Counting Up The Cost

I enjoy fashion like the next fashionista. I believe, if anything, fashion is art.

Recently, I decided to subscribe to Vogue magazine. I enjoying looking at all the fashions and, of course, the items I really like are uber-expensive. I could not, in conscience, purchase this cute green clutch in the recent edition of Vogue.

Marie Claire and Essence have a similar “Splurge vs. Steal” concept where the fashion editors compare expensive to less expensive clothing options. In some photos, you cannot tell the difference between the items being showcased. Obviously, when you can see and touch, the perceived comparison will diminish. The Frugal Fashionista and The Budget Fashionista do extraordinary work in creating inexpensive looks from celebrity looks and alerting readers of sales and discounts.

The question I pose to you is, “how are people paying for these luxury brands?” As we all saw in “Sex and the City,” it was not just the rich buying the luxe brands. Carrie Bradshaw, a writer, living in a rent-controlled apartment in Manhattan always conjured up away to get her Chanel and Manolo Blahnik pumps and other luxury designer wares. And I know you all remember the time when Carrie was trying to purchase her apartment from her ex-boyfriend. Miranda asked her where did her money go and Carrie acknowledged that her money went on her back or feet.

Manolo Blahnik Open-Broach d’Orsay Pump - NeimanMarcus.comPrada Suede d’Orsay Pumps -

I have been reading articles about young girls, 8-10 years old, that want Prada and Gucci. Now, when I was 10 years old, I was not even thinking about getting clothes from the GAP. According to one report, that having luxury items, albeit accessories are apart of being a child today. Even though I studied fashion magazines at the age, I still wanted ESPRIT. (Sidebar: Mama Maven would take me to a local boutique and purchase items for school and church. Of course, she would watch the sales vigilantly.) The troubling thing is that the parents are purchasing these luxe clothing brand for their children and they really cannot afford to do so and live in the blue ribbon district. So what are the parents trying to prove and why can’t they tell the children, “NO!!” Maybe because they cannot tell themselves “NO” either.

We need to refocus and realize that clothes (luxury/haute couture) do not make the person. (This does not mean you have a right to walk around frumpy dumpy.. NOT ON MY WATCH!!) We must be begin to challenge the societal notion of keeping up with the Joneses, who have no money either. We must also teach our children that there is a time and place for everything. When they are making that $200,000 (adjust for inflation) maybe then they can have a closet full of luxury designer wares. (and not if they live in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, West Coast and some parts of the Midwest.) Learn to say “NO” to the children and especially to ourselves.

Live Triumphantly,

Mix Maven

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  • Retro Fashion November 3, 2007 at 3:55 AM

    I don’t understand why so many women go crazy for Manolos.

  • Mix Maven August 1, 2007 at 1:21 PM

    Thanks, BBS. You are already a high roller, but you will be done before you know it!!

  • Kathryn August 1, 2007 at 7:27 AM

    two words: credit cards

  • Karen August 1, 2007 at 12:06 AM

    My town is in a wealthy area (everyone around me is rich, but the hubby and I only live here because it’s close to our jobs). I’ve driven down the street in the morning and seen 13-year old girls waiting for the school bus who are rockin’ LV bags … and they aren’t the bags you buy in Chinatown, ya’ll. I should know … that’s where I’d get mine, LOL. I love luxury brands because in my experience they have superior fit and construction. However, because of the struggling writer thing, I can’t afford the stuff. But I still find ways to get cool pieces and save money. For example, I shop for luxury pieces at consignment stores in my area, where all of the townfolk unload last season’s Gucci pumps and Prada clutches.

    I also could never, ever pay for 500 bucks for one pair of Manolos, even if I had all the money in the world because 1.) I have a theory that the exorbitant culture of spending directed towards women is yet another way to keep women trapped and 2.) when it all boils down, I’m cheap!!!!

  • kia July 31, 2007 at 7:32 PM

    hmmm mtv’s super sweet 16 is prime example! horrible…

    lol i didn’t know i could shop in VS until I was in high school when I saw the band of my friends panties above her jeans… i thought she was scandalous because she didn’t get her panties in a pack of 3! lol

    now any day i can go there and see 13 y/o shopping for under garments with me! ehhh..

  • Jam Bella July 31, 2007 at 4:30 PM

    People use credit cards to pay for all this stuff and that is why the US savings rate is low!

  • Bubbly Brown Sugar July 31, 2007 at 3:58 PM

    Congratulations Mix Maven!!! You’re on your way to bringing in the big bucks.