Contrary to popular belief, I rarely go clothes shopping. Though I still spend as much money as when I was younger and used to shop for a quick thrill or for a fix of the lastest trent, my shopping habits have now, thankfully, evolved. These days, I consider each purchase: how it will fit my life, the image I want to project, the cost-per-wear basis, and whether it’s a piece I will want to wear for years to come (and which will last just as long).
L-R: Chanel Earrings (a gift from a dear friend that arrived in the post, completely by surprise); nail polishes in Vendetta and Riva; a vintage pearl, leather and golden medallion to add to my ever-growing Chanel brooch collection
I am a firm believer that buying the best quality one can afford has two benefits: your clothes will last you far longer (and therefore, on a cost-per-wear basis, should be no more expensive than a cheap alternative) and, even if you can only afford to buy a few items, they will always look more luxurious than a wardrobe bursting with high street trends.
My purchases these days are thus divided into two categories: 1) beautiful classics and wardrobe building blocks around which everything else revolves (buttery soft tshirts, a beautiful silk blouse, gorgeous underwear, the perfect skinny jeans, season-less pumps that make you walk that little bit more elegantly, a coat that is both deliciously warm and beautifully cut and that you can wear year after year without feeling frumpy); and 2) the peices which make everything feel like ‘me’ (a preppy blazer, some tailored shorts, a dress that is always ready for a party, a quilted chain bag, handfulls of glittery jewels, and more white silk or lace tops than I care to count).
Perennially classic: sky-high ponyskin leopard print pumps by Kurt Geiger
When I know something is missing, I make very boring lists and set out to find these items during the season. And when I see something I hadn’t been searching for but which I immediately like anyway, I always stop to ponder it for a day or two – if I’m still dreaming about the lovely item later in the week and I know it will work with what I already have, only then does it come home with me.
Topshop blush pink silk playsuit (for luxurious sleep and weekend hibernation indoors) and Collette Dinnigan bow print knickers
This isn’t to say I only ever spend a ludicrous amount of money when I go shopping, no matter how rare an occurance it may be. Just as strong as my belief in good quality and design is my belief that one should always have small luxuries; little items that make everyday living that much more glamorous. If you’ve only got £30 to spare, you’re much better of buying a new candle, silk camisole or lipstick of the highest quality than a cheap top you’ll only ever wear twice. Your daily pleasure quota will increase, but you won’t need to take out a loan to fund it.
Diptyque L’ombre dans L’eau perfume (the smell of blackcurrant leaves and Bulgarian black roses), perfect for wintery days
Like a magpie, I’m continually drawn to beautiful scented candles, artisanal chocolates, silk underwear, a sparkly bauble, good books, and a new lipstick or polish to make me smile on a dreary day.
So here are some of the small luxuries I’ve collected the past few weeks. I’m sensing a theme: while my love of all things feminine and Parisian is eternal, my desire for them only increases as the days grow greyer.
Charbonnel et Walker pink champagne truffles and Mimco black silk and pearl necklace/bow brooch (a gift from another dear friend across the seas)
Are you a believer in quality over quantity? What are the small pleasures you turn to to make your days more lovely?
Love, Miss B xx