Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Long-term Options

A while back I entered a drawing and won a gift certificate to Saks. Being one to take as much pleasure in planning for something as I do actually enjoying it, I have been taking my time to consider all the options I have to use it. Should I buy something that is just about the amount given to me, and therefore get something for free? Should I put it towards an expensive purse, basically creating a steep sale for myself? Should I buy multiple small items?

I think about all my purchases, and while this amount is less than I've spent on many other things, having it in gift certificate form feels like extra pressure. I want to get something really great: A treat I would normally consider frivolous. But at the same time, I want it to be something I'll have for a long time.

Here are a few of the frivolous (but hopefully long-lasting) options I've considered...

Kate Spade Felt Cloche Hat
image from Saks

Marc Jacobs Bi-Colored Drawstring Bag
image from Saks

Ray-Ban Iconic Cats 5000
image from Saks

Rag & Bone Scarf
image from Saks
Hermes Enamel Bracelet
image from Hermes

In thinking about my choices, it's made me think a lot about what lasts a long time. Obviously, make-up gets used up quickly, and some clothing will either be dated or worn after a number of years. While sunglasses can last for decades, they can be difficult to choose if one wants a long-term option -- even picking a classic like aviators can change slightly -- just look at the aviators from the '70's.

Classic style shoes and coats will last a long time when cared for well, but not forever. Handbags and jewelry last longer -- even if either is dated for a while, it will often come back into style a decade or so later, and bracelets in particular tend to be less dated in the future even if they're trendy now. Scarves basically never go out of style, and they receive less wear and tear than clothing, so they last a long time.

Of course, for any of these things to last, they must be made well. One can take great pains to care for her belongings, but if they are not made well, there is only so much life one can get out of them. Right now I'm leaning toward a big shawl-style scarf... or a classic silk scarf... or a bracelet... But whatever it is, I'll be sure to try and choose something I can enjoy for years to come. A treat, certainly, but a smart treat, too.

And after considering the lifespan of so many items, I hope I'll be even more aware of the types of things I spend money on in the future.

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