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).
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?