things? They can last forever.
— Advice given to me by a very special friend.
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INVESTMENT IS TRULY GREAT WHEN WHAT WE OWN IS TREATED WITH LOVE

Investing in clothes is only a small part of what we do. The most consequential part of it all is what we do after we have brought our things back from the shops. Price tags and labels don't make much of a difference if you're the kind of person to love the things you own as if they were people you care for. In fact, I once had a $12 t-shirt outlast a designer t-shirt. I treated both garments with love and cared for them, but the $12 t-shirt out lived the designer shirt. Never allow how much you spend on an item determine wether you take care of it or not.

I have seen people throw their things around like rag dolls and wonder why their expensive things look battered and bruised. When we love and care for our clothes, we don't have much to worry about. I always said that a person should treat their things the way they would treat a baby. We care and love babies. We protect them from everything and anything. That's the way it should be with our most expensive and inexpensive things.

Whichever type of consumer you may be, I hope you have the best time shopping this holiday. May you're holiday season be merry and bright.

I also hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed creating it. Tell me what you think. Are you the kind of person to invest in what you wear? What are some of your favorite investments?

DARIANNE

StyleDarianne GrimballOOTD, NYFW