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Bringing myself to buy better

I made lots of resolutions in 2012, but the one I most frequently reference on here is my attempts to 'buy less, buy better' and to start creating a capsule wardrobe full of key pieces.  This year I was lucky enough to receive a Michael Kors watch from Tom and a beautiful Zara coat from my parents and I can't describe how nice it feels to wear a good quality coat and have my lovely watch poking out from under the sleeve.  I know that makes me sound terribly superficial but I just feel smart and well-presented when I wear things that I know feel, and look, quality.  You might notice however that the two now, more expensive single items I wear, and treasure, were gifts.  I want to own more high end items but I find it difficult to bring myself to spend the money.  The silliness of it is that it's not the amount I spend on clothes itself, it's the amount I get for my money.  I'd happily spend £150 in a month on buying a few items of clothing and maybe a couple of pairs of shoes, but I'd baulk on spending that on say, a single pair of jeans.  In the long run however, it doesn't make good sense - as after a few washes of a cheap item of clothing it begins to look worn, or it eventually comes to holes and I buy more, when I could have still been enjoying a more expensive, better quality item.  Take the recent January sales.  I knew I wanted a new bag, something that would last and I could treasure for years to come.  I'd backed away my cheaper bags and was prepared to spend a bit to get one bag to last the next couple of years.  I had some Christmas money and some savings, and I searched.  But the most I could allow myself to spend was £50 on a bag from Marks and Spencers.  There won't be any Mulberry marked packages arriving at my door, sadly.


I've been making some wishlists of designer pieces I'd love to own one day, or items missing from my wardrobe (a good pair of jeans being one).  The Miu Miu Vitello tote has been a love of mine for some time - I even bought a similar replica from a market in Thailand some time ago (the zip broke after about a week!) I always used to play Postman as a child and deliver letters around our house so this Mulberry Bryn Postman's Bag is a dream item (you can pick up this, and other items such as Mulberry UK clothing at Flannels).  I love the moto-esque detailing on the Patrizia Pepe jeans, and the Isabel Marant Etoile boyfriend coat is gorgeous.

For now, I'm continuing to put a few pounds into my money box every now and then.  I put £1 coins in, and when it's full it will have £500 in, so I'll certainly be able to treat myself to something special then.  How about you - would you rather have lots of cheaper items, or save for a while for a single designer piece?

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13 comments

  1. I'm all for spending more on quality items. I found it difficult to get over my student mindset at first but gradually I'm allowing myself to spend more on just one special thing - I'll never bring myself to Céline prices though!

    I did treat myself to a Mulberry Bayswater this year and I ADORE it. I know just what you mean about pricier items making you feel special!

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  2. I'm really fickle with what I like, so I tend to buy cheap for that reason - but I'd really like to splash out on a really decent bag, as they're the one thing that I don't seem to change my mind about! Perhaps when I finally get a better paying new job, I'll treat myself to a Mulberry...!

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  3. I'd like to start doing this, too. I find it difficult to spend more than £30/£40 on a singular item, but it definitely should be more about quality over quantity, and seeing expensive items more like investment pieces. I do have my eye on the most gorgeous peplum top at the moment, it's £30 [plus £5 delivery] but maybe I should just bite the bullet and get it!
    I'm also aiming to save for a DSLR, as I have been wanting one for a while. Do you have any advice for me as a beginner? I love the photos you take. xx

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  4. This sounds just like me. I saved up for my mulberry as you know and it's the best thing I've ever done! I'm a complete primark addict and one of my resolutions is to ween myself off it. Like you said you can feel that quality when you spend a bit more. I'm just of the mindset I want lots of things - greedy like that! I'm going to buy some investment pieces this year. Who knows if ill keep to it haha
    Sophie
    X

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  5. I am also aiming for quality over quantity - partly because my wardrobe is completely overflowing so don't have much more space for more clothes! That being said, I've been picking up a few items in the January sales from stores such as Zara, Whistles and Gap - Whistles especially I couldn't afford full price, but I have picked up some bargains now!

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  6. I agree, but, I think it's knowing what works for you as well, if you know what I mean? I remember buying an expensive pair of jeans that lasted about a month but a Primark pair lasted years, so weird ha. I think expensive doesn't always mean quality, unfortunately. xx

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  7. You so know how I feel about this. I think next on my buy better list is going to be a 'perfect' skirt. the one I love so much is well on it's way out, and I want to spend a touch more this time for a better lasting, and better fit everyday wear skirt. Also, 2013 is going to be a year of investing in tech, my laptop is dying a death, and I've been saving for an iPad as the replacement, rather than buying another cheapish laptop that might make it only a couple of years.

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  8. I'd definitely like to save for more special pieces, but at the same time I also have trouble using new stuff and not saving it for best (which I wrote about here:http://shipshapeandbristolfashion.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/sunday-best-beauty/) so I worry that if I spent £200 on an item (except for a coat perhaps) I'd never actually get round to wearing it. Def think quality is better than quantity though. x

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  9. LOVE this post. You are absolutely right, I think buying quality over quantity is always better, but it's a difficult to do when you're not used to it. You'll so appreciate it in the long run though. When I was about 17/18 I decided that I wasn't going to buy in bulk, but save up for more expensive quality items, and I haven't looked back. There are a couple of cheaper shops I adore (Uniqlo is my firm favourite for inexpensive basics) but other than that I'm definitely of the 'save' rather than 'spend' school of thought! :)

    Rosie x
    http://ciderwithrosiebee.blogspot.co.uk

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  10. Great picks! I always say to myself I'll save my money and just buy a few pieces of bettwr quality clothing a year rather than lots of cheap bits, which is why I stopped shopping in Primark for anything thing other than absolute basics. I do get tempted in Tesco and H&M every now and then though. I LOVE the jeans you've found, want want want!

    http://www.rafflesbizarre.blogspot.com

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  11. I recently bought the Miu Miu bow bag in light grey, not a day goes by when I don't look at it lovingly! Blog post coming soon :) x

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  12. This goal is still going ruff for me. I understand that when you spend more it last longer but when I see that price tag the swear words flow out and I move on. I'm trying to work on some sort of happy medium. Which is know what item it is I want and shop around. The next thing on my list is a pair of rain boots. I don't see myself spending that much on them but I'll look around and hopefully get a decent pair at a fair price.

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Thank you in advance for your lovely comments, they mean the world to me! If you have a question or want to get in touch, tweet me at @rosieoutlook.