5 Things That You Should Never Buy on the Cheap

Now that I am living in Canada, earning way less than what I used to in London, paying a mortgage and forking out for things like cars, a dog, and an upcoming baby, I need to be more careful with my money. Thankfully there is very little temptation here in Vancouver (other than to spend money to fly somewhere else to shop), so I don’t feel deprived. But here are a few things I will never skimp out on.

Diptyque, perfume, fragrance

Diptyque: My perfume of choice.

1. Perfume. You may as well wear no perfume than wear cheap perfume. Luxury perfume is so accessible in price point, and if you can’t afford it, then just go and get free samples. There’s no excuse to smell of cheap chemicals. Read my Fashion 101 on how perfume is made to understand the process involved in making a luxury fragrance.

Finsk, Dries Van Noten, shoes, luxury footwear, designer

Left, a Finsk shoe. Right, Dries Van Noten. Both great brands that are wearable and look amazing.

2. Day shoes. I like to spend money on all types of shoes, but my priority when I am on a somewhat limited budget is to make sure my every day shoes are well-made and stylish. So many luxury brands make evening wear shoes that costs well into the thousands, but I really can’t justify spending over a thousand dollars on a pair of shoes I will probably only wear once or twice a year (ok, unless they are REALLY amazing.) Day shoes are important, as a good pair will probably be worn a lot throughout a season and will last you several seasons. I have a pair of Dries Van Noten pumps that were not cheap, but are very comfortable (despite being 5 inches high) and they look amazing even though I’ve worn them hundreds of times. I can survive one night of cocktails in a cheap (ish) pair of evening shoes, but I am very picky about what is on my feet all day. (Which explains why I’m planning on buying 5 pairs of the upcoming Finsk Autumn Winter 2011 collection, as it has some fantastic shoes I will actually be able to wear all day.)

Calzedonia, swimwear

Calzedonia bikinis: I know they don't look like anything special, but it is all about the amazing fit and the fabric that dries super quickly.

3. Swimwear. When I was in Maui, I realized that out of my 20 or so swimsuits, the ones that get worn the most are the ones that were expensive. Sure, if I were a 15 year old stick, I could probably get away with a $20 string bikini, but since that isn’t the case, I need something that is well cut, fits properly, and is flattering. Most cheap bathing suits aren’t that. Another thing I’ve noticed with my expensive suits, they last long. The cheap ones pill, stretch, and are deformed after one or two seasons, but the good ones last longer. A worthy investment, particularly since going out in front of the world wearing less than half a meter of fabric requires all the confidence in the world. (P.S. My favourite swimwear brand in the world: Calzedonia. Don’t ask me where to get it, I bought mine in a beach suburb of Athens, and don’t judge on their tacky web presence. If anyone finds them in Canada, let me know. And they aren’t even that expensive! Just not cheap.)

Dr Hauschka, luxury beauty, skincare

Dr Hauschka: One of my favourite beauty brands.

4. Skincare. One thing that is not worth messing up on is your face. You can buy new clothes, new boobs, and new shoes, but nothing replaces healthy, young-looking skin.

5. Toilet paper. There are times when brown, cardboard-like, recycled products are good, and times where fluffy, white, expensive products are better. No need to explain further on this.


    AMEN to never buying cheap toiler paper!!!


  • Jacky

    LOL on the 5th one!
    I agree with skin care (including makeup.. should be considered as skin care, right?). I spend a fortune but worth every single penny!

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I think anything you are applying to your skin in abundance needs to be
    good quality, like foundation and powders. But I think you can get away with
    cheaper eyeshadows…

  • Karibou

    I am Greek so I know what you mean about the calzedonia swimsuits!! Unfortunately, you see them everywhere in every beach of every greek island…

  • Anonymous

    Who cares? There are so many different patterns and shapes and colours, it doesn’t matter if everyone is wearing the same suit!

  • Anonymous

    Who cares? There are so many different patterns and shapes and colours, it
    doesn’t matter if everyone is wearing the same suit!

  • stephanie

    I have the same awesome blue suit but my beads broke. I am trying to replace it online but cant seem to find out where to purchase thier suits. Have you? I bought mine when I was on vacation in Italy in 2009. best suit I owned but now it is broken :(
    If you have found out where to buy them, please email me at vanderbilts@comcast.net. Thanks!