Category Archives: worthy splurge

worthy splurge: inhabit fall 2014


The two worthiest splurges in my fall wardrobe, both from Inhabit: 1 | 2

Buy less, splurge more. I’m trying hard to make this my new mantra…not because I’ve recently come into a pot of gold or anything, but because I really think there’s value in reminding myself that if I can resist buying every “bargain” pair of jeans that crosses my path (which then sits unworn in the hilariously-overgrown stacks of denim in my closet) and instead buy the one pair I’ve been ogling all along, I’d probably end up saving money. best cashmere sweater

I’m finding this little allegory particularly true when it comes to my sweaters. Every bargain bin sweater I’ve nabbed over the years just languishes at the bottom of my drawer in a big old pile of retail regret. They pill, they snag, they lose their shape…I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that cheap sweaters just make me sad. Read on

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worthy splurge: emerson fry biker jacket

emerson-fry-biker-jacket, best leather jacket, perfecto, leather perfecto, leather moto jacket

Oh, Emerson Fry. Why must you be so very, very good at reinventing classics? At making them everything I was looking for but couldn’t find, and maybe even just a little bit better than I’d hoped?

As usual, EF’s spring collection is full of pieces I’m already mentally adding to my closet, but really, it’s this Biker Jacket that has me in a sad state of pining. I’ve been dreaming of the perfect perfecto, the best leather jacket my credit card could buy, for ages. Years, in fact. And I think, perhaps, it’s finally here. Read on

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worthy splurge: oscar de la renta at the outnet

Oscar de la Renta for The Outnet, $995

In the event I’m ever invited to a glamorous, black-tie affair – one at which I can wear the most delicious, glowy, gossamer confection of a gown I can find – there’s only one man I’ll trust: Oscar de la Renta. Watch any of his shows, and you’ll catch the magic. Or better yet, take a look at the faces of any of his celebs on the red carpet. They’re positively glowing, triumphant in the knowledge that if nothing else, they’ve nailed the gown.

Alas, most of Oscar’s gowns are hilariously, impossibly beyond both my budget and my lifestyle. But lo! As is much too often the case, The Outnet has come to my rescue, concocting an exclusive collaboration with the man himself. It’s a bit more youthful, and a lot more cost-approachable than his standard ultra-luxe fare. The result is a mini-collection of pieces so wearable, so beautiful, and so perfectly Oscar, it’s hard to imagine they top out at $995. Still a splurge, I’ll grant you. But it’s one that’s actually possible (mortgage one of the kids, sell a bit of plasma, and you’re there). Read on

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off the rack: burberry trench

I know, I know, after my big Chanel splurge this spring, I had no business. No business at all. But…do you want to hear the story? I thought so!

I first saw this Burberry Prorsum trench in that fantastic Resort 2012 runway show I attended at Nordstrom, at which my pal Kim and I fawned over it to no end – classic lines, amazing fabric, and that gorgeous papaya-colored leather trim! It’s a classic, but on a whole new level.

But it was nearly $4,000. Never, ever, ever happening.

Fast-forward to last weekend, when I spotted that very same trench, looking all forlorn on a rack in the back of the designer department. That rack? It was the sale rack. Which had just been marked down to 60% off.

Turns out my new coat was the last one in the company. I couldn’t very well just leave it there all alone, could I? I had a big pile of Nordstrom “notes” (store credit rewards from my last unreasonable splurge) and a little gift card I’d been saving, so the upshot was that I got this gorgeous thing for less than I’d have paid for a classic trench from Burberry Brit.

Sure, my wallet didn’t find the timing exactly perfect, but sometimes the fashion gods speak, and you have no choice but to listen. The money will sort itself out (it always does), but this trench? It’ll be in my closet forever.

The moral? You just never know what will go on sale, friends. I’d have never predicted this in a million years, but here we are: fashion kismet. And just in time, too…I’d splurged on (and returned) two big boxes to Zara and Net-a-Porter only days before.  It was definitely a good reminder in the value of saving for splurges, even when you don’t yet know what they are.

There’s nothing I love more than a good story about fashion kismet. Do you have one? What’s your best find – the one that was just meant to be?

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worthy splurge: gretchen tote by jessica grant

On the “worthy splurge” scale, handbags rank the highest for me. Especially timeless, standout bags that will be just as valuable to my granddaughters (or, more likely, great-nieces) as they are to me. Clothes won’t always fit, shoes (no matter how babied) will eventually wear out. But bags? Bags are forever, if you take good care of them.

So, for me, the ultimate worthy splurge is an exotic bag. Something in my brain just beelines for a beautiful exotic any time I lay eyes on it – I’m like a moth to a very expensive flame. I remember being full-on obsessed with a bleu roi (ahem, royal blue) ostrich Hermes Kelly I saw for sale once upon a time. Oh, I stalked that bag…it was my desktop photo for months. It was also far, far out of my reach. But I still think about that bag, and that beautiful bright blue ostrich leather. So, you’ll understand why my heart skipped a beat just now:

It’s the Gretchen, from a new line of all-exotic bags by Jessica Grant (and PS, she’s pretty cute in yellow too). Sure, it’s still well out of the range (just shy of $4,000)…but I can tell you it looks downright affordable next to that Kelly (and, for that matter, that Chanel I’ve been shopping for). It’s full of that structured, ladylike goodness I go for, and that color…well, I just know I’d never tire of it.

Would you ever splurge on an exotic? What’s your leather of choice? I go for ostrich or stingray every time, but I know women that are die-hard croc fans, and old-school girls that love a little lizard.

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resolved: the worthy splurge

It’s all about resolutions this week at SMC. But not the kind that make you feel sad and lazy because you skipped the gym only 6 days into the new year. I’m talking about the kind of resolution that you get excited about! The kind you can’t lose! The kind that’s totally, totally worth keeping.

This year, I’m resolving to save for a true worthy splurge. I’m still narrowing the field, but leaning heavily toward a Chanel bag for myself (don’t panic – consignment is just fine by me). Or a trip to Paris (with my new Chanel bag…).

Saving, as opposed to hemorrhaging money every time Sigerson Morrison shows up on Gilt Groupe, can be a tricky business. Especially once you get a hefty chunk of change in the bank – all of a sudden, that $200 Inhabit cardigan on super sale at The Outnet feels like a steal. So, to help me keep my resolution, I’ve scoured the interwebs for photos of my dream bag, made myself a little inspiration board, and will be printing it (on actual paper), and hanging it somewhere within easy view of my computer screen.

Images: 1 (c/o Sony Pictures) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

This way, whenever temptation comes calling, I’ll have an immediate reminder of the greater good – and, hopefully, at least allow myself a moment to prioritize.

Now, does this mean I’m squirreling away every spare cent until my goal is reached? Or that I’m not spending a dime on other purchases until it happens? Of course not. Deprivation is not a virtue in my book. Telling myself I can’t have anything only makes me want everything. This applies in shopping, in diets, even in life.

But it means I’m going to take a breath before I type in those credit card numbers. It means I’m going to look at those gorgeous photos of my dream bag, and decide if the purchase in question is worth setting me back on my goal just a bit. To put it in Buddhist parlance, I’m hoping to be a bit more mindful. And if this splurge takes two (or ten) years to make, I’ll be just fine. Chanel, however lovely, is not an emergency.

So, here’s a fun question: If you resolved to save for a worthy splurge, what would it be?

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on my radar: shepherd england

I spend most of the winter months bundled up like a sherpa on Everest: wearing coats and gloves indoors, huddled under blankets, crouched next to space heaters…it’s sad, really. I’ll do just about anything to get a bit of cozy this time of year. Of all my cold-weather obsessions, scarves are hands-down my first love. They add color to a neutral outfit, they can be worn a thousand different ways, and they do wonders for my core temperature.

Like all my serious obsessions, I’m incredibly picky about my scarf finds. They have to meet some pretty high standards to really qualify as a love. But friends, when I found Shepherd England, it was like kismet! The fashion heavens opened up, and in an instant, I knew I’d found my holy scarf grail.

Amazing, right? They’re a little on the splurge-y side of things, so I did what any good writer has to do – got one for myself, purely for research purposes. Short version? I haven’t taken this beauty off since.

The color is called Titian Blue…doesn’t that just make you love it even more?

Long version: Well, first, it is long – it hangs down to my knees, in fact. Which I absolutely love, as it means maximum tying versatility, extra warmth, and an extremely high cozy factor. Second, it is just so, so well made, which is increasingly hard to find. Every piece is handmade in England from superfine Geelong lambswool (which I had to Google, but I can tell you is softer and more luxe than any wool I’ve ever felt…even softer than most of my cashmere, in fact). Third, the colors and patterns are so unique, modern and fun, I get excited every time I put it on. I have literally not left the house in this scarf without getting compliments. Not once.

These beautiful scarves are a bit of a splurge, especially since the GBP just went up a bit (they’re about $265 right now). But it’s not such a splurge that you couldn’t save up for it. And friends, you should. I wear a scarf every single day, so for me, it’s every bit as worth investing in as a coat or great boots. Plus, you need a really beautiful, makes-you-smile-whenever-you-wear-it, feels-like-a-big-bear-hug scarf in your life. Truly, on those days when the snow and rain are just too much to take, and I can’t bear the thought of one more day wearing snow boots, putting on a scarf I really love improves my mood like nothing else.

Of course, all those compliments don’t hurt either.

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worthy splurge: london sole henrietta flat

It could only be someone as hopelessly preppy as me that would see this photo of Emmanuelle Alt and her adorable daughter and instantly jones for….the five-year-old girl’s look. But you must admit, she’s a pretty stylish kid, no?

{Thanks, Reading in Heels, for helping me track this one down!}

Take, for example, that black ballet flat she’s wearing. Is there anything more classic, more luxe, more works-with-absolutely-anything, than a perfect black ballet flat? Like a perfect black pump, they can be the holy grail of footwear. There is an endless supply of imposters to impede your search, but it makes finding the real deal so much sweeter!

Well, friends, I’m one step closer to being as well-dressed as a fashion editor’s kid (attainable goals are key), because I’ve found my holy grail. The most absolutely perfect black ballet flat I could ask for.

{Yep, those are my very own feet, making a rare Shopping’s My Cardio cameo.}

It’s London Sole’s Henrietta flat, a classic they’ve just updated in a sweet, sophisticated glazed croc-embossed leather. Do you know about London Sole? It’s the shop of dreams for a ballet-flat addict like me. Walk in the door, and you’re faced with floor to ceiling options – every ballet flat a girl could want. The brand practically invented the ballet! While they offer a half dozen different fits and silhouettes, the Henrietta is my personal favorite – a trim fit and a modern silhouette keep this style especially young.

These shoes are a worthy splurge in every sense of the word – at $245, they’re not much more than those Tory Burch flats we all have in our closets, but these are infinitely more timeless. And there’s no better place to invest than on a classic shoe you’ll wear daily. These take any outfit from girl-next-door to Jackie O. in a heartbeat, and work with everything from cuffed boyfriend jeans to a cocktail dress. I can’t help but feel refined and chic when I wear them. It doesn’t hurt that they fit like a glove (size up a tad – they’re European, after all), or that the glazed finish makes them considerably more understanding of Portland’s perpetually wet weather. And don’t let these delicate beauties fool you – they’re much more durable than they let on. They’ll stand up to years of regular wear (I speak from experience), content with an occasional spa trip to your favorite cobbler to keep them looking their best.

Black is the obvious choice, of course, if you’re still in the market for your holy grail. But the Henrietta in croc comes in so many gorgeous hues, it was a struggle for me to stick to the classics. The Racing Green feels so perfect for the fall (and would be amazing for the holidays), but I especially love that beautiful blue Ginger, which I’ve been pairing with all sorts of neutral ensembles (black, camel and heather grey) for a perfect pop of color this season.

Have you found your perfect black flat?

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