Financially Chic

Tuesday, 30 October 2012
wardrobe1


Did you know that the global apparel industry is worth $1.1 trillion in 2011? This year, in UK alone, fashion has contributed £21 million to the British economy.  That just gives you an idea how important the fashion industry is and how much we're spending. You're speaking to someone whose heart still skips a beat when I see a designer handbag or a Chanel jacket or my latest obsession, the Valentino Rockstud kitten heels but what's the price we are paying to be financially chic?

It's more common these days to go into debt in order to keep up with the Joneses. It's almost impossible not to turn green with envy when you see someone being photographed in thousand dollar handbag or a brand new outfit every other day. The rise of the middle class and the fact that more and more women are becoming financially independent (a huge thank you to the suffragettes) have led to the explosion of the luxury market.

Blogging has become a worldwide phenomenon, particularly fashion and style blogs. Let's face it, we all have a voyeuristic tendency. We like to see what other women wear. And we like to see how they put together their outfits too. So if you're a style blogger, therein lies the pressure to look different, inspiring and fresh in order to stay competitive. Does that mean we have to buy more clothes? Or start figuring out how to acquire sponsors? I can't speak for everyone but here's how I stay financially chic.

1. Pay yourself first
No matter how much I'm lusting after an object, I always pay myself first. I'm no financial expert but I truly believe in saving and investing for the future. Unlike Carrie Bradshaw, I can't survive on Manolos alone when I retire (Sarah Jessica Parker is the antithesis of her Sex and The City persona and is a brilliant businesswoman).


2. Recycle
I invest in a few pieces each year that I know will stand the test of time, have a good resale value should I fall out of love with them and fill in the gap with more affordable brands. I edit my wardrobe frequently to get rid of clothes and accessories that no longer work for me. I sell them to pay for future purchases.


3. Less is More
I used to have a massive wardrobe when I was living in New Zealand but struggled to find clothes to wear every single morning. You know the "I have nothing to wear affliction?" Yeah, that was me. I chucked out/gave away/sold 80% of my wardrobe and shipped the rest to the UK. I bought a tiny cupboard to keep myself in check. I made sure that every new purchase would work with the rest of my clothes. Surprisingly, I found it easier to live with less. No more clutter. Far less wastage and money down the drain yet plenty of clothes to wear, thanks to a well edited closet.


4. Be Content
There will always be someone who's taller, thinner, richer or smarter. Or has a more impressive handbag collection.Who cares? Be happy for them. Count our own blessings for we are far luckier than many others who struggle to put food on the table.


This is part of Couch Talk series hosted by Vanisha of Vanisha's Life. Check out the rest of the conversation here. So folks, please share your tips on being financially chic?

34 comments:

  1. Great post! The financial (as well as the environmental) burden of fashion is something that has been on my mind a lot recently. Each of your numbered points are very good and can definitely be applied to areas outside of our closets.

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  2. LOVELY post marlene. I loved reading every single word of this. You are one of my favorite bloggers, and i hope you know that. xo!

    www.thehautecookie.com

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  3. Great post. In reading style blogs and fashion forums, i have come to the conclusion that a great number of women either receive hefty trust fund distributions or live pay cheque to pay cheque and have great credit card debt. AND sadly I don't think they'll read our message to count one's blessing - those women are not reading our blogs (well at least not mine ;) ).

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  4. So so true. Great nuggets of advice here! Thank you. Xx

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  5. Thanks so much for linking up Marlene. I loved these tips. I was once a large closet girl too. How beautiful it was. All these out of the world dresses that probably only got worn once (or never!) Now I have a wardrobe that I absolutely love, which has pieces that get worn ALL the time. And like you - I 'pay myself' first. Savings, Rent, Groceries, Books, Savings for clothes, Clothes....Books over clothes for me :) xoxox

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  6. Everything that you stated rings so true, and I love that you share insightful posts like this one! I particularly like what you stated in point 4. I couldn't agree with you more! Awesome post Marlene!

    xxTheresa

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  7. Great post Marlene, and I have to say I really like your tips fr how you manage your money. I also tend to cull my wardrobe and accessories on a frequent basis, although my biggest problem s tha my eyes are bigger than my wallet. Lol. I've learntt start buying a lot more second hand, and I will not buy from cheap stores if the quality is of a certain level, I am a bit fussy!

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  8. nice reminder marlene, that we shouldn't forget about other priorities! sometimes we all get carried away i'm sure.

    steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com

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  9. Nice post! fashion should always come after all other important are taken care of.

    btw, did you sell your bolide? I remember you mentioned you sold it because it doesn't fit your camera. And what is the color of your birkin? it's a pretty blue.

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    1. Hiya! Yes, I sold the Bolide. A shame though but it was just too small for my camera gear. The Birkin's Thalassa blue. I'm not sure if they make it anymore in that color. It took years of liaising with Hermes to get the color.

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  10. I love No. 4!!!!

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  11. Such a great post, I don't earn enough to have a massive closet but I am sometimes envious of other bloggers who have new outfits all the time , but in reality I already have so msny things that I rarely wear, I don't need an awful lot.
    Still want a Kelly though!

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  12. So many relevant points and so well put. I have been trying to recycle as I have been trying to downsize the wardrobe (all these culling posts I read) but as (not very) fast as I get rid, I accumlulate even faster. Point 4 is the most important to be thankful for what we have - we actually have so much.

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  13. Everyone reading your blog should print these thoughts and make them become an everday Motto !! Recycling and saving should be easy. But lusting over it-pieces will be more of a struggle with one's self !! I'm almost regretting yesterday's purchase... could I resist the last Diego in store ? !

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  14. Marlene, such a timeless post and thank you for sharing your process! I agree with all your points. For once I'm grateful to be the age I am because I find it so much easier to choose the things that suit me - whether they be investment pieces or high street sale stuff. I've gone through the phase of wearing and carrying stuff I liked on others but found they simply do not work for me in my life. I've always loved mixing and matching not to mention vintage everything which have all helped so much and if you have the right closet, you're always going to look chic and fresh. Frankly I find women and bloggers who recycle their fav pieces the most inspiring.

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  15. Yes. Yes. Yes!!! Wonderful post, strongly agree with all your points!

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  16. Wise words, M! I'm trying to cull my wardrobe and get to the less is more. There will be lots of purging in the coming weeks before the year ends or so I have planned!

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  17. Totally agree about the Rockstuds, I wouldn't mind the bag either!

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  18. I love reading financial posts and thoughts on Finance. We all have learnt some way or another through the years of spending on clothes, shoes and accessories. We experimented, we made mistakes and we had lessons. I strongly agree with no. 4.

    Being satisfied and content with what you have is extremely important. Dont try to keep up with anyone will keep us sane and financially sounded. Everybody's lifestyle and wallet differs. Befote each purchase, i try to think how it suits my lifestyle and preferences. What looks good on other doesnt mean it will look good on me or is kind to my wallet. I also try not to let the image of the big brand blind me versus the "real" quality.

    Nelah

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  19. De-cluttering is good! Just threw out some stuff, and lady, it felt good. I still have a long way to go though.

    And not having a credit card helps, especially with my Miu Miu addiction and my tiny fresh graduate salary ;)

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  20. Thanks for posting this!!! This is so true and I'm trying very hard to limit what I buy. I'm so tired of the clutter and having nothing to wear!! I needed to hear this today!!
    BTW-Your bag collection is fab!!!

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  21. Fantastic post! As a minimalist always seeking further simplicity, I am most attracted to blogs like yours that share the same interests of smaller wardrobes. I'm inspired by seeing the ways one piece can be styled differently. But I often wonder how fashion bloggers who keep up with trends, keep up with the financial burden and pressures. I wrote a fashion blog for about 6 months and found it so time consuming to keep up with it all the trends and buzz words, and I didn't even show photos of myself! I didn't like how it made me feel my wardrobe was inadequate and instead turned to reading more minimalist fashion blogs. Occasionally I will look at a fashion blog to see what is happening but often I see how over the top it looks and soon-to-be-outdated now. I adore your style!

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  22. So sensible and thank you for adding a dose of rationality to the world of fashion blogging!

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  23. #4 is such a gem. Gratitude is the most beautiful think.

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  24. Wiser words have not been spoken. What a great post...I do pay myself but the problem is that I keep borrowing from myself as well :)

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    1. LOLOL....couldn't stop chuckling at your comment. Guess it's best you charge yourself interest too.

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  25. goodness, you're so damn good, dear friend! I have fought to stick to all you have put in writing, I shall continue to pay myself more than borrowing from me, lol:)

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  26. This is such a great post! Thanks so much sharing!

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  27. Truly agree with your post. Like you I used to have big wardrobe in Msia but always have nothing to wear to work or outing. Now here in Perth, I have a minimalist wardrobe and yet I never have that problem. Maybe because I used a lot of cheap accessories to brighten up my wardrobe and my day....

    mrsallan

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  28. Truly agree with your post. Like you I used to have big wardrobe in Msia but always have nothing to wear to work or outing. Now here in Perth, I have a minimalist wardrobe and yet I never have that problem. Maybe because I used a lot of cheap accessories to brighten up my wardrobe and my day....

    mrsallan

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  29. I've been working on a lean wardrobe for nearly a year now. I can't say I am there already but I think I have improved vastly. I still buy but much lesser now.

    Besides the wardrobe, I am extending the minimalism concept to my personal belongings as well. De-cluttering is the way to go..

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