My favorite travel game is called “I Want.” Here’s how it works: You buy a magazine in the airport (or train station or port-of-call or what-have-you), then pick one thing on each page that you’d buy. It’s pretty hilarious how long one actually spends weighing the merits of one out-of-your-price-range item over another, but isn’t it the same game we play when we imagine which Bank Street brownstone we’d buy if we had the chance? Or whose job in the office we’d steal? It’s fashion pornography. But stepping outside the realm of the fantastical, there are certain items every season that are worth the dough (and not in a that-Gulfstream-share-practically-pays-for-itself kind of way), and others that are, put simply, not.
Stop Dallying and Get It. Trust Me.
Gladiator or T-Bar Sandals: Last year, I celebrated a particularly good day by splurging on a pair of Balenciaga gladiator sandals I’d been eyeing for a month. They were obscenely expensive. As in, I woke up the next morning in a cold sweat. And then wore them almost every day for the next five months. In this city, a pair of truly righteous flat sandals is as priceless as your favorite pair of jeans. This season, pick up something really strappy, metallic, or in a vivid color.
Oversized Blazer: For women, this I-borrowed-it-from-my-boyfriend staple will look as chic over a short, frilly dress as it will over jean shorts and a tank. For gents, think preppy: navy with gold buttons (and fitted, of course). You can wear it right into the fall with a big, colorful scarf.
A Vibrant Printed Dress: From the super-bright colors at Lanvin to the florals at Balenciaga to the hand-painted silks everywhere, all it takes is one eye-catching dress to last you through every party you have. For me, I have four weddings from now till September, and I already have my deep purple dress picked out.
Put the Credit Card Down and Step Away from the Store.
Platform Wedges: I don’t care if they’re comfortable or have the most buttery leather you’ve ever felt: You will not wear them as much as you think you will. That goes double for espadrilles, which, FYI, will also fall apart. I don’t care if they're $300 Christian Louboutin espadrilles. Remember those summer rainstorms? I speak from experience.
Sunglasses: Every year, you think, “I wear sunglasses all the time! Why shouldn’t it be ok to spend $320 on those retro Tom Ford ones?” Because it’s not. You will scratch them, and you will lose them.
Jumpsuits: While I’ll admit I kind of love them — from the strapless “dress-up” one-pieces to the button-down rompers — I also realize that they’re completely ridiculous, and will only last as long as people still have the humor for them, so think Urban Outfitters.