Earth to fashion magazines: "investment dressing" is an oxymoronIf you've been around as long as I have, you've been told over and over again to spend heavily on your basics. To sink real money into shoes, bag, wool overcoats, and suits. They tell you you won't look polished or professional if you pay less, and that nobody will take you seriously in your $50 shoes and $100 coat. They tell you it's OK to break the bank on these important pieces because they're an investment.
I cry bullshit.
Clothing isn't an investmentOn the spectrum of necessary expenses, clothes come in somewhere between groceries and a new car.
First of all, clothes are a consumable with a shelf life. It might not be the shelf-life of a Twinkie, but clothing isn't gold bullion; it doesn't last forever.
Second, as soon as you drive that outfit home from Macy's, it loses 30 percent of its value. So unless you're buying Fortuny evening gowns at thrift shops and flipping them to the Met's Costume collection, you're not making money on clothes.
Now, the nice thing about reaching our stage in life (I won't call us middle-aged for fear of offending Rosina) is that it's perfectly appropriate to spend heavily on items that are going to get a lot of wear. Or on items that have a serious job to do. Or that award you serious joy points.
The other day I was at Forever XXI with my daughter, shopping for Easter finery. I was waiting to pay for her new dress, and it occurred to me that the bra I was wearing cost more than the dress I was buying for my daughter. And as screwy as that sounds--how can two straps and a quart of spandex cost more than an entire dress--it's a perfect example of the point I'm trying to make.
My daughter will outgrow a dress in less time than it takes me to fold a load of laundry. It would be a ridiculous waste to spend Lilly Pulitzer-levels of money on a dress for her.
On the other hand, there is no sum too high to spend to get the girls--well, if not too high, then high enough. Somewhat perky. And unfortunately, I'll be wearing the same size for long enough to amortize the cost of my expensive bra.
Sometimes I think I should be wearing a sign that says "Body by Wacoal."
So don't let a sales associate or a fashion magazine talk you into spending more than you're comfortable with. If you hear the phrase "investment dressing," my advice is to stick your fingers in your ears and go "la la la la I can't heeeeeeaaaaarrrr you."
Unless the piece in question gives you serious joy. Or earns its keep. Which in my case, wouldn't be a pink and green shift dress--but would be a great-fitting bra.
This post brought to you by Poppy's collection of Wacoal bras.