a story of love (and loss)

Budget Friendly Fashion

a story of love (and loss)

February 3, 2017
because not wearing clothes is illegal

There are few love stories that can compare to the tried-and-true tale of a crazy cat lady (CCL) and her furry feline, and though I have a handful of friends who are exceptionally devoted to their mousers, there is one in particular who loves cats big league.  Fun fact: her cat is named Trudy, which is amazing. I like to picture Trudy with big blown out bangs, gigantic hoop earrings, and tiny acid washed jeans (apologies for not having the Photoshop skills to make that happen). Anyway, CCLs are super excited these days because cats have become the muse of many of the world’s top designers in recent seasons, and paraphernalia abounds. But I’m not going to write about that, because I already did (here and here) and I’m running out of material.

So where am I going with this? Well, in a recent discussion with Trudy’s mom about cat themed garb (deep stuff), we touched on a pair of Miu Miu boots from RE16 that featured – you guessed it – cats. My friend adored the boots but never pulled the trigger, and over a year later she’s still mourning the loss. She told me she searches for them on the various pre-loved websites every couple of months, but so far, no luck.

(Sidenote: If you have a pair that you’d like to sell in a size 8ish, please let me know! I owe her a favor.)

So this discussion got me thinking about the various pieces I’d missed over the years, and to be perfectly honest, in retrospect most of them were bullets dodged. The most recent? A Saint Laurent bomber jacket that I spotted on Ray Donovan’s Lena. I love her classic, androgynous style, and I was immediately obsessed. However, when the jacket magically arrived on my birthday I couldn’t help but think of the multitude of more practical things I could buy with the money. I asked my husband to return it because I couldn’t bear the tearful goodbye, but just four months later I don’t miss it one bit.

In other Saint Laurent news (and since we’re semi-discussing cats), two years ago Mr. Slimane came out with some leopard print booties. They were expensive. My sister plainly called me an idiot when I told her the price, but I tried them on and loved them. A few weeks later I took a trusted friend with me to try them on a second (possibly third?) time. I continued to crush on them from afar, and after multiple analytical discussions with various interested parties, I finally took the bait. Two years later I still wear them often because, despite the fact that they’re high-heeled leopard print booties, they’re surprisingly practical for me. #solemates

But how does one know when they’re being blinded by lust, or passing up true love in the form of a staple that will function for years? Well, like most love stories, it’s complicated, so the following are some ideas to ponder next time you encounter a to-die-for sweater…standing in front of a girl…asking her to love it:

    1. Is it expensive? Girl, if it’s $30 and giving you full-blown butterflies, buy it. If it’s $300, or $1300, see below. If it’s $3,000 and isn’t marked with a total carat weight, I’m just going to throw this out there…probably don’t do it.
    2. Is it a highly coveted brand? In recent years I’ve started purchasing high-end labels for a multitude of reasons, one of which is that there is always a resale market for an item with a famous name on the tag. It’s great for the piggybank and the environment.
    3. Does it fit? No, seriously. I have purchased items that don’t fit simply because I loved them and/or they were on sale. I currently own a pair of Balenciaga shoes so amazing that Donald Trump probably thinks he designed them. They fit well [enough that I can wear them for about 4 hours, if I am seated for 3.5 of those hours]. I also own a newly acquired pair of red velvet Gianvito Rossi ballet flats that were practically free, which is the right price for a pair of shoes a full size too big. Don’t be like me. It’s stupid. But when I tire of them, guess what? See #2.
    4. Is it a classic? This is not to imply that it must be solid black to be considered a staple (coughleopardprintbootiescough), but when buying an expensive item it should be considered a long-term investment. I have a pair of python Louboutins that I’ve been wearing since W’s second term. Of course the classics aren’t often the most exciting purchases, but they are the ones that never result in regret.
    5. For the not-so-classic items, consider whether you’re lusting after trendy crap, or developing a true love. For 99% of people, Trudy’s mom’s Miu Miu boots would have been a passing fad, but for her, cats are a lifestyle. She didn’t love the boots because they were trendy; she loved them because they were the fashion equivalent of holding a boombox over one’s head and playing “In Your Eyes” outside her bedroom window. They had staying power.
    6. Love takes time. Don’t be afraid to sleep on it. Very few items sell out overnight, so if you’re still thinking about the silk Stella McCartney dog print blouse in a few days (like I am), consider buying it. Worried you’re going to miss out? Buy it risk free from a retailer with a great return policy and decide later.

Love comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, but sometimes the writing is on the wall for everyone to see (remember Katy Perry and Russell Brand?). People frequently fall in lust for the wrong reasons, but knowing some of the common mistakes certainly helps to mitigate the prospect of a broken heart (a.k.a. closet full of unworthy junk).  Moreover, when you can eliminate a lot of the trendy, overpriced, seasonal stuff, it’s easy to narrow in on your own personal version of Miu Miu cat boots that had you at hello.

*cover photo courtesy of Fashionisers.

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