Is Luxury Pretty Much Over for You, Too?

MillStream

O.G.
May 15, 2006
1,871
573
I live in the NY Metro Area, and for me Luxury is pretty much over. The combination of the past two years of semi-isolation due to Covid concerns and the serious rise in crime have caused me to reevaluate so many things. I no longer feel comfortable or safe wearing designer clothing or jewels. My Akris and Chanel RTW garments are languishing in our storage facility, waiting until I have the heart to send them to a reseller. Most likely, only one item will be a keeper -- a Chanel multi-colored coat that I bought as a birthday gift to myself pre-pandemic. My closet is now filled with Frank & Eileen Jackets, Shirts, Capelets and Pants, supplemented with Eileen Fisher Tops, Underpinnings, Pants and Leggings. When I want something a bit more stylish, I reach for pieces from "The Slow Wardrobe," a UK-based company (theslowwardrobe.co.uk) with a wide variety of handmade heavyweight and lightweight linen clothing in luscious colors (and black, of course) that work for and fit just about everyone. My days of dressing to impress are over, with rare exceptions. Rather than feeling sad about this change, I find it quite liberating.

During the past couple of years I've also downsized my handbag collection considerably, realizing that for me less is truly more. I've whittled it down to just a handful of designer bags, and I'm not sure whether or not I've been brutal enough yet. What remains is four Hermes bags (30 Chartreuse Birkin, 32 Black Kelly, 31 Rouge Grenat Bolide and Black Clutch) as well as two SO Black Chanels (Rectangular Mini and Jumbo). Carrying the Chartreuse Birkin is out of the question these days, and probably the same for the Black Kelly. Both are too recognizable. Carrying a Clutch, so easy to snatch, seems absurd. The Bolide is a great color and under the radar, so to speak. Same goes for the the SO Black Chanels. Nothing screaming "come take me" about those three bags. I've just purchased another Chanel Rectangular Mini in Metallic Silver, and I'm already wondering what I was thinking even before it's arrived. I suspect I'll be returning that one, but will decide when I see it IRL.

Having done so much purging of handbags, I've promised myself to do a proper closet purge and adopt a semi-minimalist approach to dressing. The expert advice on this is to literally empty the closet and make three piles -- to keep, send to reseller, and give away. It's the "empty the entire closet" part that's kept me from tackling this project. I think I'll attempt to do this in clothing categories to make the purge more manageable. I'm not sure how to do this without having someone there with me to pry things out of my hands, so I may enlist a friend to keep me company and encourage me to let things go.

Next up is the jewelry box purge. During the pandemic I sold a couple of pairs of Elizabeth Locke earclips that I hadn't worn in ages, and resisted the urge to use the funds to buy something with that Jeweler. Back to the "less is more" thinking, I realize that I need to do a major clean out. I find that, like favorite items of clothing, I tend to wear just a small fraction of what I've amassed over many years. Time to let go!

My concept of Luxury certainly has evolved. It's gone from having a large assortment of designer handbags, clothing and jewels to having a carefully curated small collection, mostly consisting of items that I can wear without worry. Attracting attention is not a good idea these days.

I would love to hear from others here who have come to regard Luxury differently than they did pre-pandemic.

MillStream
 

880

30th anniversary cuff
O.G.
Aug 31, 2008
13,823
50,204
@MillStream

pls don’t let go of things too quickly. I remember reading some of your amazing posts about some of the items you mention above bc I adore your taste, curation, and i remember your joy. :hugs:

i have come to regard luxury differently post pandemic bc my doctor put me on a diet and lifestyle change (I was pre diabetic). I had not shopped in years bc I was thirty pounds heavier yet I could not bear to get rid of some of the RTW and items I loved including bags that made me look and feel matronly and ungainly. During Covid, I followed a diet, exercise and medication regimen(overseen by my endocrin, with support from my GP), completely overhauled my lifestyle, and I finally lost the weight.

My DH and I had happily (semi) retired for a few months when we found out my MIL was diagnosed with terminal cancer. i started spending more time on TPF (for comfort and for distractions). i decided life was too short not to wear the things I love (now that I can fit back into them). Perhaps shopping is also a bit of a refuge from IRL, but as long as I can easily afford it, and it makes me feel better, I’m not harming anyone.

I also live in NYC, and while I have always exercised city precautions re my clothes, bags, and jewelry, (insurance and alarms play a part too) I do feel that things will eventually change for the better. I regret rehoming some items too soon.

hugs
 

Kevinaxx

Member
Sep 18, 2016
2,326
8,573
i decided life was too short not to wear the things I love
100%.
This is my precise attitude and why I’ve worn some pretty crazy things (eg cdg mermaid skirt) in an area that is flip flops over shoes, ties a no-no with suits, etc… super casual and not at all into dressing up for the most part, it’s changed (a little) over (last ten years) time… but I still get looks and made a photographer’s day when I wore a bright floral track jacket.

luxury I’m also reminded, is not always point blank. I have a bag that is decent in pricing (few hundred dollars) but the design/construction makes it look “luxury” so people have warned me against carrying it on my own, late at night.

I make it a practice to be careful with my items but I also don’t look like I step out of fashion magazine. I prefer non-descript, quality construction and also hard to describe, but definitely style I’m comfortable in and unfortunately at times cost more then I’d care to admit.
 

Evergreen602

Member
Jun 9, 2019
449
1,686
I dipped my toes into the luxury world about three years ago. At the time, I envisioned a curated collection of about a dozen or fewer luxury bags. My view has shifted since. I'm currently at 23 bags by premier and contemporary designers. I now envision a collection of about three dozen bags as long as they meet the following criteria:

1) I reach for the bag regularly. Medium size bags get more frequent use, and comprise most of my collection. Small/mini bags can get less use, but I still want to see that I'm reaching for them on the occasional weekend or evening outing.
2) If I no longer reach for a bag, it's usually an older bag with great memories. I am okay keeping it in my collection if it makes me smile when I see it in the closet. It's still a source of joy in that case.

I tend to carefully consider my luxury purchases, and buy with intention of keeping for many years. The last couple of years have been exceptionally difficult - losing my father just before the pandemic started, the pandemic itself, and losing my mother to cancer earlier this year. It has made me not want to deny myself the things I enjoy. Certainly my luxury spending has increased lately.

On the flip side, I am also going through my parents' belongings in two full houses. It's overwhelming, and makes me want to live a simple lifestyle. I suppose it's all about finding the right balance. I'm working on that too.
 

MillStream

O.G.
May 15, 2006
1,871
573
My heart goes out to you, Evergreen602. So sorry for the losses of both of your parents these past few years. This is not the time for you to make any big decisions. Perhaps your handbag collection is giving you pleasure as well as offering you a much-needed distraction.

No one but you gets a vote on how many handbags are right for you. I completely agree with that it's all about finding the right balance. You'll know when you get there.

All the best,

MillStream
 

Kevinaxx

Member
Sep 18, 2016
2,326
8,573
On the flip side, I am also going through my parents' belongings in two full houses. It's overwhelming, and makes me want to live a simple lifestyle. I suppose it's all about finding the right balance. I'm working on that too.
Life events shapes us, both the joys and sorrows, and it’s the nuggets of wisdom/experience we take away that is most valuable imho.

is it also creepy to say I imagine what my family/friends will go through and that also influences me and curbs the hoarding tendency I have?
 

Evergreen602

Member
Jun 9, 2019
449
1,686
My heart goes out to you, Evergreen602. So sorry for the losses of both of your parents these past few years. This is not the time for you to make any big decisions. Perhaps your handbag collection is giving you pleasure as well as offering you a much-needed distraction.

No one but you gets a vote on how many handbags are right for you. I completely agree with that it's all about finding the right balance. You'll know when you get there.

All the best,

MillStream
Thank you, @MillStream. I can at least say the luxury items I have purchased the last few years do bring me joy. I love the process of researching and collecting as much as wearing my luxury items. I'm obviously on a journey, and evolving. So I'll be kind to myself if I decide later on that a luxury purchase no longer suits me. As long as I can afford it, and it brings me joy for the time I use it, then it has served its purpose.
 

earthygirl

Member
Apr 20, 2018
1,091
2,456
I went a little crazy with handbag shopping during early Covid. I would watch so many collection videos and reviews and once I stopped doing that I realized that I have too many bags for my lifestyle. I only have a couple of handbags that I am in the process of trying to sell and am content with 12 designer bags. Truthfully, even a dozen is too many for me, as I don’t really enjoy switching in and out of bags, but I’m not ready to let go of any others at the moment.

I also bought a few pieces of designer jewelry, and I get tempted to buy more, but then I remind myself that, like with handbags, I don’t like to change my jewelry that often either.

There has also been a shift in the type of luxury I appreciate. It used to be about purchasing recognizable items that I love, but now I seek out things that are less trendy in the luxury community and also less recognizable. Overall, I am feeling less of an interest in shopping for luxury accessories as I’m content with what I already own. I’m more focused on how can I incorporate these items so that I get maximum use and style them uniquely in a way that reflects my personality.
 

Evergreen602

Member
Jun 9, 2019
449
1,686
Life events shapes us, both the joys and sorrows, and it’s the nuggets of wisdom/experience we take away that is most valuable imho.

is it also creepy to say I imagine what my family/friends will go through and that also influences me and curbs the hoarding tendency I have?
I don't think it's creepy at all. Honestly, I think it's better to face these things head on while we are alive and have our health. I know my parents were planning to downsize to one home, with fewer things. However, their health started to fail just as they were putting that plan into action. I know they never wanted to leave me with so much responsibility. I can't tell you how often I have googled Swedish Death Cleaning. I think it's something I will practice as I age.
 

Kevinaxx

Member
Sep 18, 2016
2,326
8,573
I don't think it's creepy at all. Honestly, I think it's better to face these things head on while we are alive and have our health. I know my parents were planning to downsize to one home, with fewer things. However, their health started to fail just as they were putting that plan into action. I know they never wanted to leave me with so much responsibility. I can't tell you how often I have googled Swedish Death Cleaning. I think it's something I will practice as I age.
I think in my line of work, seeing a lot of children go through the same (all the stuff their parents have, including real silverware they end up melting/selling because themselves and their children don’t use/won’t use), makes me think that way..

there’s so much I like but I ask myself do I really love it, will use it, etc? Much like your rule, I have developed loosely something similar recently (last couple of years) and will refine as time passes.
 

MillStream

O.G.
May 15, 2006
1,871
573
Ah, you're so wise 880! Seller's remorse is a terrible and rather costly thing.

I gather you feel that I've done enough whittling down of handbags and should hang onto the remaining treasures. Perhaps they should just remain in their sleepers until it feels right to wear them into Manhattan again. I did carry the Chartreuse Birkin a few weeks ago, when my husband and I took a car and driver into NYC for our grandson's afternoon birthday party. When we arrived we spent an hour at Hermes Madison, where this little beauty was much admired, and then went to lunch at a nearby restaurant where it also attracted a bit of attention. I must add that it was a virtual Hermes fest in that restaurant. Many, many Hermes bags there. From there we went directly to the birthday party, then made a quick stop at Sables and then back home to Connecticut. Because our driver escorted us in and out of each location, we both felt at ease. In our home community, I usually opt for the Chanel SO Black Mini because it's so subtle, but sometimes reach for the Rouge Grenat Bolide for a pop of color. Everything else is just hanging out in the closet.

Thank you for sharing your pandemic health journey. You've done a wonderful thing for yourself (and your husband) by taking charge of your diet and dodging Diabetes. Being able to fit back into your beautiful clothes must make you feel spectacular. I'm so proud of you. Brava!
 

Evergreen602

Member
Jun 9, 2019
449
1,686
I think in my line of work, seeing a lot of children go through the same (all the stuff their parents have, including real silverware they end up melting/selling because themselves and their children don’t use/won’t use), makes me think that way..

there’s so much I like but I ask myself do I really love it, will use it, etc? Much like your rule, I have developed loosely something similar recently (last couple of years) and will refine as time passes.
Not to get off topic from the original post, but that is exactly what I am going through with my parents' belongings. They loved shopping for antiques, so I have lots of fine antique china and silverware that does not suit my lifestyle. However, I appreciate the history of those pieces, and cannot bear the thought of them going to waste simply because they are not currently in style. I give it a few more years before the clean modern minimalism of the last few years gives way to a more collected eclectic style that incorporates old and new. I lean more contemporary in taste, but now see myself incorporating some of my parents antiques for a softer, homey feel.

Sorry to get off topic - now back to the discussion of luxury. I should also mention that I tend to prefer luxury that does not call attention to itself. I guess I go for more of the "if you know, you know" types of luxury. Security is not always an issue for me, but when I'm in more crowded settings, I know my bags don't stand out among the Chanels and LVs in the crowd.
 

880

30th anniversary cuff
O.G.
Aug 31, 2008
13,823
50,204
Ah, you're so wise 880! Seller's remorse is a terrible and rather costly thing.

I gather you feel that I've done enough whittling down of handbags and should hang onto the remaining treasures. Perhaps they should just remain in their sleepers until it feels right to wear them into Manhattan again. I did carry the Chartreuse Birkin a few weeks ago, when my husband and I took a car and driver into NYC for our grandson's afternoon birthday party. When we arrived we spent an hour at Hermes Madison, where this little beauty was much admired, and then went to lunch at a nearby restaurant where it also attracted a bit of attention. I must add that it was a virtual Hermes fest in that restaurant. Many, many Hermes bags there. From there we went directly to the birthday party, then made a quick stop at Sables and then back home to Connecticut. Because our driver escorted us in and out of each location, we both felt at ease. In our home community, I usually opt for the Chanel SO Black Mini because it's so subtle, but sometimes reach for the Rouge Grenat Bolide for a pop of color. Everything else is just hanging out in the closet.

Thank you for sharing your pandemic health journey. You've done a wonderful thing for yourself (and your husband) by taking charge of your diet and dodging Diabetes. Being able to fit back into your beautiful clothes must make you feel spectacular. I'm so proud of you. Brava!
Thank you for your kind words @MillStream! Your grandson‘s birthday was the perfect outing for your
chartreuse beauty!

@Evergreen602 , I am so sorry for your loss.

hugs :hugs:
 

JVSXOXO

Toddler mom who loves pretty things
Feb 16, 2017
791
4,068
Over before it really started for me, yes. My life has changed so much over the past couple years, from becoming a mom to making big career changes - I stayed home for my son’s first year and now work fully remotely in a new industry. And all during the pandemic to boot, which totally changed what my life looks like. I used to dress fashionably when I worked in person and regularly taught classes, facilitated workshops and hosted events on large campuses. But being a stay at home mom and now working from home has made my daily wardrobe much more casual and comfortable, and I mostly get out for Target runs and errands, so I’m not pulling out my best bags regularly like I did for date nights, concerts and shows, brunches and parties, etc..

Having a beautiful baby boy has shifted my priorities financially. I have much more fun spending money on him than myself. I can’t imagine spending thousands on my wishlist bags when I could be spoiling him or making wonderful family memories by doing other things with that money. The price points of many luxury bags and other items are exceeding what I am willing to spend on such items when I consider what I’m actually getting for my money (I can get a great leather bag for $300-$600 so why spend $2500+?) and how much use it would get in my “new”
daily pandemic-work-from
-home mom life. I tend to use the same bag all week and only downsize or switch for outings and special occasions (which have been few and far in between over the past couple years), so I do not have the need for a very large collection either. I’ve been good about following the “one in, one out” practice over the past few years and plan to stick with that to keep a small, curated collection that actually gets used.
 
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