Friday, January 18, 2008

The Economy of Scarves

I love scarves. They're fun and versatile, and I can even manage to use them in Los Angeles weather, which many would argue is scarf-proof. I'm a sweater sort of girl, so I can find away. Snow, you say? Ya, can't handle that. You can't have it all, I suppose.

So I love browsing at scarves. I hear about a lovely new one, and I want to see a picture, or run it through my grubby little fingers. When I read about Leigh and Luca at Daily Candy, I was tempted. Until I saw the inconspicuous price tags ranging from about $500 to $800.


I can imagine there are a relative handful of people who can actually afford that price tag. People to whom money is no object. However, most people don't fall into that category. And yet, ridiculously expensive fashion items get sold every day. Yes, the softening of the economy has brought it all to a slow down, but that actually reinforces my theory that people who couldn't afford the purchases were driving the sales. Now that they can't afford the luxury items, sales have slowed. Tiffany, Coach, and Burberry, to name a few, have all felt the pinch.

I worked at a business management firm that had wealthy celebrity clients. The best thing I learned was that some of the people who were impeccably dressed and earning stellar money were spending more than they could realistically afford. $10K a month on clothes is one house per year in some places. You could see on paper that they could never afford to stop working because of their spending habits. Obviously, if they reduced their spending, they'd be pretty well off financially in the long term. But it just reinforces my point of view that the luxuries that people buy today are funded with tomorrow's retirement accounts.

And all for a fancy scarf.