|A 1994 Hermès Kelly 32 in green Courchevel recently offered in a Christie’s online auction.|
I had an interesting email discussion with a friend of mine who is currently on the hunt for a gently-used Chanel bag. We were both lamenting the dramatic rise in price of any Chanel bags, new or pre-loved—they now start, new, for a medium-sized classic flap, at $4,900, probably in an attempt to put them in the same crazy price stratosphere as new Hermès bags.
My friend pointed out that one is drawn to one’s poison and often can’t help what they love, a sentiment I agree with! Life would be so much easier (and, in some cases, less expensive) if I didn’t so thoroughly enjoy the art and beauty of, say, Hermès scarves and bags, Chanel jackets, Cartier jewelry, among other things—and want to own them!
|A Charlotte Olympia Kitty flat. Retail price: $595.|
My friend also touched on a subject I find endlessly fascinating—the guilt associated with wanting, and sometimes even buying, the most expensive items on the planet.
I honestly can’t decide if this guilt affects moms more than child-free ladies (and gents)—or all ladies and gents alike. Do feel free to chime in on the subject whether you have no kids or many! My guilt revolves around thinking that I ought to be saving for some fabulous thing for my children (and no, I don’t mean college) instead of saving for a Kelly bag or Cartier watch.
|I love this Cartier Tank watch—elegant and classic!|
Some of my guilt is assuaged knowing my kids have plenty of food, clothes, toys, books, health and dental insurance, a lot of love, and both go to great public schools. It’s also assuaged by recognizing I spend little money on clothes—my closet is all about inexpensive basics and the real money is spent on accessories. My friend said that maybe she could get over the guilt of buying a Chanel bag because she makes her own clothes. I concur! If sewing the bulk of your own wardrobe doesn’t give you a pass to treat yourself to one pre-loved Chanel bag, I don’t know what will!
I have never felt one shred of guilt for buying my pre-loved Chanel bag (from Fashionphile) or any of the few Hermès scarves I own—after I purchased them. A few special things have made me feel so grateful for all that I do have, in my closet and in my life, but I also understand that getting past the guilt in order to buy those special things can be treacherous!
|My pre-loved Chanel bag. Glad I bought it when I did!|
I would love to hear from anyone with anything to say on the topic of the morality of owning expensive things—and I do mean things, not travel or experiences—which I feel belong in a different category.
Is owning something expensive, or wanting to, neutral territory for you? Do you feel an expensive item, whether a piece of jewelry or a bag, a pair of shoes, an amazing jacket, is a reward for hard work, whether it came by way of a promotion, or a big goal met, or the good old fashioned method of saving up for it?
|Detail of “Le Laboratoire du Temps,” by Pierre-Marie for Hermès, 2012.|
Do you feel an expensive item has a morality attached to it? Is it bad to like expensive things? Bad to own too many of them? Do you eschew expensive items altogether, even if you have the money to purchase them?
I found a fascinating article over at Get Rich Slowly about the morality of spending that you might also find an interesting read. Apparently my friend and I are not the only people thinking about this issue!
I can’t wait to read what you have to say on this subject so do share your opinions with me!
|Detail of a 1975 Cartier crocodile necklace once owned by Maria Félix.|
The photo of the Cartier crocodile necklace detail above is from the beautiful book Amazing Cartier: Jewelry Design Since 1937 by Nadine Coleno. My nail polish is Caught Red-Handed by L’Oreal, one of my favorite shades for summer!