Debt is Beautiful Only After it is Repaid

Happy New Year to all of the Pin Up Persuasion readers! It appears to be a bitterly cold start to the year for many of us in North America, especially in the North Eastern parts. Please stay warm everyone and we shall ride it out like we do every winter. 2018 marks a huge milestone for us as well…6 years since Pin Up Persuasion began! I never thought this little labour of love would become what it has today. A lot has changed over the years in the world of blogging and I am very thankful to still be here due to your loyal readership. There are times that I truly thought it was time to pack it in for various reasons that I will not bore you with but my heart has always guided me back to my senses.

As many of us have set new goals for 2018, I wanted to bring attention to a very serious topic for those just starting out or long term collectors of vintage and vintage reproduction clothing. Over the years, especially as I became more entrenched in the vintage community a very scary trend has emerged…people prioritizing buying vintage clothing over basic necessities like paying rent/mortgages, car payments, bills, etc. If you are saying who does such a thing, I can tell you that there is an incredible amount of people that fall into this group and it is becoming a bigger problem as prices of vintage and vintage reproduction increase.

First things first, I am not here to pass judgement on anyone’s spending habits as I personally have gotten sucked into a bad pattern of spending money I did not have (ie: on credit, Paypal pay after delivery, etc.) as it has become all too easy to click “buy” and worry about the financial repercussions later.Β  My reality with our low Canadian dollar vs the American & Euro/British currencies, makes it even less affordable to purchase clothing these days. The average vintage 1950s day dress or novelty print skirt currently starts at $150USD which is over $200CAD; not yet factoring in shipping and customs. So this is why the buy now, pay later attitude quickly leaves my bank account seeing red after paying our monthly bills first, leaving a growing debt for my “luxuries” that I simply cannot pay off.

Let’s be honest here, buying vintage and vintage reproduction clothing is NOT a necessity, it is a luxury. Unfortunately all too often we see individuals purchasing luxuries with no means to then pay their monthly bills. Now if you are wondering how I know strangers financial situations, it is all too easy to see in the world of social media. These individuals are often buying some of the most coveted collectors items that are insanely expensive only to turn around posting those same items for sale months or weeks later to “make rent” or not lapse on their mortgage payment. The reality is that their passion has become an obsession of hoarding/impulse buying. Honestly, it is all too easy to fall into this trap with how competitive the vintage markets have become in recent years. Prices are soaring with vintage being so popular and unfortunately some people will pay ANY price. It is definitely sellers market in 2018.

Although I cannot help those individuals personally, I wanted to bring awareness to this growing trend that is only going to hurt us all in the long term if we do not start to make changes now. Now let’s review some helpful tips on how you can still indulge in your love of beautiful clothing but remain financially responsible.

A) Identify your monthly “luxuries” budget – The key here is MONTHLY. Many of us are online for several hours each day and it is easy to buy multiple items that add up very quickly in a month. By setting spending budget each month, you immediately know if you can afford that item or already reached your limit. If you absolutely do not want to pass it up (ie: rare vintage items), you have to have a plan B or C, or even D to stay in the green.

B) Alternate payment options – This is where you have to be very careful, this too can lead you down a dangerous black hole if you are not mindful of keeping track of pay later options. Many vintage sellers on Etsy will offer layaway (payment plans) on items over a certain amount, check their shop policies section or contact them directly to discuss possible payment terms. Again, take your monthly budget into account when establishing the installment amounts to coincide with your pay days. Paypal occasionally offers “Pay After Delivery” when using your bank account as the method of payment. This gives you 21 days grace period before the payment is withdrawn from your bank account. So if this brings you into the allotment for next months luxuries budget, keep track. There are other services online merchants offer like “Afterpay” (in Australia), that are similar to layaway that you can take advantage of to defer payments into the future to stay on track with your spending budget.

C) Clean out your closet –Β The most effective way to stay on track is selling items you no longer wear to replace them with new to you pretties. Whether it be to sell one item to replace it with another, or making a huge closet clean out to amass funds for future purchases…this is a excellent way to always remain in the green. I personally leave these funds in my Paypal account and utilize them the next time something I want comes along. Honestly, it usually isn’t too long before the money is spent but at least it does not come of my monthly spending budget.

D) Have a back up plan – Sometimes life happens and unforeseen expenses arise (car repairs, illness, vet bills, etc.) and no matter how much you budget, there is not enough funds in the reserve to cover them. Make sure you have a plan on how to cover your bills and put the luxuries on the back burner. There is no shame in selling some items to amass funds quickly, just be careful not to be rash on what things to part with as you will have severe regret after the fact. Select things that you have not reached for in several months, pieces that do not fit (be honest with yourself, holding onto these items will not result in your losing 2″ off your waist) and projects that you just never get to fixing.

E) SPENDING BAN – If you have exhausted all those recommendations and your bank account is still in the red once all your monthly bills are paid….DO NOT BUY ANYTHING! Establish a self imposed spending ban until things improve financially and make sure to stick with it. I see all too often people claiming to be on a spending ban, only to turn around sharing on social media they just HAD to buy another luxury item. DON’T DO IT!!! Go back to options A-D and if those don’t result in extra funds for luxuries, you CAN live without it. TOUGH LOVE!!!

In the end, only WE can control our spending habits and are ultimately responsible for our own financial welfare. Practicing self control and making changes is not easy but they are essential to ensure our passions do not result in an obsession surrounded by severe debt.

From a Little Spark May Burst a Flame

As our personal tastes and style continue to evolve everyday, I find myself much more aware of not over spending on clothing that will simply sit in my closet going unworn. Up until recently, I was focusing mainly on authentic vintage but this autumn has brought forth some pretty spectacular designs that I simply could not resist. The online boutique that I have always admired for their phenomenal ability to make everything look fabulous with their line up of iconic pinup models is Top Vintage Boutique. They carry such a wide array of brands, suitable for almost all budgets. In particular I found myself fancying their house line Vintage Chic, as it recaptured my love of a curve hugging wiggle dress. After a very short debate, I decided to take the plunge ordering the 50s Brianna Tie Neck Pencil Dress in Cognac.

Available in sizes 8-18UK in Cognac & Blue (new)~ MSRP €59.95

Seeing as I was very unfamiliar with the Vintage Chic brand and sizing, I relied heavily on the Top Vintage size chart and customer reviews to confirm what size would be most suitable. Top Vintage provides great fit advice on each items individual size chart; for the Brianna Dress, they advised it ran small and to order up if you are in between sizes which I was. My measurements (bust 36″, waist 27″, hips 41″) put me at the higher end of the size 10 and right in the middle of the 12. Since I intend to wear this mostly to the workplace, I wanted mine to hug my curves comfortably and not be overly fitted so I went with the size 12 (Medium). Needless to say, I was even more in love with the Brianna Dress when it arrived as the photos do not do the gorgeous cognac colour justice. I was super thrilled that the fit was spot on, it hugged my curves all in the right places but still had ample room to feel at ease. The Brianna Dress features a chic tie collar with 3/4 sleeves, stylish front pockets, a sexy wiggle pencil skirt and side zipper closure. At 5′-4″ tall, the hemline falls just below the knees.

It has been a long time since I found myself enamored with a sexy secretary look a la Joan Holloway and the Brianna Dress did not disappoint. When I placed my order from the Top Vintage website at the end of summer, there were very few photos showing how the Brianna Dress would look on a curvy body type like mine. Ava Elderwood’s magnificence and the glowing customer reviews both convinced me to take the plunge. The rich cognac colour is so warm and quite a rare shade to come across these days. What drew me in is the simplicity of the design silhouette with the unique subtle details like the side tie collar and front pockets that create a point of interest. I will be honest, I fussed with tying the collar as it was a bit tricky to get it to lie nicely but once I did…it looked perfect. The polyester fabric has some stretch and is quite thick which is ideal to help conceal any trouble areas. To create the illusion of a flawless hourglass silhouette, I paired this sexy wiggle with my trusted Spanx High Waisted shorts (link here). The Brianna Dress is perfect for the office and can easily transition to nighttime glam.

A classic wiggle dress is simply elegant on its own and needs little accessories to create a stellar ensemble. I chose a classic office look by pairing the Brianna Dress with vintage copper earrings, a thin black belt, a vintage 40s cable knit handbag and black round toe pumps. If you want to add some sparkle, a fabulous large brooch placed at the tie collar or a dainty one placed on the chest would both look spectacular. The possibilities are abundant.

It has been a long while since I ventured away from my go to swing styles and embraced my inner Joan but the Brianna Dress has sparked the old flame inside of me again. We need to celebrate our bodies and not hide behind our insecurities; something I have been doing for quite some time now. So what if we gain a little weight or don’t meet the ideal image of ourselves…live life for today!

 

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