a year on

I read this article in NYT last year, and found it fascinating; it provoked a long train of thought about how I felt about the things I buy, and why I buy them. I blogged about it and had an interesting exchange with editor.

Then I forgot about it. Then I went shopping today (it's such a bad habit, to just go poking in shops because I'm bored) and I remembered -

"Fashion is fashion. You can either buy a $50 pair of pants or $500 pair. They'd probably both be just as durable but there wouldn't be fashion. There would just be stuff."

This is how I feel whenever I am confronted with whether to make the economical choice, or the romantic one. Is it about the backstory, the ideas I have about a particular label, or is about value for money? Do I buy the original Ferragamo Vara pumps, or the very well-made "inspired" version by a department store's in-house label? Will it be tapered trousers from Zara, or Acne?

(Note: I DO NOT mean counterfeit goods here.)

I thought about all this last year, and came to no conclusion. This year, I feel like I'm sick of buying my things from mass market shops that have no real aesthetic and design philosophy and everything is just stuff. But then my income bracket hasn't quite risen the same way.

Basically, I buy the best I can. I don't save up all year to plunk on a Dries Van Noten dress or Lanvin shoes or something buttery and soft from Hermes, but then I have been buying better and if I can't quite link a design principle to my new jacket from Zara, I at least make the quality does not suck, and I think of all the cool things the jacket brings to mind - Françoise Hardy on a bike, plane rides to somewhere beautiful - and I feel better about buying, you know, ''stuff''.


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