When shopping you'll sometimes be tempted by pricey designer items. You're only human. Before rushing to spend an amount of rent-check-proportions, it's helpful to have an arsenal of questions to ask yourself before buying an expensive piece. While I’m all for bargain hunting and saving all the martini money I possibly could, sometimes you come nose to nose with a beautiful dress or knee-wobbling pair of shoes and all thoughts of budget sheets and dollar signs go out the window. You have to own this piece, and you have to own it now. It doesn’t matter what it costs — how could you put a price on a love so pure? But before you hand the sales girl your battered credit card, maybe you could tap the breaks just a little and go through a quick checklist to see if this is just pure lust or real love.
I’m not trying to break up any romances here, but this could potentially save you from a month’s worth of regret and a garbanzo-bean-out-of-the-can diet. Below are seven things to ask yourself before splurging on an expensive fashion piece, to make sure that it truly is an investment and not just a crazy impulse buy.
1. Is This An Impulse Buy?
This is number one on the list because, duh, the lust feels just hit you hard. You’re practically panting in your chair as you wait for the sales girl to bring the shoe out in your size. But as you drum your fingers impatiently on your chair’s arm rest, try to reign it back for a moment and answer this honestly: Is this an impulse buy? Did you see it from the corner of your eye and decided in that moment that you can’t live without it?
Just like how you couldn’t live without that smock dress during the beginning of summer? Oh that’s right, you forgot all about it. Before you throw down a significant amount of hundreds, first be honest with yourself and see if you’re on a wave of shopping adrenaline, where money is currently no object. Because you know once the end of the month comes and your wallet is looking extra meager, it will be slightly tragic eating Ramen with designer shoes on your feet.
2. Will I Still Be Lusting After This A Week Down The Road? A Month?
Sometimes you have the bad fortune of truly falling in love with a piece that’s really, really expensive. But do you think you’ll still be thinking about this particular item a month out? Or do you think it’s just a short dalliance and you’ll be over it as soon as it came into your life? If it’s something you’ll continually be smiling over, go for it. We all deserve to treat ourselves. Just be honest before you do! If you're not sure what the case is, ask yourself if you would be interested in the item no matter what the price. It's easy to get sidetracked by labels and designer names, but if it's something you would have to have in your closet whether it was $10 or $1,000, then it's probably worth the splurge.
3. Can You Find Its Near Twin For Cheaper?
The quality likely won’t be the same, but at least the cheaper version won’t make you smart as badly. Is there a similar version that you can buy for significantly less? If so, check that option out first — sometimes you’d be surprised how similar the two could look. And be aware that just because it's expensive doesn't mean it's great quality. How many times have you bought shoes for over $100 at fast fashion stores and they fell apart after a season? Use your caution. Easy basics or over-the-top trends are good items to look for at fast fashion stores, but if you're really purchasing something special (with a lofty price tag), you may want to do some browsing through multiple stores first.
4. Do You Already Own Something Similar?
Sometimes we forget just what we have in our closets, and the luster of a new purchase can quickly wear off when we notice we already have a near duplicate of it. Are you fiddling with buying yet another cross-body bag (when you already have seven stacked neatly back at home), or are you considering buying a completely one of a kind dress, one where you’ll probably never see again if you don’t buy it right now? If it’s something novel and different, then continue on. If it’s something you already have a double (or quadruple) of back home, maybe reserve your money for something a little more unique.
5. Do I See This Being A Closet Staple?
There’s something to be said about investing money in quality pieces that you’ll wear over and over again. They won’t die in the wash, they’ll keep their shape and color, and you won’t have to think of replacing them for years over. So while it might smart spending $200 on a sweater, it could be well worth it. But what if you’re thinking of dropping the same amount of money on a trend? Pause before running to the changing room and think about how much wear you could get out of this piece. If it’s only four times a year, that’s $50 a wear! If it’s fifty times a year, it’s $4 a wear. Much easier to swallow.
6. Am I Only Interested In It Because I Saw A Blogger Wear It?
We’ve all been there: We’ve seen some fabulous blogger looking adorable in a crazy trend while out to dinner with her friends, and now we got to have it. But just because it looked fabulous on her does not mean it will look fabulous on you. Think it through first: Do you have items that will go with it, will you be able to wear it comfortably, does it match your lifestyle, do you see it going the distance in your closet and sticking around for years? If you can’t see yourself clearly answering yes to these questions, you might be over influenced by a pretty picture.
7. Can I See Myself Buying Something Similar Soon?
Say you’re looking at a pair of black booties. They’re Italian and gorgeous and make you want to write sonnets but… do you see yourself maybe snapping up another similar pair in a month or two? We are hitting bootie season soon after all and you are kind of weak when it comes in that department. If you can’t imagine yourself not buying another similar pair in the next year, put the shoe down and back away. It’s common knowledge that the more options you have the less you’ll wear it, so don’t give an expensive piece unnecessary competition. It won’t be worth the money.