Style Sticker Shock

Most of us experience sticker shock. We go to buy a couch, a new car, a refrigerator or concert tickets and gag when we see the price. Income level may affect our shock threshold, but all socioeconomic levels experience being stunned by the price of something they want to buy. I’ve noticed this phenomenon when a client has not been out fashion shopping in several years. The real question related to sticker shock is, “How much do I really want this?”

Regarding fashion, I believe it’s better to have a wardrobe with versatile, quality pieces that you love to wear than a closet filled with mediocre things that don’t bring you joy (see Why Spend More for Quality?). I wish that all women would look beyond the price of a clothing item to evaluate whether pieces will provide lasting value in their wardrobes. How often will I wear the piece? How well does it mix and match with my other clothes? Will I be proud of this piece in the future?  The truth is, many people settle when they make a purchase, or cave to a great sale price, but the clothing is not really what they want.

So if you can relate to the above scenario, here’s my suggestion. The next time you buy a piece of clothing, spend more than you normally would, to the point where you pause and feel a bit nervous. I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but hear me out. If you spend more than you’re typically comfortable with, you’ll know that it’s an investment piece. You will feel pride of ownership rather than the cheap thrill of just getting something new. You will also begin to develop the practice of making strategic additions to your wardrobe, and in the process you will be buying less items. See how well this works? Spending a bit more may actually help you stay within your overall fashion budget (see The Shopping Mindset). So give it a try, and let me know how you do!

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  1. Karen,
    I absolutely agree and you taught me well! After spending a couple seasons shopping with you, I finally started asking myself the questions you just mentioned. I feel more confident when selecting my clothing purchases, but I always wish I had you by my side. Your expertise and trained eye are also worth every penny!

  2. Karen, I love this blog and it really makes great cents. (Mistake intended). Lately, I have been intentionally trying to spend less and I get something that is not really what I want, versus as you brilliantly recommend, spending more and having something I adore. What excellent advice.

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