By SusiQ

The older I get, the better I am at making good decisions. For me, this is especially true when buying clothes and shoes. I used to be swayed by the pretty factor, combined with price, but I now choose comfort and quality as determining factors when making a purchase. Seems it might be true what they say about “older and wiser’’…

Sometimes, I still get it wrong or am swayed by a pattern, colour or bargain. But when I think of the items in my cupboard that have retained their shape and style year after year, it is my quality buys.
I work hard for my money, and I want my money to benefit me in how I choose to spend it. This is why I now select “investment pieces” over fast fashion items or what looks good in price or prettiness. Plus, the cheaper items tend not to last longer than a season or two.

By far, the worst of my throwaway fashion buys have been when I have bought cheap shoes, whether pleather boots, plastic sandals or polyester slippers. At the time, my thinking process was that I could get the cute look without the price tag of paying for the quality of natural fibres. I’ve found that synthetic shoes are fast to scuff or rip and that the synthetic inners cause perspiration and become overly uncomfortable, quickly making my feet sweaty – and eventually smelly.

Putting my best foot forward

Some of my all-time favourite quality clothing purchases include that denim jacket that stands the test of time, my black leather boots, my brown cowboy boots, my grey wool jerseys (I love grey!) and the cotton dresses that I rotate, and which receive compliments every time I wear them!

While I can sometimes win with the odd top or dress made of a non-natural material, I am perpetually mad at myself for making lousy footwear purchases. My flash-shopping approach has almost always ended up in disappointment, plus wasted money and discarded shoes – with me often giving them away the same season I bought them.

To put my best foot forward, I now choose comfort and quality time and time again.

When it comes to quality shoes, I am a Birkenstock girl in summer, a leather boot lady in winter and, of course, my genuine sheepskin slippers are my happiest buy of them all. I wear them all year round, not just a winter item in my wardrobe. With their durable soles, they are ideal for any task of the day, too – inside or outside. Even the occasional trip to the convenience store at the local garage (I’m pleased to say that I am not alone in this as I have spotted others doing this too!).

Good investments for comfort and quality

Like most things in life, I learnt this lesson of deliberately investing in quality items the hard way: from first spending my money on too many items that quickly fray, fade or fall apart. Or worse, clothes that made me freeze and feel uncomfortable. And I really can’t handle the cold. I get miserable and find it hard to concentrate if my feet are frozen like ice blocks. I actually get cranky!

So, I learnt the value of “material investment” the hard way. And in that, I learnt the value of investing in myself.

I now buy better natural materials so that I am happier and my wardrobe lasts longer because of the best quality materials. These include my cool cotton items for summer (instead of sweaty, stinky polyester). For winter, I choose all-natural sheepskin, wool and mohair – not synthetics that look pretty but have me feeling freezing all day long.

It took me a good few years to stick to this warm me, time-proven lesson. Buy well, and be well!

Learning from the best

I am now so grateful for the wisdom in my age. And like many good lessons in life, we often learn by watching others make better decisions. I certainly learnt the better-quality clothes lesson from my mom. It isn’t that she has endless money to spend on buying what she wants. On the contrary, she was a pre-primary teacher, on a government teacher’s salary, but she has learnt to buy well. I do think she also got a bit more disposable income to spend on herself since we left the house.

My mom always looks elegant and warm. She, like me, really feels the cold in winter. She has also discovered heat-generation vests, which she wears under a second layer of clothing, beneath her jerseys. And over the years, she has now developed a collection of beautiful true wool jerseys. Every now and then I’d spot a new one and she’d tell me “This is my new jersey for this season”.

Over the years, her purposeful buys have become a bountiful quality wardrobe.

Comfort equals self-care

I’ve started investing in quality clothing items. I now have a good few “good” items, including a few grey wool jerseys that are still going strong. Sometimes, I buy a fun-coloured polyester jersey and enjoy it for a season before sending it to a charity store or passing it along to someone else.

I feel a sort of “investment satisfaction” when I’ve bought 100% cotton clothes for the summer. I have swooned at how cool a pure cotton top or dress can be on those brutally hot days. And in winter, when I am again wearing my warm woollen jerseys on the top and my breathable warm mohair socks to keep my toes warm on the bottom, I am just a happier version of myself.

Adding my sheepskin slippers when I’m at home to this happy-me mix makes me the happiest girl in the world! This may sound over-the-top, but for those who suffer cold feet – and value comfort – will understand my pain, and my joy.

I am ever grateful to the sheep who grew their beautiful natural temperature-regulating coats as a gift to make my feet warm. And I am so thankful for quality hand-crafted products like Sheepskin Slippers SA for their variety of colours and styles to find just the colour I want.

Of course, it goes without saying that I choose slippers that are grey.

Making good choices and spending wisely

In summer, when it’s easy to assume we no longer need our slippers, this is actually when I love mine the most. As a happily barefoot girl, when I’m not wearing my Birkenstocks, I do also wear my flip flops around the house and when we go to the beach. But from this, my heels start to get dry and crack. So, my sheepskin slipper is like a soothing, cool hug for my hot, exposed heels! Plus, the softness of the ever-gentle sheepskin is a balm for my tired, dry feet to restore natural moisture.

While my full-foot slipper is cool in summer, my next wishlist purchase is to buy myself some of the beautiful sheepskin “mules” – the perfect summer slipper. It is cushioned with sheepskin under your heel, but with a natural breeze on the back of your foot while your toes are enclosed and comfortable. And they are just so elegant! Maybe that’s why I want them. They make a tanned summer leg look so good, and they feel great. I think this reason alone should qualify as self-care!

And the best part of a quality buy is that it always stays in style. We can just add to our collection of comfort and style, adding variety and getting maximum use out of them year on year!

What will your next quality
“investment in self-care”
buy be?

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