Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lila Dishes for NY Times Sunday Business

Of all the purchases you have made in the past year, what really makes you happy? In the New York Times Sunday Business section, Stephanie Rosenbloom argues that maybe all the stuff we have isn't what makes us happy but rather it's the experiences.

New studies of consumption and happiness show, for instance, that people are happier when they spend money on experiences instead of material objects, when they relish what they plan to buy long before they buy it, and when they stop trying to outdo the Joneses...

One major finding is that spending money for an experience — concert tickets, French lessons, sushi-rolling classes, a hotel room in Monaco — produces longer-lasting satisfaction than spending money on plain old stuff.

That may be but we're going to think twice before trading in our penthouse for a studio or forgoing a Cartier Watch for a trip to St. Tropez.

Of course, some fashion lovers beg to differ. For many people, clothes will never be more than utilitarian. But for a certain segment of the population, clothes are an art form, a means of self-expression, a way for families to pass down memories through generations. For them, studies concluding that people eventually stop deriving pleasure from material things don’t ring true.

“No way,” says Lila Delilah, who writes the popular fashion blog Madison Avenue Spy. “I could pull out things from my closet that I bought when I was 17 that I still love.”

She rejects the idea that happiness has to be an either-or proposition. Some days, you want a trip, she says; other days, you want a Tom Ford handbag.

So, fashion sista, what items do you have that make you happy?


Thumbelina Fashionista said...

I agree with you: why does it have to be either/or? I think it all depends on the kind of person you are. It's true that some people don't care about clothes, but for people who do, it does bring some happiness.

I always smile when I see some of my shoes, like this pair of gold/black Chanel wedges from their Paris-Moscou collection.

Anonymous said...

Feathering my nest makes me happy. I like returning home to an orderly, comfortable, attractive living space. The picture of the woman who got rid of all but 100 of her things showed a bare room. Good for her if she can live like that, but for someone who likes to curl up on a squishy sofa with a good book, or an episode of Friday NIght Lights on the DVD player, no way will getting rid of my things make me happy. That said, I do get a great feeling of lightness when I drop items that I no longer use off at Goodwill!