Forget quiet luxury, resist the urge to buy more

Allison Bornstein, author of “Wear It Well.”

Photo: Jennifer Trahan

We don’t often get told to buy less, at least on social media.

More likely, we’re encouraged to wear Loro Piana cashmere baseball caps and carry $300 Smythson notebooks like Gwyneth Paltrow in the name of “quiet luxury” and justify such expensive purchases using “girl math.” .

This is in addition to the current culture of “treatment” trend, which encourages spending money on little splurges like Starbucks as a form of self-care.

“We don’t need half of these things,” said Allison Bornstein, celebrity stylist and author of the new book “Wear It Well: Reclaim Your Closet and Rediscover the Joy of Getting Dressed.”

“Take a second to pause,” she says.

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow walks out of a courtroom where she is charged in a trial for crashing into Terry Sanderson during a 2016 family ski vacation, in Park City, Utah, March 21, 2023 .

Rick Bowmer | Afp | Getty Images

By almost every measure, Americans are struggling financially. And yet we’re bombarded with messages telling us to “buy more and more,” Bornstein said.

Bornstein, a style consultant for over 13 years, encourages her clients to work with what they already have. “It’s just easier to buy something new, but you can use what you have,” she said.

“You can be more creative, more interesting and much more economical.”

Learn more about personal finance:
Understated luxury might be America’s most expensive trend yet
Shoppers are adopting “feminine calculations” to justify their luxury purchases
Paying cash helps shoppers “forget” guilty pleasures

Although some things are worthwhile, like a good coat or expert tailoring, “just because you have money doesn’t mean you have to spend it,” Bornstein writes in “Wear It Well.”

With its viral three-word method to define a personal style and bad shoe theory to shake up the usual combinations, there’s a reason his ideas resonate, and part of it is spending fatigue. “People are tired and left with a pile full of things we were told to buy and they don’t know what to do,” she said.

Allison Bornstein’s book: “Wear It Well.”

Courtesy: Allison Bornstein

How to avoid overspending

Quiet the noise completely, warns consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch. “The easiest way to avoid temptations is to exit the list by unsubscribing from emails, turning off text alerts, turning off push notifications in retail apps, and unfollowing brands on social media,” she said.

Additionally, removing payment information stored online helps create a “barrier to purchase” that forces you to think twice about your purchasing decisions, Woroch said.

Otherwise, sleep on it, advise Woroch and Bornstein. Bornstein recommends adding an item to a wish list before committing to a purchase and resisting the urge to buy something just because it’s on sale.

“If you don’t want something when it’s full price, you probably don’t want it discounted,” Bornstein writes in his book. “Consider a sale as a bonus,” she said. “When the item you already know you want is on sale, it’s even nicer.”

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