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Surviving The Flood of Faux

December 15th, 2009 No Comments

We’re all low on cash which means brand name clothes are not at the top of our “I NEED” list.  Instead, we opt for one of the cheaper alternatives we find flooding the market.  Forever 21, Target, Zara, H&M, Old Navy, the list goes on of retailers that offer trends for less.  But perhaps we should be spending the extra buck for quality pieces.

Before you roll your eyes, let me explain.

The Uggs I bought three years finally got the boot to the trash last week.  After winters of New York rain and winter sludge, travels all over the world, and post-workout sweaty feet, the super soft suede and plush interior had accumulated enough dirt to the point of being flat out disgusting.  Understandable.

Instead of purchasing another pair of obviously durable Uggs, I opted for a cheap imitation from Target for $25.  When I saw the price, I hesitated.  “There is no way these will last as long,” I thought.  But for that price, I didn’t care if they only survived a year.

Well, they probably won’t see the end of the week. At least on my feet.

I chose to break in the boots (we’ll call them Fauxs) on my road trip from LA to Houston; a journey requiring zero walking with a controlled climate.  All I needed was the comfort.  The Fauxs failed on all levels.  The polyester fur interior made my feet sweat and freeze at the same time and didn’t even attempt to mold to my foot like Uggs.

So now when I go to purchase another pair of Uggs, I will actually be spending $25 more on for being frugal.  Ahhhh, and there’s the rub.  I’ve decided this actually wasn’t me being cheap but thoughtless.

Three years from one pair of shoes, suede no less, is pretty impressive and therefore arguably worth every penny.  Even if I bought 8 pairs of Fauxs to simply sole my feet in the same amount of time, the quality of Uggs is worth the cash.

Looking back on my wardrobe’s history, I’ve discovered there are other things you should spend more on to get the most out of your money.  My list entails:

  • Overcoats
  • Trench coats
  • Jeans
  • Stilettos
  • Everyday boots

Most people would include black pants and white button down shirts.  But unless you’re wearing suits daily, I don’t think those apply anymore.  The pieces I listed go through the wringer.  You need to spend money on them.  You need to ensure the fabric and stitching can bare the weights of the elements, and maintain their shape and sheen.

Of course there are exceptions.  I have an Arden B sweater from freshman year of high school (over a decade ago, ehem) that still looks new. The blended mesh sleeveless turtle neck could tell you horror stories of what I have put it though.  Likewise, so could my pricey Burberry trench.

The concept of spending more for durability is certainly not front page news, but I believe it’s worth mentioning in a time when we applaud each other for cheap finds even though they will never be treasures.   Bottom line: when you’re thinking about pinching pennies sometimes it is wiser to spend a few dimes, even in a recession.

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