Aug 22

During tough financial times, we have to rationalise our spending and make sure we prioritise what money goes on what. Most people will still want to buy clothing to keep up with the latest trends and this has seen a store like Primark become an what seems an unstoppable force in fast fashion and with prices that won’t make you feel guilty that you’ve pinched from the money that you’re squirrelling away for the electric bill.

Primark I am sure has become the thorn in the side of a lot of retailers and brands, however labels that we may have bought quite regularly; just for a night out, or something for your holidays and treated as “disposable” like we do budget items may now become items of desire and investment.

There was a time when I would be that person who bought things and wore them only a couple of times and then confined them to the back of the wardrobe or shoe cupboard, but now I’m buying things that I know will last me and won’t date. A recent example was a pair of Grenson brogues for about £150; I knew that these were quality shoes, beautifully made with top quality leather and something I knew I’d get my money out of.  I’ve had friends pleading poverty, but still turning up with a Mulberry bag that, “Was only £200 in the sale, it’s black and the perfect size so I can use it all the time” or with hundreds of pounds of shoes because, “At the end of the day a plain stiletto will never date….”

So perhaps we should think about investing into some “luxury” pieces that will last season after season. I like buying classic items that initially cost quite a lot. Yes, I get that pang of guilt that I may have to be careful with the food shopping, or pray that I won’t get a nasty letter because my phone bill was paid late, or give up going out that month, or getting a pack of 10 cigarettes and making them last! But the guilt wears off knowing that it’s money well spent and in the long run that perfect pair of brogues has stopped me buying two or three pairs of cheaper versions.

Sometimes it’s worth getting a red bill every now and then.

By Andrew Roberts

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