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YSL Pumps

May 31st, 2009

The best example of an investment piece are my YSL tribute pumps that you have all seen me wear with everything. I’m sure some of you are already tired of seeing me wear them :). I paid full price for the shoes at Bergdorf Goodman and had no regrets. The shoes are worth every penny. I have worn the shoes so much that I have already gotten my money’s worth out of the purchase. The shoes are classic with a big platform, patent leather upper and a super sexy heel. They elongate my legs, they give me the height I need and they make all my outfits look better. What makes this item a great investment is that the shoes compliment my wardrobe perfectly and add just the right kick to the clothing I already own.

Many people have emailed me asking how I can afford the expensive items I own. Well, first of all, not all the things in my closet are expensive. My wardrobe is a mixture of high-end designer, vintage, and low-end basics that have I collected from all over the place. Low-end basics can be found at almost any retailer and with the current economic conditions, retailers tend to slash prices on basics. Whether you find them at Forever21, H&M or even TopShop, low-end basics are a good way to bolster a wardrobe and to quietly compliment more complex high-end looks.

Secondly, I save my money by resisting the temptation to buy things because they’re on sale. I save my money and spend it on well made value pieces that I can wear forever. I believe that investment clothing is worth spending money on but it has to meet certain criteria in order to be practical enough. Not only should the piece be able to transition between seasons but you should also be able to wear it year after year. I often buy investment pieces from large fashion houses but the items I choose must allow my own style to shine through. They should add something essential to my closet.

I try to buy smart and when I buy something new, I have two methods of making sure I am making the right decision. Besides using the Cost-per-wear method, I also have my own checklist to make sure the items I’m about to buy meet my long term expectations. You’re the one that controls your money and always needs to make a smart decision on what to buy, when to buy and where to buy what. Wear what you want to wear and not what other people want you to wear: avoid trendy things you don’t need and invest in timeless pieces.



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  1. May 31st, 2009 at 20:13 | #1

    GORGEOUS jacket & shoes! And great post! I’m totally with you! I wait for good pieces to go on sale, and hardly buy things full-price (if I can avoid it), I don’t care if something is not ‘new season’, as I’m ‘investing’ in something that will (hopefully) last several seasons, not just one.

  2. May 31st, 2009 at 20:13 | #2

    Nini, every time i see you in your blog, you look more beautiful!
    ..and so as Loc in photography!

    You look so amazing in your outfit!
    and i love your make up too!

  3. May 31st, 2009 at 20:35 | #3

    Great write up. Investment pieces are great staples that can be wore FOREVER. Oh Instyle or Lucky mag (i cant remember which) but they did a write up on pajama pants and stuff

  4. May 31st, 2009 at 20:43 | #4

    Ahhhh Que Bella es NINI!

    I love that vintage top and you already know how I feel about ur new investment piece: Givenchy Shoes! They are superb and I know u are def. going to get ur money’s worth!

    Nini, did u colored ur hair, I see a hint of red in some of the ends…if So, it looks beautiful on you! Thanks for the very informative Investment Pieces 101. I totally agree with you, but I get some tempted when I see deals, and seriously things are just piling up in the closet. I need to be a smarter shopper at times. I am learning that now!

    Thanks for the posting! I loved it, Tell Loc for me that his photography is lovely and he should be working for mags!



  5. michelle
    May 31st, 2009 at 20:47 | #5

    youre sucha smart and beautiful woman. i love these articles. i find it hard to NOT spend on sale items (especially with them being everywhere nowadays), so i’m going to try and not spend on them for a while for a good investment piece

  6. May 31st, 2009 at 20:54 | #6

    I totally agree with what you’ve written, you have an excellent attitude toward buying things. Those YSLs are a perfect example. And nice outfit of course, I’m always smitten by those Givenchys and those CDG piece is epic!

  7. May 31st, 2009 at 21:16 | #7

    great tips! i try to make sure that what im buying already works with what i have. and to make sure that i dont already have it! it’s true that i have A LOT of black blazers but i make sure if i add another one to the bunch it has to be unique from the others.
    i think your YSLs are a great investment, they really go with just about everything. i like these better than the boot version in fact, but i think that’s also in part because i care for the color yellow. (but u look amazing in both!!!)

  8. May 31st, 2009 at 21:21 | #8

    Maurenice- Thanks for noticing on the hair. I didn’t color or doing anything special to it lately. It does look kinda red because of the sun & blouse reflection. :)

  9. May 31st, 2009 at 21:22 | #9

    @mr. freddy’s mom
    You’re so sweet :) thanks

  10. May 31st, 2009 at 21:23 | #10

    Very smart, great tips. I always feel bad though about spending a lot of money on shoes because I feel like they always get destroyed. Most of my clothing is designer but I’ve gotten most of it on sale/sample sales, etc. I guess I will feel less guilty about this kind of stuff when I actually have a full-time job/steady income

  11. May 31st, 2009 at 22:14 | #11

    Amazing shoes

    kisses from Chicmuse


  12. May 31st, 2009 at 23:09 | #12

    i’m guilty of buying things “because they’re on sale.” i really need to stop doing that!

    and one of the reasons i love visiting your blog is because you mix high-end with more affordable basics and always look so put together while doing so.

    haha my dog isn’t a corgi. we’re actually not sure what she is since we adopted both of our dogs from an animal shelter. our best guess is that she’s a mix between an australian blue heeler and rat terrier.

  13. June 1st, 2009 at 00:18 | #13

    Thank you Nini,

    I appreciated reading this post, because what you say here helps to put things into perspective.

    Sometimes when looking at blogs, I find myself extremely envious, get the wants, and feel like I
    can never have such nice things. That is an undesirable place, and it is simply not true. I do have
    nice things, and I need to remember that. What I lack most, are the basics, and you are right, they
    don’t have to cost more.

    I really agree that it is not a good idea to buy something just because it is on sale (though most of what I by IS on sale). I have to love it. In the past I made some poor choices, because of the SALE. It is funny, if it is on sale, and you never wear the piece, even if it was $2, you have wasted your money, and not only that, you have taken up precious closet space.

    I love looking at what you and some other blogs I watch, put together. Keep sharing.

    How do you organize your clothes in your closet. You have shown us your cute shoe display, but what about your clothes? Would you show us???

  14. camille
    June 1st, 2009 at 00:54 | #14

    ooh i know someone told me of them on sale at Barneys, i want them even more now :) lucky you..you already own a lovely pair of YSL..jelous! 😉

    camille x

  15. June 1st, 2009 at 02:16 | #15

    great advice. you are so right. love that comme jacket!!!

  16. June 1st, 2009 at 03:44 | #16

    Hi Nini! I also use that cost per wear mostly on designer bag puchases.. I try my best to not buy just because it’s sale because I end up not wearing them, sometimes I even forget I bought it because I didn’t love it in the first place..=) recently stumbled upon your blog and I love your style BTW..=)


  17. June 1st, 2009 at 05:35 | #17

    Fashionable look and yes, I adore Ur YSL tribute pumps! *sigh*!


  18. June 1st, 2009 at 06:11 | #18

    so chic! yes! you are so right! and it doesn’t hurt that you look absolutely perfect! i love the jacket!

    have a great day! visit me sometime!

  19. Lori
    June 1st, 2009 at 07:06 | #19

    In the blogging community your blog gave the best advice also you always look so great mixing low-end and high-end designer that’s why I look at your blog like 5 times a day because every time I look I learned something new. The vintage blouse is so beautiful.

  20. Melanie C
    June 1st, 2009 at 07:08 | #20

    Hand down on this one Nini. Great article. I don’t need to buy magazine anymore since I start reading your blog and Seaofshoes.

  21. June 1st, 2009 at 07:37 | #21

    My closets are really messy right now!!!! :) I’ll revamp them and have pictures up soon!!! I’m glad you enjoy the article.

  22. June 1st, 2009 at 07:39 | #22

    my friend at YSL’s boutique in Las Vegas called and said all their shoes are now from 30%-50% off.

  23. June 1st, 2009 at 08:06 | #23




  24. June 1st, 2009 at 08:14 | #24

    I’m always astonished at home many people think it’s perfectly okay to comment on the cost of my clothes & shoes. When someone says, “Were they expensive?” my reply is usually something like, “Oh, I’m a careful shopper,” but what I’m thinking is, “None of your %$#@ business!”

    Great tips on making you wardrobe (and your money) work for you!

  25. June 1st, 2009 at 08:15 | #25

    PS… speaking of great basics to last a lifetime, check out my blog today — there’s a skirt there that would be perfect for you, and talk about an unbelieveable bargain!

  26. June 1st, 2009 at 10:10 | #26

    I always love the way you style yourself and your nice shoes <3
    Every day i check out your blog cause I am so excited what you wear =)
    Love your site

  27. June 1st, 2009 at 10:24 | #27

    oo, that jacket is awesome! do you buy alot of your clothes online or in a store? i find it extremely hard to find those coveted designers like rick owens, comme des garcons, ann d in houston so i’ve rarely seen any of these pieces in person. i bet they look and feel even more amazing up close!

    i totally agree with you on buying investment pieces and not buying things because they’re on sale. i’ve gotten better at doing the latter and now just buy things when it totally pulls at my heart strings (like how you bought that nude MMM cape thingy) but that can often times put a pretty dent in my bank account. this is why i tell my husband i’m in the profession that i am… so that i can spoil myself whenever i feel like it! just 4 more years and it’ll be a reality! =)

  28. June 1st, 2009 at 10:39 | #28

    I bought most of my clothes in stores. The only things that I buy online is vintage :) My suggestion is set a budget for your fashion life style and Buy what you like to wear.

  29. June 1st, 2009 at 12:05 | #29

    absolutely right on the money

  30. Caroline
    June 1st, 2009 at 12:11 | #30

    Over the last couple of months I have bought an amazing Balenciaga cocktail sheath and skirt, a beautiful beige mohair and silk Dries Van Noten sweater, an edgy black Ann Demeulemeester jacket, and an exquisite black lace YSL Rive Gauche dress.

    I paid about $1,258 for the five pieces including taxes.

    Not too long ago, I bought a pair of black wide-legged MaxMara pants for $95, down from $500.

    How you ask?

    The Balenciaga pieces were 75% off at By George in Austin. Like Nini advises and anyone who shops on a budget does, I made damn sure they were timeless pieces.

    The three other pieces came from an amazing consignment shop I go to here in D.C. where very wealthy women often dump brand new (tags attached!) or very gently used clothes they don’t wear. The Ann D jacket was $98, the DVN sweater was $68, the YSL dress was $400 (probably worth thousands). Again, pieces that will never look dated, are high quality, and will take me from my twenties to the grave.

    The pants I got from the sample sale website Rue La La. Gilt Groupe is another fabulous website that slashes 70-80% off labels like Jil Sander, Alexander McQueen, Calvin Klein, etc.

    So yes, it can be done, but you have to be extremely picky. Don’t pay attention to trends. Avoid Topshop or H&M unless you’re stocking up on basic items. Hunt down a beautiful black skirt, an edgy jacket, a killer pair of boots or pumps, or an LBD. These items now go on sale because of the recession. If you have a great consignment shop where you live, frequent it.

    Most important of all, be true to yourself. Your style should reflect who you are as Nini says. Buy what works for your body and features.

  31. June 1st, 2009 at 12:51 | #31

    $1,258 for Balenicaga, Dries Van Noten, YSL and Ann D???? You’re one smart cookie. You should send me some photos of you wearing them so I can share with the readers???

  32. Athena
    June 1st, 2009 at 13:14 | #32

    Hi Nini,
    I totally agree with your great advice!
    I love your vintage silk blouse & your new Givenchy’s.
    Have a great week! :-)

  33. Caroline
    June 1st, 2009 at 14:10 | #33

    Oh God, I hate pictures of myself! I’m very self-conscious in photographs. But I am going to an awards dinner at the Library of Congress on Friday and I will wear the YSL dress (which I’m so excited about) so I’ll suck it up and try to get pictures taken of me.

    The consignment shop here in DC is heaven. The owner once got a $12,000 Chanel gown worn only once and marked it down to $1,200 (she gets a lot of Chanel). I was there over the weekend and she had a black wool and lace Rochas skirt for $184 and this Jil Sander dress/jacket for $298:

  34. June 1st, 2009 at 14:48 | #34

    Another great post! You look so fab.. those shoes are amazing. I’d LOVE to trade closets with you.. if only for one day! :)

    xo, Becs

  35. June 1st, 2009 at 14:50 | #35

    Hi Nini.
    Your first photo of your YSL tribute pumps with the old teapot and roses
    is BELLISSIMA!!!!
    And I have to confess that although you seem to wear your YSL´s so often
    they still look like new!
    Great post, I agree with your cost-per-wear method.. and there are so many wonderful pieces from older collections I´m still searching… ” my little vintage wishlist” 😉

    Miss M;)

  36. Alex.CooperTee
    June 1st, 2009 at 16:14 | #36

    Well written, Nini!! You don’t have to defend your high price items — they look fantastic and it’s great being able to see you style them in so many different ways!

  37. June 1st, 2009 at 16:21 | #37

    Ok, I get you save up. But you must have a well paid job. Many people couldn’t afford to eat if they saved for those shoes. hahah

    It’s the same with many bloggers out there… well off… or well off parents!!!

    Lovely pieces… makes me jealous!!!


  38. Caroline
    June 1st, 2009 at 16:51 | #38

    I don’t make a ton of money. My parents are not supporting me. And no, I don’t have thousands of dollars of credit card debt (pay off the balance in full each month, in fact). I’m young, lucky to have no student debt, and don’t go out constantly.

  39. June 1st, 2009 at 17:01 | #39

    I have to agree with you when it comes to investment pieces. I tend to do the same. Great blog by the way!

  40. June 1st, 2009 at 18:33 | #40

    you have enlighten me with your words, invest in clothes that are timeless and could be the essential of the wardrobe… i’ll always remember that… i’m trying to incorporate designers into my wardrobe as i don’t own any right now (stingy with money perhaps, buying those on sale items only) and i’m trying to find a reason for owning them, and then your article came…

  41. June 1st, 2009 at 18:41 | #41

    What a beautiful blouse! And I love love love the soccer ball jacket! Such a cool concept!


  42. June 1st, 2009 at 20:53 | #42

    Ah Nini! I finally have the time to comment. This post is definitely one I agree with. Very well written. I’m always tempted to buy things on sale, but now I realized I have too many crazy out there pieces and need to focus on timeless ones I can wear again and mix/match with the rest of my closet. I think it’s been a really long time since I’ve paid full price for anything. After buying so many things on sale, I realized it’s better to wait unless I know for sure I will get 110% use out of it. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I received my package today (FINALLY LOL, nobody was home for the past 3 days!). I cannot wait to wear my new tops and Ann D boots. I hope you are doing well Nini. Oh and PS- your photos are gorgeous!!!! Those boots are totally you :)

  43. June 1st, 2009 at 21:44 | #43

    Those YSL shoes look intense…wow. Great post, too :)

    xox, mavi

  44. June 2nd, 2009 at 04:30 | #44

    Hi Nini,
    Tnanks for your comment. I decided to sell the jacket because mainly because i wasn’t wearing it much. It is a lovely jacket but i just couldn’t find the right season to wear it. When you take in to accont the cost per wear, it wasn’t worth just keeping it in my wardrobe.

  45. June 2nd, 2009 at 10:52 | #45

    I think both shoes are killer.

  46. June 2nd, 2009 at 17:09 | #46

    you look absolutely amazing!! the shoes, wow!

  47. June 2nd, 2009 at 17:38 | #47

    Love these tips! I’ve been meaning to comment and say that I love your blog, not only because of your great style but also my nickname since childhood is Nini! I’ve tagged you on my blog- I’d love to read your answers!

  48. June 3rd, 2009 at 11:50 | #48

    Totally, totally agree. That’s exactly what I’ve always done, and it works for me! It also helps to stay healthy, fit & slim (not in a dieting, obsessive way – just healthy & active) because I can literally pull out something from my closet that I’ve kept because I loved it when I was 15. I don’t care too much about trends – and I stay more or less true to my own style – but often something will come out as a trend that I’ve got just the right thing for!
    I do love those shoes, by the way!

    Lovely blog! thanks

  49. Christina Chan
    July 10th, 2009 at 16:10 | #49

    After reading 700 hundred words, you have no answer the question. The question you were asked was HOW CAN YOU AFFORD YOUR EXPENSIVE CLOTHES which translates into something simple for you to understand, 1. what profession do you have and 2. do you come from a crap load of money? It is difficult to see you with a proper profession since you are constantly taking pictures of yourself wearing the most riduclous outfits around Texas and further, it makes it plausible that you come from money because you talk about buying 800 YSLs like it isn’t anything or “an investment.” People “invest” in property not in shoes, bags and clothes so the next time you feel like having a “money confessions” just tell the truth.

  50. natasha
    July 11th, 2009 at 13:21 | #50

    @Christina Chan

    Kindly refrain from being a fourth grader on this blog, thanks!

  51. NNY
    December 23rd, 2010 at 04:12 | #51

    I just discovered this blog and I’m loving it so far. I completely agree as I mix my target tanks under cashmere sweaters or with designer jeans…etc. What would you say are some key expensive pieces to invest in? I was thinking a good pea coat, pumps (louboutin or ysl), a burberry trench coat, leather boots, and of course a purse.

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