Style Files | Is fashion an investment ?

It's a summer evening and I knock on the door twice to find it's already open. Pushing it, I enter in past the door, looking rather guilty. Mom catches a glimpse of my numerous packages, the look on my face and scowls at me. My brother catches sight of the bright yellow paper bags and gives me a disapproving look. *Gulp*

My account above may be partly fictitious but I certainly do know the looks I get when I arrive on the scene with more bags than necessary. Which begs the question, is the shopping we do really worth the money we spend of it? I've mentioned it before that I'm not a shopaholic. I do not drown myself in shopping at every chance I get and impulsive purchases are hardly ever my cup of tea. I prefer planning out my purchases, making a wish list of what I want and slowly striking out items, from whether I really need it in my life to whether it's not really necessary to me.

I've had this conversation with my brother, mainly to justice some silly purchases of mine. I argue that fashion is an investment so it's great to shop and he retorts that the basic concept of an investment is to garner returns on it - what returns am I getting on those new snakeskin pumps?
So maybe it is not a literal investment. But fashion does a lot more for you that just clothe you. It shows your personality without you having to say a word and it creates an image of the way you want to portray yourself to the world - whether you want to be taken seriously like an independent career woman or treated like the bubbly teen that you are. And when you get enough wear out of a piece of clothing, it becomes worth the amount you've invested in it.

So is everything you purchase an investment ? Unfortunately no. In fact, an individual tends to regularly wear only around 20% of their entire closet. I'm guilty as charged for this crime because more often than not, I find it so rewarding to just slip into my leggings and a t-shirt rather than throw on a dress. The only solution now is to shop smart. So if you're not aware of how to to do that, here's how I do it.

  • Focus on quality rather than quantity. Pour a little more into your funds than usual and spend on a quality product that will last for the ages rather than one that will tear in a few months.
  • Items that are investable are most important. I've said it before as well - pieces like trousers, jeans, shoes, and bags are those that will last you through the seasons and through all trends so even if you spend a little more on them from your favorite brand *assuming it has good quality*, it will be worth what you spend.
  • Frivolous, trendy items are not investments hence don't waste too much of your hard-earned cash on it. Go street shopping, thrifting, sale shopping or even sew it yourself for pieces that are trendy because you'll realize that in just a month or so, you won't want to take a second glance at it.
  • Splurge on pieces that have good cost per wear. Now cost per wear is the total price of the item divided by the number of times you see yourself wearing it. *Eg: If I pay Rs.2000 for a pair of jeans that I see myself wearing 3 days a week, in just a month, my cost per wear of the jeans is barely Rs.170* You see? Basically the cost per wear concept encourages you to spend on clothes that have good wearability and not something that you'll wear for a party one night and decide to donate a week later.

So I know this post was way longer than my usual ones but once I got writing, it kinda kept flowing. I really, really enjoyed writing this one and I hope you enjoyed reading it as well!
At the end of it all, I do hope that you make good fashionable investments, maybe then will the disapproving looks stop.



Unknown said…
Now that is some intelligent calculations and sensible reasoning out there :)
Mukta Jain said…
Lovely !! That makes me rethink how many investments do I have in my closet. Hmmmm guilty
Well said, Dayle. I too am not an impulsive shopper and I completely agree with you about making wise fashion investment. Also, I really enjoyed reading this post. Would love to see more such gems from you.
❤ Amena.
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Roxanne Dsouza said…
I agree with you. The reason why I always shop from the streets is not only for the cheap bargains, but I know how unpredictable I can be, and what I love at the moment, I might just start to hate 2 weeks later.
But again I do believe in investing in basics like a pair of well fitted denims, a basic LBD, etc.
Like for example my favourite LBD, I bought it in Sri Lanka when I was 16 and I still wear it! 8+ years (and still counting) and I can't even put a price to each chance I've had to wear it!
Dayle Pereira said…
Glad you liked it, babe - Thank you so much :)
Dayle Pereira said…
I completely get that - the streets have items that you can never expect a store to have!
Thanks Roxanne :)

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