To splurge or to save, the shopper’s conundrum

The funny thing about this post is that I did this story three years ago. I wouldn’t style it the same today, but there are definitely items that I keep. Today, she’d be in printed ankle pants and the guy would be more dressed up — no T-shirts. I was at a conference during fashion week in New York last month and Zac Posen said “dressed up is the new punk.” It’s kind of right. I’m not sure that it’s technically subversive to be a manicured,  hetero male, but it’s definitely counter-culture. But then again New York’s style magazine just declared that “the well-dressed man is back,” so we’ll see.

Anyway, I loved this story because I always get reader complaints if I show models dressed in expensive clothing. My retort is always the same. These are just ideas, suggestions, inspiration, aspirations. Photo shoots aren’t meant to be literal. I don’t curse Vogue because I can’t afford Lanvin. So this piece was my way of saying, you can buy one great item that you’ll cherish until wear-and-tear do you part and you can surround it with less pedigreed items and no one will be the wiser.

In my opinion, an investment piece doesn’t have to be obvious. If you know quality, you’ll appreciate it. And it will make you feel better even if no one notices. And sometimes you invest because $10 jeans don’t fit or last as long as $110 jeans. Do the math and decide what you want out of a garment. You can buy cheap, and I do, but it shouldn’t look cheap. There’s a difference. I’d rather buy one stellar jacket than than three low quality ones.

And Fun Photo Shoot Fact: He had a bruised eye that we had to cover with makeup (but you can still see it a bit) because he got hit in the face I think it was either from playing hockey or rugby. And these two were great until the photographer Laurie Skrivan asked them to hold hands. The photo looks nice but they had the chemistry of a Libertarian at an NAACP rally. Awkward.

Read more stories on style from a wry perspective on my work blog, stltoday.com/stylefile.

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