Luxebeaute's Blog

July 20, 2009

To Spend or not to spend (and how to spend accordingly)

“How can you afford your clothes?” I have gotten this question a lot over the past 5-10 years and even more frequently when starting this blog, so I figure its high time I did an entry about it. Well, first off my size rarely fluctuates and since I mainly collect vintage, DVF wrap and Cavalli dresses, and handbags and shoes this is good and extremely economical being that the pieces last and carry over well; some of my pieces I have had for 20 plus years. Also when making a purchase,  I always break down pricing with how much use I am going to get out of an item; obviously if something’s worn or used 1 or more times per month (or even season), I’m definitely getting my money’s worth.  Keep in mind I am not rich- far from it actually. I have been investing in designer pieces for a long time; some of those years I had money to burn, now like 80% of the U.S. populous, I absolutely do not. Like everyone else in the post Bush war era, I now barely have extra cash after the bills are paid. I have been on a major budget in the past few years so lucky for me my past investments are classic and timeless, easing from season to season seamlessly.

But really it’s not about how but more about why…As stated above, before making any purchase I always calculate the amount of wear I will get from an item vs. cost- if a pair of shoes or handbag retails $500 and above  I factor in amount of wear with cost (I do this with body and facial products also- case in point: if you spend $25 on a mascara and it lasts 6 months, or a perfume to last 1 yr., consider how affordable that breakdown actually is)… Much of the time before I even make a purchase I sit at home and take the time to go through my closet I record (via digital photo) what it will work with and how many varied looks I can get from it. Once I have established between 5-10 looks from casual to dressy, I look at my calendar and factor in when and where those looks are appropriate or will work. Once I know for fact an items purchase is a good idea, I move forward. Again keep in mind that I never buy trendy clothing cuts or patterns or shoes in designer labels ever and all of my expensive designer pieces are more plain/rarely patterned; I always make sure they will be wearable from one season to the next. Also when it comes to clothing I do not buy high priced designer tops of any kind, only dresses. I have found there are a plethora of outlets which carry high end designer sweaters, tops and tees and I can honestly say its because of this I don’t think I have ever paid more than $60 for any kind of top (even those of cashmere or originally priced up to $300). This same rule applies for skirts too.

In my old age I have discovered that mixing and matching designer and off the rack works wonders, trust me. If it’s a casual affair I’m doing expensive jeans paired up with a vintage bag, H&M tee and high end designer shoes; if its cheaper jeans or pants I take it up a notch with designer shoes or boots and designer bag. As for dresses and skirts, if it’s more casual or funky I sort of play shoes by ear but if it’s a designer dress I always go with good designer heels and a vintage clutch so not to over do it (yes I know, I am quite predictable).

As far as accessories go, all designer purses in my collection are of classic design; Fendi Z, Prada nylons, etc… The only acceptation to this is my Fendi crescent bag which is sort of Pucci esque. Any and all colorful unique handbags I own are vintage and mostly clutches of patent leather and animal skins. I only buy these on Ebay for way cheap- no acceptations, no regrets. Where jewelry is an issue, I love to mix and match funky cheap chic with high end- I am definitely one to break out my Gucci watch along side a one of a kind indie designer necklace (Ebay or Etsy) costing less than $20, or an Alex and Chloe piece (esp. my death of Coco necklace) in conjunction with some Forever 21 bangles ($2-6 each). As far as shoes go, I admit I am an elitist whore to fashion on that one. But again, I have many in classic styles which I have had for decades. And in truth I don’t feel I break the bank when it comes to shoes anyway- I am completely content with one pair of Louboutins (Very Prive), Channel riding type boot, 2 pairs of Gucci (Malibu slide w/detailed heel and also a pointed toe pump), Prada pointy flats, a Charles David lace up boot, etc.

All in all, I could sit here and claim I must do high end based on necessary appearance via my work in the beauty biz blah blah blah but I won’t… I do what I do because I love it and I am explaining how I do what I do and why in the hopes that others out there get a better understanding that they shouldn’t cheat themselves. Hey, I’m not the hottest (by any means!) or thinnest or richest or most fashionable- please! So I guess what I am saying here is that if you find a piece out there which is exquisite, take my tips in their “do and don’t”, “pros and cons” to heart … I bet you will find if you integrate outfits or calculate use vs. cost appropriately, you can have what you want and create an exceptional and stylish look that makes you feel great!

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July 5, 2009

Alexander McQueen Skull Clutch Revisited: New Additions

Filed under: Avant Garde Couture,Handbags — luxebeaute @ 3:26 am
Tags: ,

May the earth open up, cave in and take me down with it for not updating this blog appropriately and reviewing the expansion of this line when it reared its skull earlier. Forgive me lord McQueen, for I have sined…

I Love, love, LOVED this sleek and unique line of clutch purses so very much on the first run and I never got over it. These aren’t for everyone, so imagine my surprise in discovering McQueen is continuing to expand the line.  This time around he is experimenting with bright colors and patterns, materials range from silks with intricate brass overlays beading and exotic skins, and even changed up the skull closure using different colored swarovski crystals for teeth and eyes and some even have a skull “knuckle ring” type opening. While I adore the simplicity of the originals in patent leather, I am thrilled he has expanded so elegantly while still utilizing an unexpected and unadulterated creative sort of fashion rebellion in which was so much a part of his style reputation early on. Much like the coveted Dior samourai handbags, these clutches are truly a work of art ($1,300.00-$3,000.00, depending on style).

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