Last night while my husband and I were sitting together on the couch, I told him that I’m tired of shopping. He was justifiably skeptical and told me so, but I assured him that I was completely serious. More to the point, I’m sick of replacing cheaply made clothes that wear out before I am tired of wearing them.
This all started earlier in the day when I was consignment shopping. Spring is slowly arriving this year, and I’ve been looking around for a pair of leather slip-ons to replace a pair that is too torn on the toes to been seen in the office again. I realized my current pair of shoes has a synthetic lining, which means the leather upper can tear away from the lining, so I’m looking for a shoe with leather upper and leather lining.
While browsing the racks, I came across a great looking pair that was leather on the inside and outside, and I was excited when I saw the brand was Saks 5th Avenue and the cost was $25! I’ve never purchased shoes from this store before, but Saks has a reputation for high-end clothing, so I assumed their brand of shoes would be on par with this reputation. At first glance, the shoes looked promising, but then I took a peek inside the shoes to get a better look at the insoles. I wanted to see how well the shoes were put together, so I gave a slight tug to lift up the insole, and I was surprised when the insole started to lift up with ease and reveal a layer of yellow foam and glue. I realize insoles are designed to come out so they can be replaced, but this seemed too easy and I wasn’t excited by the look of the foam. I could only imagine what the foam would do on a hot summer day. So I put the shoes back on the rack, bummed that a pair of shoes from a high-end retailer were shoddily built.
Later that night while I was talking with my husband, I told him about the shoes. He told me they were probably worth $25, which on the surface I agree with. But then it’s $25 here and another $30 in a few months when I have to replace them, then another $30 when I have to replace those cheap replacements. Pretty soon I’ve spent the same amount of money replacing cheap shoes that I could have spent on one really nice pair of shoes that will last years instead of months.
A perfect example of this is a pair of LL Bean slippers that my husband inherited from his grandfather. These slippers are 20+ years old, but they still look great! None of the seams have come undone, the leather soles are free from holes, and the lining is still intact.
I, on the other hand, have to buy slippers at Target once a year because I wear holes through the soles, the heels always crumple up and won’t stay on my feet, and the lining looses its fluffiness. If I would just spend $90 on a pair of LL Bean slippers, I could stop spending $15 a year at Target for cheap slippers.
Now, I want to take a moment to say that I do not have a limitless clothes budget. Buying more expensive clothes (and shoes, handbags, etc.) will definitely mean that I will buy less items, less often (a lot less). But if it means that an item will last years versus months, then I’m willing to do it.