Saturday, May 11, 2013

Aspirational shopping

Women did not used to have so many clothes.  It used to be that they refreshed their closet twice a year.  They had spring and summer clothes, and fall and winter clothes.  They used their clothes over and over again, and handed them down or over. 

Fast forward to today, when mall retailers roll out new stock every month.  Designers show us spring, resort, summer, fall, holiday.  We have a lot of choices.  Far too many choices.  Every time we turn around there is something new to want.  A lot of time and money is spent convincing us we need new things.  All of this has led to a phenomenon I call aspirational shopping.  That is, shopping for the life that you do not lead.  Buying things that are exciting and beautiful but do not fit into your wardrobe or how you spend your time. 

Case in point, Lanvin beak toe booties. 

The first time I saw them on the Barney's website, I gasped.  So beautiful, so chic and edgy, so unique.  I had to have them.  I pictured myself wearing them, being noticed for my amazing style.  The thing is, I work in a conservative office and I live in a city so laid back its in a fashion coma.  I had absolutely no place to wear these beautiful booties.  I only managed to find a reason to put them on a few times.  They languished on my shelf in their beautiful blue box.  I had invested a lot of money in them and slowly came to the realization that while I loved them, they were not for me.  For my life, for my job, they were not a fit.  I sent them to consignment and made back part of my money.  I can honestly say it was traumatic, to give up on them and the notion that they elevated my style, and to give up on being the woman who would wear such amazing footwear. 
No more aspirational shopping.  I can have some fun and take some fashion risks, as long what I buy is wearable in my real life.  A hard and expensive lesson, to be sure.  


gigiofca said...

So many things you so easily said rang true for me. Esp the part about fellow city/town dwellers dressing casually. It makes it that much harder to be inspired to wear and find places to wear badass shoes like these. I'm circling back to more casual wear. Well, maybe more comfortable is the better way to put it.

Sandarella Sandy said...

I am super traumatized that you got rid of those! LOL!