How Much Does It (You) Cost?

A few weeks ago a friend of mine questioned herself. Long ago graduated, working at a successful firm, she wondered whether she mistreated herself by overthinking every purchase (we then talked of luxury goods). “Those high school girls,” she observed, “spend their part-time income on designer shoes and Sephora makeup, why can’t I justify such waste of money for myself?” 
I, on the contrary, questioned not her mindful approach to shopping, but the reason many people feel confident only when wearing or buying luxuries. The cause, I believe is based on the following factors.


The first one is the influence of social media. It is nearly impossible and might take practice to develop indifference and resistance to impulse buying based on someone’s opinion. However, it is not always necessary. After all, more often Instagram is used as a source of inspiration. Yet, when it comes to blind following of trends, that is when you no longer can be happy with what you have unless it was shown or worn by a famous fashion influencer. Why does it happen? A simple truth is that time invested into any activity (scrolling included) returns as a new habit. In case of time invested into copying and following looks of style icons, it returns as a constant chase of someone else’s wardrobe, lifestyle and shoe collection. 


Read: Did Social Media Ruin Personal Style? 


The second factor is based on the importance of a brand name over quality. It comes straight from the first one. As we continue to associate ourselves with those we see in pictures and videos daily, we realize that part of their fame belongs to brand names that collaborate with them and the clothes they wear. It is fascinating how much we can deny it, but a simple experiment can easily prove it. Pick a look from your favourite influencer and copy it as precisely as possible. Then go out, and even if it would be a simple walk or hanging out with friends, you should immediately experience a boost of self-esteem. It comes from knowing, subconsciously, that someone you look up to wore similar apparel and was recognized for it. It only makes sense, right? We live in a society where (despite all the talk of inclusivity, minimalism, and spirituality), success is still measured and observed as something that could be revealed through labels. 


The third reason is trying too hard.  
I notice it about myself,—the harder I try, the deeper I drag myself into continuous copying, discontent and excessive shopping for things others have and I do not need or want. That becomes a part of my nature. As you can see one factor evolves from the previous ones. We think that it is the way, the only way to live, to dress, to express ourselves instead of looking deep inside our minds, with one simple question, “do I want it because my wardrobe, lifestyle and my whole existence would benefit from it, or because it was dictated by street style?” Of course, if we speak of younger girls who are still searching and experimenting with their looks, they ought to try hard: it is written in their age agenda. But anyone else who no longer needs to replace a high school drama with designer makeup or shoes could instead invest that time and energy into learning about themselves, about the world, expanding every horizon beyond social media’s campaigns. 


I learned that to look polished, elegant, and confident, whatever it is you are looking for in luxury brands does not exist exactly there. There is no denying that quality matters, and if a woman feels more put together with a Chanel bag in her hand, by all means! Still, a brand name can never provide one with a sense of contentment about appearance, (speaking of a long-lasting one), but can be achieved with a balanced approach to style and understanding of where does every desire come from.


With hugs,

Marie K.