By Lisa van Leer
A wise man named Oscar Wilde once said: “There is no such thing as being overdressed or overeducated.” Well this is a quote I solemnly swear by. When it comes to my wardrobe, enough is never enough. Although my father repeatedly tells me I have a serious shopping problem, I prefer to see my shopping habits as giving back to the economy. So I told him my mink fur coat is essential for surviving freezing winters in London, and that the latest YSL handbag, which that over-polite sales girl and her three glasses of champagne tricked me into buying, was a total investment.
No matter where I go, I always like to dress to impress. It doesn’t matter if it is a drugged up hipster festival in Amsterdam or an A-List party in LA; heads need to turn. My wardrobe is therefore filled with bold statement items that I mix and match to guarantee a dazzling appearance every time I leave the house. And the great thing is- I never get tired of adding new pieces to this collection. I love to spend my free afternoons strolling around Harrods and treat myself to a new pair of Louboutins. It is just a shame my credit card does not love it just as much. Yet the fun thing about fashion is that you do not need to wear designer brands from head to toe to get that ‘million dollar look’. I mean of course my heart says Chanel, but there are days when my bank account says more Zara so I typically combine high street with designer brands.
Creating a fashionable look for less is a societal trend and today, knockoffs are more popular than ever before. Fast fashion companies such as Zara and H&M have constructed multi-billion-dollar enterprises imitating the latest catwalk creations for a fraction of their original price. “Brand loyalty is down and the taboo of mixing high fashion and high street is largely gone,” says Julie Zerbo, editor-in-chief of The Fashion Law, a blog that analyses legal and business news in the fashion industry. Look at role model Kate Middleton for example, who effortlessly combines designer with high street once more, wearing a Dolce & Gabbana dress with a £49 Zara cape coat for the Queen’s 90th birthday horse show.
Okay I’ll admit it. I am a total sucker for clothes, shoes and anything sparkly gets me thrilled with excitement. Plus when I hear the word ‘sale’ my heart skips a beat. But in a society where a book does get judged by its cover- is it really that bad to care about your appearance? Besides, my mother has always taught me to spend time and money into looking presentable. “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” she would say. And if that means I need a weekly blowdry to make myself look a little less Hagrid and a little more Park Avenue, then so be it. In the end, it is all about priorities- right?