Investing in Luxury
An investment is simply defined as putting in money or capital in order to gain profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value. That's why I always wondered about women who buy expensive bags and shoes and declare them as "investments". Do these really appreciate in value?
But it seems as if when women refer to bags and shoes as investments, what they're actually referring to is the cost per wear, and not investment per se:
"A designer handbag can be an attainable treat to save for, something which can last for years and be passed down,"*
The idea is that if you splurge on a quality piece, then that piece will last for years and can even be handed down to the next generation, therefore saving you money in the long run. However, it seems to me as if these are more in the nature of savings and not investments, because with investments, the value should appreciate. But I guess investment in the fashion world is not viewed in its traditional sense, so I could argue until I'm blue in the face and nothing will be resolved. Let's move on.
What really triggered this post was this review of a salon I read in a blog. The salon is operated by a husband and wife team and they have a fairly popular chain of salons, but get this, the husband charges Php6,500 for a haircut!
That's right Php6,500 for a haircut. Wow.
In defense of the stylist, he's very well-accomplished, has years of expertise under his belt and has gained the reputation of a master in precision cutting. So if he thinks that his skill merits the Php6,500 price tag, then that's his business. But what really struck me was how the blogger rationalized the price tag as an "investment".
Supposedly, the cut is so good that your hair will grow out perfectly and you won't need to go in for another cut until a few months after. But unless you regularly go for Php1,500-Php2,000 cuts per month, I honestly don't see how this is an investment (using its fashion world meaning)
If we were to treat a haircut as an investment in its real sense, then that haircut should pave the way to a profitable return. Sort of like how Georgina Wilson or Solenn Heusaff need to pay extra attention to their looks, because that's how they bag their modelling and endorsement contracts.
I'm reminded of this article I read in a fashion magazine years back. In it, two girls were talking about what they planned to buy, how this bag or pair of shoes was an investment. They went on and on until finally, their banker friend laughed out loud saying that shoes and bags weren't investments because they depreciate in value. However, the author eventually justified luxury items as investments because you stand taller with that bag on the crook of your arm, or your legs look leaner because of those to-die-for stilettos. In short you feel better about yourself because of your purchases, in effect making it a worthwhile investment.
Personally, I find it troubling to equate your self-worth with the value of your outfit, because how will you see yourself when you wake up sans makeup and fancy accessories? Will you loathe the person you see in the mirror?
Again, I'm sure that there will be a counter-argument to every one of my arguments. But my point is this, if you were to invest in something, spend on (1) your mind; (2) your skills; (3) experiences; and (4) the stock market. Except for the stock market which can plummet by this time tomorrow, no one can ever take away what you know, learned or experienced. You will always have those within reach, unlike shoes and bags which will only grow old and moldy.
*"Designer handbags 'a good investment' ", http://fashion-blog.secretsales.com