Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Saving for Something Big

I love this picture, from the February 2009 issue of Harper's Bazaar. My dream look!

Is it the January blahs? Is it all that time at Bloomingdale’s over the holiday season? I am shopped out, dear readers, and I didn’t even shop all that much this past Christmas. I do have to say that I was put off by a few customers in the shoe department (not where I worked but I was close by). A couple of them were having panic attacks when they couldn’t get the shoes they wanted, pronto! And usually customers acting like that had a ton of shopping bags with them already and it seemed like it was way past time for them to put their wallets away and go home.

It got to me, I tell you.

So I intend to join my friend Catherine at Aesthetic Alterations in her self-imposed Shopping Ban for 2013. I will still have to get basics. I will still have to buy mascara and shampoo. I will probably need to get another pair of (inexpensive) jeans. But I really want to see if I can resist the urge to buy a bunch of little things—J. Crew cardigans and T-shirts, new nail polishes, vintage designer scarves and jewelry on eBay—and, instead, save for some really special thing, like a vintage Hermès Kelly, or a Cartier Tank Solo watch.

I don’t think I could own this particular Kelly. I would never let it go outside!

Lauren Santo Domingo’s Kelly from her 5 Days, 5 Looks, 1 Girl feature. Sigh.

A Cartier associate gave me this book on the Tank watch after I tried some on last summer.

A collection of Tank Solo watches.

I don’t know if I could actually go through with purchasing either of those items, because yes, they are so expensive it makes the eyes water and the bank account quiver, but I like the idea of taking a good old-fashioned break from shopping and this need for more more more—which I saw in spades at Bloomingdale’s. I like the idea of turning to my own closet, making do with what I have, shunning trends in favor of something that is true to me, and saving for something special. It would be an item that I took great care and research in buying and then wore so much it would acquire secondary meaning as a key part of my style. Something that I could leave to my daughter (even granddaughter?) one day.

Cartier Tank Solo. Functional, gorgeous, and what an heirloom this would be!

Instead of a Spending Spree, I’m going on a Saving Spree!

Have you ever saved up for a special item? Do tell, what was it? Please pass along any tips you have for either A) Resisting the urge to shop or B) Saving for something big!


hostess of the humble bungalow said...

No I cannot say that I have ever saved for a major investment piece because I own neither a Kelly bag or a Cartier... Hermes scarves and a Burberry jacket aside...
If I did save for one luxe purchase it would be a Chanel bag.
I do like the thought of setting funds aside for an investment piece. Good luck saving!

Aesthetic Alterations said...

I adore your ideal look—that first photo you posted! That ensemble and aesthetic could be pulled off by very few women, and you are absolutely one of them. Plus, the beauty of that black box kelly! I have a feeling that is the 32cm size and retourne size, which really would be marvelous on you.

Here's to our ban and savings together!

I wanted to echo your experiences in Bloomie's. Spending Christmas in NYC was so different from doing so in Paris in that I've never seen people carrying that many bags at one time in Paris. It was a lot of shopping. Sure, I did my bit, but . . . well . . . it might have contributed to my urge to lay off consumerism for a while. :)

grunge-queen said...

Nope, can't say I have, but I tend to buy a lot of thrift, which, perhaps because it can be so inexpensive, somehow makes it easier to consume, we'll, more, ironically! But I do admire your self-imposed shopping ban. I love the idea of saving, especially for a good quality vintage luxury item. I find the idea of forgoing all the mass-market stuff that's so easy to accumulate very appealing, especially since it could result in a stunning handmade piece that, as you say, will last so long it can be handed down. Looking forward to seeing where your journey takes you, Jill! Xo
P.S. Hubby got me both Hermes (my first scarf) and Cartier for Christmas and our anniversary - they are both my fave brands so we are on the same style page!

Anonymous said...

I am totally with you, dear Jill!
I had saved up with a monthly savings plan - a sum directly deducted from my pay check every month for a couple of years. The sum was intended for a big b-Day party with family and friends and a "self given" present, a Kelly bag. When the money was there, the B-Day was excellent! The bag came later, but was not what I had ordered...
However, I feel that if you are saving for something "bigger" - like this Cartier watch or a Kelly bag - and have something to look forward too, you don't mind spending less for other things (at least I didn't and don't) that in the end often clutter up our lives.
What do you think?
Have a very HAPPY week :-) xo

Anne said...

I really like that idea! I spend way too freely on little stuff, and it adds up. How fun it will be to peruse for that special purchase instead.

p.s. i just read a super funny book about shopping called Retail Hell... written from the point of view of a handbag salesman from Nordstrom. I think you'll get a kick out of it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jill,
I don't have the will power. Tried many times, failed miserably. :(
Saving for something very special (Hermès) sounds like a great new year resolution!

Marla Robinson said...

I am definitely swearing off new nail polishes for 2013 and probably only buying cosmetics I really love. Not just ones I purchase on a whim and then never use again. I have saved up for a watch.

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

I love the idea of a shopping ban and saving for a special purchase...I just do not know if I am self-disciplined to not buy for a whole year. Currently, I am only shopping in my closet and at Goodwill. I need to attempt to keep that up!

Bella Q said...

I love it! Because when you do shop you will buy items that will live in your wardrobe for years! In high school the Cartier tank watch was my dream watch. I lucked into a Seiko version pretty sweet, and wore it for a decade. Sad I have gotten rid of it during my punk-industrial phase. Should have known as a grown up I would return to loving a beautiful watch.

Gretchen said...

My freshman year in college, our French lab instructor was a senior from Switzerland. She received a Cartier Santos, the octagonal one, for Christmas and I, not knowing nor understanding the Cartier bit (I was brand-clueless) fell in love with the watch. Almost 25 years later, I bought myself one. Along with my 65-in strand of estate 9mm pearls, it was the best thing I ever did, purchase-wise, as they bring me great joy. But they're THINGS. I'm simply lucky that I worked for an estate jeweler for a time between "real" jobs and so got both at cost.

Pam said...

Yes, I have saved, mostly for trips, but also for the watch I dreamt of for nearly fifteen years. I'd save up about half enough for the watch, and then realize that I'd rather take a trip--ha! I've now had the watch for 13-14 years, and wear it every day, love it just as much, and it keeps me from spending on any other timepieces (plus it has appreciated). The trips have been sweeter, too, for knowing they were paid for in advance, including $ in the bank for shopping along the way.

I love that inspiration photo--I think it's going to have to go up on my bulletin board, too.

Veshoevius said...

Jil -firstly Happy New Year! And secondly thank you for alerting me to the whereabouts of aesthetic alterations - she had dropped off my blog reader and I couldn't find her blog after that!
So many people are doing the no shopping thing - I tried to do it for 3 months late last year and I cut down a fair bit but couldn't hold to a complete ban (and then I went wild in the sales - so fail!). So I'm not the best person to give advice! But
my tip for what it's worth would be keep very busy so that you don't have time to shop.
I'm very inspired by all the people cutting back - maybe I'll join in (but after the sales...)


You have such a chic blog. I look forward to seeing more. So elegant.

My blog http://lifeasathriftygurl.blogspot.com/


Prêt à Porter P said...

I'm attempting to save up for a red box this year too. On top of other life stuff I need to take care of this year requires careful budgeting. I could never go completely cold turkey on fashion purchases. Good luck on your ban, the Kelly and tank are timeless pieces.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Jill. Saving is so hard but such a reward in the end. Right now I am saving for a new camera. I was all set to splurge on a digital SLR but because I am saving, I have had time to research--a lot. Because of this I totally shifted gears on what type of camera I am going to buy (going for a CSC/mirrorless type).

I would love to own a Cartier Tank or Hermes bag too but do not see this as part of my future...like you, spending that type of money for one item makes my eyes water. Even if I saved for it--when it came down to it, not sure I could follow through. Maybe if it is vintage???

Coulda shoulda woulda said...

i am still saving up for my private plane...

Jake Schwartz said...

It’s true that those watches are expensive, but think of them as a treasure you could pass on to your daughter, and even to your granddaughter. Just take good care of it, and its value will grow in time. Good luck with the saving spree, Jill. All the best!

Jake Schwartz @ Gold Fever Catch it!