CONSUMPTION

Apr 13, 2012


images via

I get a lot of questions about how I can afford to buy stuff and what my secret is. I mean it's not really all that complicated. I'm 32 and have a career.

I don't have a mortgage or children yet. I don't drink alcohol or go out that much. Basically, there's not a whole lot that drains my funds before I can allow myself to be a little selfish here and there with my hard-earned money. I figure I only have a short time to spend on myself before I have to sacrifice for others, so I may as well enjoy my interest in fashion while I can. Within reason of course.

There are a few tricks though that I can share with you. Here they are:
  • GIVE AND TAKE : Part of my consumption directly correlates to me being an anti-hoarder. What is that you ask? Well just as it looks, the antithesis of a hoarder. I get anxiety when I own too much or my closet looks too full so I have to let something go before I can let something in. Ask yourself if you need 17 black skirts of varying incremental lengths or just one or two really good ones?
  • BASICS : Perhaps because I work in the apparel business I have a skewed view on spending a lot on basics. I just can't bring myself to buy a $100 tshirt or $300 jeans. No judgement if you do, but I personally just can't. I like to feel like I'm getting a lot for my money - leather, craftsmanship, intricate detailing, whatever. So I buy really budget basics and save for things like shoes or jackets.
  • THINGS YOU LOVE : If I really really want something, it has to be because I need it (literally, like underwear or an unstained white shirt) or because it speaks to me on profound design levels (insert husband's scoffing here). Lackluster purchases lead straight to crowded, nonsensical closets and insufficient funds. My only two purchasing categories are 1) necessary closet staples or 2) ridiculously amazing brilliant design.
  • BARGAIN HUNTING : This is how I get the majority of everything I own. I very rarely pay full price for anything. There's always the infrequent exception with things I obsess over and know will sell out and be impossible to find, or the special jewelry purchase, but for the most part, most things are found with good old-fashioned internet resourcefulness. I don't do a lot of impulse buying. Some of us don't have the luxury of impulse buying. My choices have to be carefully measured against what I have the funds for. So if I notice that an item is offered on a lot of different sites, I'll usually wait it out for end of season sales.
  • EXAMPLES : I've said it before and I'll say it again, eBay is my #1 favorite place for bargain hunting. You can find anything from luxury shoes to vintage sweaters to rap tshirts at the best prices. Other great resources are YOOX and Bluefly and of course all my other favorite online retailers when they start slashing prices. There are no two better words than DISCOUNT CODE. When it comes to physical shopping, I stick to thrifting and vintage stores, and for nicer things Nordstrom Rack and Off 5th.
  • WHAT'S IN A NAME : This isn't a lesson on how to procure luxury goods. This is for you to think about what you want to spend your hard-earned money on and why. Do you have endless funds and your father is a soda baron? Go out and buy those Hermès athletic socks! (No judgement! Get me some?) But if you are like me and need to calculate and save and pinch pennies here and there, it doesn't have to be about the name. It's not a competition. You don't need to keep up with the Joneses. Try buying only things that you love or need and nothing in between. Fashion isn't exclusive to luxury brands. A black cotton Prada button down is essentially the same as one from J Crew - wait for the J Crew one to go on sale (or better yet, thrift it!) then take yourself on a weekend trip with the difference. Balance Daniel-san, balance.
  • LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS : Take care of your responsibilities before taking care of your wants. Isn't that what's at the core of enjoyment? Enjoying fashion should come after your rent and bills are paid, you've eaten and taken care of all the things you want to do in your life. If you're living on your parents' couch jobless, eating Top Ramen raw out of the bag, and maxing out fraudulent credit cards, I believe that's called an addiction, not enjoyment. And if you're working part time at a supermarket, maybe you should put off buying a Chanel bag until you go full time? Me, I can't afford a Birkin, but I can afford a Pandora (just once!) so that's where my limits are. Know yours.
  • WORK HARD : Just work (hard) for whatever you want, be that a Proenza bag, a hundred thrifted silk button downs, a bio fuel Mercedes hooptie, a trip to Vietnam rice paddies, whatever! Your tastes will change, just as your priorities will, but fashion will always be there. Just put the work in and live the life you want.

This obviously isn't for everyone. Different strokes for different folks. But maybe it will help a few of you out there to gain some perspective. After school special over.

81 comments :

Michelle of Chellbellz said...

I needed to see this!!!

Annabel said...

you're awesome.

ttrostle said...

Here, here!

K said...

well spit, sister. I think there is a cloth pulled over most fashion blog consumers eyeballs - how many of these lassies are legitimately able to afford all their treats? I do not know. but I'm sure there is a maxed out credit card involved here and there. fragments of a beautifully well-edited stylistic life can skews someone's vision, fo' sho'.

Jessica Deanna said...

I really enjoyed this. There were many tips I could take from this and apply to my life
I'm bookmarking this post!
Thank you for sharing your words of experience, lord knows I could definitely use some prioritizing and direction right now.

SO. said...

im glad i read this just as i finished throwing almost everything out of my closet. i dont feel so bad anymore. haha youre great.

Raez said...

THANK YOU for finally putting into words what is essentially the 10 (ish) commandments to being a responsible consumer / how to buy nice things without going broke!!

It's refreshing to see bloggers who are honest when it comes to "how they can afford designer stuff" when it seems as though a lot of bloggers these days are living in an unattainable, carefree dreamworld where they're gifted everything (or make enough blog revenue to buy everything)--which is definitely not the case for the average person.

Thanks for always keeping it real, Jayne!

Nathan Moy said...

I find it very interesting that we both kinda share the same tricks in affording and buying high end (well made ) pieces that some would often say includes a lot of ready-to-wear, lol... these tricks must be practiced and not taken lightly.. it's sad how most people still fall prey to hording and spending hundreds on mediocre stuff constantly worried about spending the price of three or four for one really good piece... would u rather want 3 crap faux leather bags, or a celine one? well obvi it'll be more than 3 crap bags lol

btw the first pic is the givenchy shark tooth, are they yours?? because if it is where did u get the BIG one, I RECENTLY jsut got the smaller one and posted it up on my blog just a while back and also in white resin, and i know the big one is for show only so wondering how u got it if u did? please reply on my blog if u can thanksss

xx nathan.niche

-FIND YOUR NICHE-
http://style-niche.blogspot.com

P.S. here's my post on the GIVENCHY shark tooth necklace that I bought and mentioned before, check it out!!:
http://style-niche.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/tooth-be-told.html

seki said...

THANK-YOU!!! finally.

william said...

It really does come down to priorities and smart judgements. Some people spend a ton eating out and drinking or splurge on vacations.. it just comes down to what you want to focus your money on.

LZ said...

Finally some honesty and wisdom from a fashion blogger! I appreciate that.
I love your blog and you do have an expensive and awesome taste!

LZ said...

Finally some honesty and wisdom from a fashion blogger! I appreciate that.
I love your blog and you do have an expensive and awesome taste!

Tiffany said...

you are amazing and i completely agree.

fickle sense said...

This is absolutely amazing advice. I recently started practising most of these 'rules', but it is so nice to see them written down in black and white, and from someone else' perspective. I used to hoard cheap fashion and I changed that drastically and am so much happier for it. Great read xx

http://ficklesense.blogspot.com.au/

Alice said...

thank you for writing this. as a student who constantly online window shops, I definitely lose perspective sometimes and im definitely bookmarking this for later.

JoiatheMagnificent said...

I always read your blog and I appreciate your no bullshit approach to fashion. I'm not into commenting on blogs, fashion sites..yadda yadda but this post is one of those 'two snaps in Z formation' types of greatness. Too many blogs give off this weird "about that life" cockiness that's really annoying, and I'm glad that you kept it real about being practical while still enjoying fashion. I'll stop rambling now, but thanks for saying what everyone else isn't. Fashion isn't about trying to attain every single thing that everyone just has to have.

r. said...

Right on! Another thing: people (especially those who read tons of fashion blogs) seem to think that they need to buy things constantly, whether it be from Barneys or Forever 21, and that they must have every trend regardless if it's their style or not. It's overwhelming!
I really like your two categories! My last purchase was a pair of Givenchy heels that were half off - a splurge within my means and a total fucking find. Definitely in the ridiculous amazing category!

Susie said...

yeah i basically live by and agree with 100% of this.

i like knowing your values and think it's great you shared this, because there are a lot of sad young uns with some out of whack values out there. but tbh, just by reading what you share online for some time now, i was able to more or less figure this all out about you already, given context clues.

what you wrote about here is a theme i have tried to develop on my blog from the outset, giving my own context clues. but a bullet point list is certainly a more effective way of breaking shit down for people.

and damn, i can not fucking wait to have a career. i'm working hard on mine now, and i've gone ahead and finally devoted myself to it. but it's a long slog till the payoff time. and when that time comes, ln-cc will finally see my money.

Liz said...

Amen!!

nataliya said...

i'm the same, i put so much thought into buying one item, so much research, price comparing, review reading, and HUNTING for that value. it actually makes buying it more fun and satisfying! and sometimes even after all that i realize, hey dummy you can make that!

nataliya
sewniice.blogspot.com

danny said...

love this post, even though i think it's completely silly that you even had to write it. what makes people think they're so entitled to know how others can afford things?! kind of ridiculous.

xx

A La Mode said...

I think it's easy to look at some bloggers with a rose tinted view, wondering how they can afford that new designer item and feeling like you should be able to snatch it out of thin air too.

Hard work is key, just because you don't go on about the 9-5 on the blog it doesn't mean you're super rich and go shopping all day long.

Long live eBay!

Nomadic D. said...

Excellent post! And I absolutely agree with you. Learning to spend well is a process, and it has a lot do with aligning your habits with your priorities, which i think sounds a lot easier and simpler than it actually is. But once you do, it starts making perfect sense to drop a large chunk of change on a perfect pair of boots, because you know it accurately reflects how you choose to live. It might sound overly dramatic or something, but I really think it's true.

http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/

Leslie said...

I personally subscribe to the Rick Owens school of dress: killer hair, killer shoes, killer body. My friends and I joke about who will be the first to get a six pack (hint: not me). Everything I wear in between is reasonably priced and boring. I could never do an outfit post because literally the only aspect of my clothes that change everyday are my shoes. And I'm ok with that.

The most difficult part about shopping for me (and what makes lame basics more expensive) is keeping some semblance of morality re: where I shop. I know this isn't the biggest deal for everyone, and it's still extremely difficult to tell where everything comes from, but it's important to me. I'll pass on UO; my time and money are better spent elsewhere.

Great post!

Angela said...

Well said, excellent post. I'm 31 and worked bloody damn hard to get to where I am career wise as well, which allows me to spend my cash on what I want...after what I need & what my fam needs is all sorted. It's taken me awhile to learn to save & spend on an even balance, but that has come with age. I do worry about some of the younger fashion bloggers who are buying each season, every season brand new pieces, often on credit, with no thought for their futures....
Thanks for this post.
A x

Ginta said...

thumbs up!

Kat said...

Seriously? Thank you for this post! I totally live within my means but it just kills me when I see people who don't, especially when they haven't worked a real job a day in their lives! Of course I definitely have my moments where I lust over the latest IT item every person has but this post brings me back down to reality. So, thank you.

hannah said...

thank god, some pragmatism. finally!

hannahandelise.blogspot.com

Brianne O'Neil said...

Love this! I am really trying to focus on quality vs. quantity these days to get the most out of my closet and wallet.

Ebay is also my fav :)

nobz said...

wow,you said it what exactly i think about fashion and shopping.
even tho sometimes i still spent my money on something less special. still learing:)

xoxo
http://kissoflifebynobz.blogspot.com/

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Prêt à Porter P said...

I second Danny.

-ps. I'm behind the times, what is a Pandora? Some thing tells me you're not referring to those charm bracelets ;)

creativegirl said...

well said! u rule!

Holly said...

I've never commented on a blog, I'm more of a lurker, but I just wanted to tell you that I think this post is fantastic - it's simple and concise but seems to say what most other people can't quite vocalise about fashion, or knowing your style, which is maybe more important? I really admire your ability to do it your way and I take a similar approach. You're a great example of how no one needs to pile on every trend to be fashionable, and that being stylish and knowing what you like will pay off in that you look good and spend wiser. I don't want to pretend that fashion is life (or something like that..?) because it isn't. And like you say, there are more important things that we need to spend money on first, but looking good makes people happy and I think your approach would make a lot of people a lot happier in the long run. I'm shocked that so many people would ask you to explain your wardrobe and how you can afford it, as quite simply it's nobody else's business and it's not that hard to work out anyway. You have a job and an IQ. Bloggers - probably younger bloggers - seem to forget that how you look is not necessarily a competition, and that there is no trick that can get you and your blog sponsored by Celine. No doubt if there was, freebies would lie unappreciated on the floor of an overstuffed wardrobe. If you choose to spend your hard earned money on a bag that will last you forever, and that you love, girl power! I keep coming back to this blog because it's not your average show-off platform, it's more of a celebration of style, which personally I find more impressive than fashion. Didn't really want to jump on the ass kiss bandwagon but I do really like your blog. Also, you're funny!

Anonymous said...

i agree with everything said here. great post.

jenaly enns said...

I think it is good advise and you said it well.

http://jenalyenns.blogspot.ca/

Cindy said...

yes. it's amazing how many people don't get this.

i can afford nice things because i work. have no debt. and at the moment in my life no big responsibilities eating up my funds.

and sales, always sales.

stop asking me what i do for a living/how i afford stuff/am i rich? it's rude.

loved this post.
xxc

Ria said...

I think everyone should see this.

Anonymous said...

I agree with all this, though as a male, one is forced to wear a wardrobe of mostly basics anyway, so I tend to invest in those somewhat heavily., With my limited budget, I would feel strange literally buying one Rick Owens bomber per season and nothing else. Also, I find men's fast fashion to be way more distasteful than women's, probably cause menswear requires that precision in cut and fabric that only comes with $$$. However, this Calvin Klein look makes me reconsider that policy for this fall..

http://thefashionisto.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/calvinklein11.jpg

Anonymous said...

I agree with all this, though as a male, one is forced to wear a wardrobe of mostly basics anyway, so I tend to invest in those somewhat heavily., With my limited budget, I would feel strange literally buying one Rick Owens bomber per season and nothing else. Also, I find men's fast fashion to be way more distasteful than women's, probably cause menswear requires that precision in cut and fabric that only comes with $$$. However, this Calvin Klein look makes me reconsider that policy for this fall..

http://thefashionisto.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/calvinklein11.jpg

TheMinx said...

I love this! I think you have a really sensible ethic where consumerism is concerned, and it's nice to see a blogger who's not so concerned with buying brand names 100% of the time. and everything you wear is always impeccable and perfectly you.

RAW Fashion Magazine said...

Woah loving the detail shots
www.rawfashionmagazine.com

Emily said...

primary color clutch: YES.

www.stylemapblog.com

InnyVinny said...

I can't believe people are being so brash as to ask you how you can afford things...seriously? I mean, for real?

How dreadful!

Holly said...

You are really awesome :D You totally speak for our humble souls here!

I believe in investing for the best, but these days too many people value the brand name than the quality. Especially after the whole blogger-turn-fashion-guru thingy growing into a big mess.

To me, fashion is not a materialistic competition, it's my lifestyle, my sense of being.

Julia PW said...

So... what do you work with?

Ana Teresa Santos said...

Thank you very much for this intelligent post!
Love from Portugal!
Kisses,
Ana

Anonymous said...

1. YOU are AWESOME
2. Specifically regarding ebay... how exactly do you bargain hunt there? Do you type in the EXACT name/size/style/material of something you're really looking for, or just sort of hunt in vague categories generally weeding through crap? I only ask because I tend to do the latter, and it makes me very discouraged and frustrated with internet/thrift shopping
3. I'm obsessed with Nordstrom Rack and Off 5th. Neiman Marcus Last Call is a godsend too ;)

EdgyCuts said...

So perfectly outlined!!!

I'm in my mid 30s as well, with a full-time job, and since recently - a child. I have to juggle with my money to keep up my own apartment, care for the baby, support my obsession with traveling, and afford beautiful fashion stuff. Hence, do thrift shopping, sale hunting, and mostly - ebay bargaining - to get my hands on designer items.

www.edgycuts.blogspot.com

ray said...

shout out to jayne for TCB!!

and Off 5th HAS been killing it lately. seriously.

sometimes i find myself having to say around the same thing to people i know and i always have to bite my tongue because of the ridick shit i know they buy. pssh


more pictures of the teefs please!!!

julia said...

As if I needed another reason to adore you. Brilliantly said <3

mikey said...

beautifully said. haha I do this too! Hope everything is well for you btw. I know you don't know me, but i was Vinnie's friend. haha

cool blog *thumbs up* :)

Grace - Stripes and Sequins said...

Just discovered your blog and obsessed with it. Loved this post - wise, wise words.

Unknown said...

I completely share this philosophy, thank you for putting it into words. I would add that sometimes right when you discover something that "speaks to you on profound design levels" (#3) but buying it would not allow you to "live within your means" (#7), give a few days and you will usually forget it and move on. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a pair of shoes or coat that cost a grand or 2 and had desperate thoughts of omg what can I sell what credit card can I open up to buy this but I resist and soon I'm not even thinking about it anymore. Unless you're a movie star you're never going to be able to buy everything you want, and there's always a new awesome thing around the corner.

Anonymous said...

i have so much respect for you dude

Amanda said...

well said my friend

Anonymous said...

Very wise words. haha All I got to say is..you're not 32. (:

MAMMAandTheCool said...

Ahhhh, I love you Jayne! This is a great post. I am 32 also and sometimes the Generation Y kills me with their "need it" mentality. And most of the time these youngins are living a Kanye West lyric "I spent 400 bucks on this, just to be like n***a you ain't up on this"! I'm with you - I'll spend money on things I absolutely love because it's an amazing design etc. , but I am grown, with bills to pay, so I HAVE to prioritize my spending. Thanks for the great tips.

helga said...

Great post! Shopping tips and life lessons well learned.

-h

lisa signorini said...

amazing!!
I came across into your blog and I like it so much!!
Visit my blog anf if u want we can follow each other via GFC and bloglovin!
Let me know!
have a great day!
www.thecurlylady.blogspot.com

Samatha@discount tailor suits said...

Money is the first thing to consider if you want your fashion style to be updated. There are many DIY fashion styles online but I still prefer buying signature brands. Thanks for sharing these tips!

PlaceTrends said...

loove this necklece from Givenchy!!

xx alex

If you haven't seen my new post, yet visit my blog:

www.placetrends.blogspot.com
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Lottie HALL said...

LOVE!!!!
xxx

W E B S I T E // www.lottiehall.com

B L O G // www.lottiehall.blogspot.com

F A C E B O O K // http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lottie-HALL/285127121540512

jamie-lee said...

I'm like you, and anti-hoarder. Too much stuff gives me mega anxiety, although sometimes I find it hard to let go of things that have meaning to me. Thankfully not so in my wardrobe!

Hope Adela Pasztor said...

Those rhinestone shoes are AMAZING! =)

http://pinkchampagnefashion.blogspot.com/

CNVS design said...

Ah ,I have the 6 nude colored silk shirts! Which now I must purge!!! Lovely thoughts and very practical!

Vale ♥ said...

Your post is great, I loved reading all of it ! I am also an adult woman working and I don't have kids yet...so I like to pamper myself to the things I really like and I think it's the right thing to do !.
I like your advice and the way you think. I have to say I think the same about spending too much over a pair of jeans or a tee ! I prefer to invest on designer handbags or something unique !

Fashion and Cookies

Natasha said...

You managed to completely speak my mind...especially considering today I just published a post about how I shop...here if I had read this first I coulda just sent everyone here and said "my thoughts exactly!" haha

Natasha ~ TashaDelrae.com

lovelycheesedoodles said...

Awesomeness, you're buying philosophy actually speaks a lot to mine and by the way your taste in clothes is pretty dang awesome.

Alyson said...

truth! Totally feel 100 percent about all of this. Visiting from Stripes & Sequins!

kobimaree said...

Well said. A curated wardrobe is better than a large one. Now I need to get the hell out of University and get that career. xx

Follow me on my new blog
www.byfreeradical.blogspot.com.au

ALYSSA PACAUT said...

Word homes.

jessandlola said...

Best post I've seen in a long long time, truth!

gg said...

you rule.

C WOLFE said...

WORD. I love your blog and this post is pretty much a summary of the way I roll too. x

steph said...

Hi Jayne, I love your blog and this is why. You have this grounded, realistic approach to fashion so thanks for writing this post!

Clara Campelo said...

UAU! Great pieces!

trish said...

I don't think I've liked a blog personality more than I do right now

Tatj said...

What you say's right. I think that for some people it's hard to put limits unfortunately, even if they do know it. I think it's not about ignorance about their limits but more about wisdom. Both. Everytime I think about it, "Do I really need it ? I'm a student, do I prefer to eat or to dress ?" joke.

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