I know some of you will look at the price tag for this jacket and think, “What a sob.” I could go on and on about how great this jacket is, the fact that it is Burberry and act like this luxury item is very common place for me because I like clothes and fashion. The truth is, this coat cost more money than my first mortgage payment. I tell you this because buying this jacket was a very big deal.
As you know, I like to get mileage out of my wardrobe and as I’ve aged, I’ve been able to spend a bit more money on clothes. This doesn’t mean that I spend more money on every single item and that I also buy more items. I’ve taught myself it’s okay to spend more on a single item but not okay to collect mounds and mounds of clothes I have no hope of wearing. If there is real value and a real chance that I’ll use something over and over and over, I’m okay with coughing up a little extra for the value. Here’s the math break down.
In the last 10 years, I have conservatively bought at least 15 jackets. Each of those jackets costs easily about $100. Some of them I keep for a few seasons, but most of them are a one season wear and not memorable at all. It was actually DT (what everyone calls my husband) who said to me, “How many jackets are you going to keep buying?” It became commonplace to just think, I need a new jacket for spring. He had a point, how many jackets was I going to keep buying? It seemed wasteful and frivolous to keep resotcking a very basic item that I clearly use and need every single year. So, I ran the numbers. I had spent roughly $1,500 on jackets and would easily spend another $500 over the next few years. That’s $2,000 on jackets that would either just take over my coat closet (because there would be 20 of them) or be worn for a season and then replaced. I don’t like to be surrounded by things I’m not using. I don’t buy clothes to see mountains of them hanging in my wardrobe and I don’t like to buy something unless I can justify getting lots of use out of it.
I knew Burberry made the iconic trench coat. The ultimate in design and function and at the top of the fashion food chain. I know that I live in a climate where I can use it multiple seasons. I know it looks great with jeans, skirts, dresses and dress pants. I know that if we ever went into financial ruin I could sell it and we could buy food. Burberry has a long history of trench coats. It’s a British brand… they know rain. I learned so much while buying this coat. (ahem, DT learned about it and told me because of my poor attention span) For example, there are over 15 ways to wear this coat just by changing up how you button and tie it. Also, the heavy price tag doesn’t mean it’s not good for heavy use. Mine has been hauled in a suitcase, wadded up on a train seat, used as a travel pillow, rained on, snowed on and spilled on. I’ve had this coat for 4 years and wear it steadily.
My advice, run the numbers and be honest with yourself. How many jackets are you going to keep buying? How much time are you going to spend looking for jackets to buy? Wouldn’t you rather just shop one more time for the right one and be done with it?
If you’re reading this saying, “I could never wear that,” think how many times you’ve said this about something you like on someone else. Why are you not okay with wearing this, why are you doubting yourself, why are you afraid to try new things? (I digress, just got an idea for another post) Give it some thought and run some numbers. You may be surprised.