Jen on the Edge - fish pedicure

Photo credit: Yahoo Images

I saw an article on Yahoo News the other day about 10 indulgences that moms should enjoy and not feel guilty about. Before I tell you what those 10 things are, I’m going to take issue with the classification that this list is for mothers alone and have unilaterally decided to change it to all women.

(Sorry guys. Once again, you are excluded. If any of you want to create your own list for men, I’d be happy to post it here.)


Anyway, these are 10 beauty and style splurges that are supposed to be worth spending a little or a lot of extra money on, because the benefits are greater than the costs. Let’s take a look and discuss, shall we?

1. Designer Jeans – As the person who has cut up a pair of cheap Target jeans rather than hemming them, I can’t really speak to this one.

According to the article, jeans that cost $100-200 are worth every penny because the materials are higher quality and last longer. Since my janky jeans (referenced above) have been going strong for several years now, I’m dubious. And even if I were at my ideal weight and could “invest” in pricey denim, I’m not sure I’d be willing to do so. Feel free to try to convince me otherwise.

2. A Good Handbag -  I tend to change out purses every season and sometimes more often, so this is another area in which I don’t care to spend a lot of money. That said, I rarely buy cheap purses at Target or Old Navy because they don’t hold up well. Instead, I’m a big fan of finding nicer name brand bags at consignment and thrift shops. I also like finding handmade cuties on Etsy.

3. Leather Jacket – Pete gave me a black leather coat in a classic style years ago and I don’t imagine I’ll be getting rid of it any time soon, if ever, so I could conceivably agree with this one. That said, if I didn’t have my coat already, I’m not sure that I’d covet one to the point of actually buying it.

4. Salon Visits – Personally, I do splurge on my haircuts with Richard the Hair God because I never had great hair before I met him. Before Richard the Hair God: Stodgy hair that took a lot of work to even look that good. After Richard the Hair God: Hair that doesn’t require any effort at all. I can dry it or not, depending on my mood. Oh, and it usually looks pretty darn good.

As for color, I’m iffy on this one. I only get a few strategic highlights every few months, so I don’t know what it’s like to maintain roots (yet) and at this point I’m not willing to drop that kind of money on a full-on Richard work of art every month or two. In terms of salon color vs. boxes of Miss Clairol, I’ve seen women whose hair looks terrible in spite of the $$$ dropped at the salon and other women whose home dye jobs look fabulous, and I’m not sure wherein the discrepancies lie.

5. Workout Shoes – Yep, totally. I absolutely get it, even though I hate dropping $100-110 on new sneakers every three or four months. Yes, I do burn through mine that quickly. No, I haven’t been able to find a less expensive style that works for my feet. Yes, I think my feet are worth the money.

6. Quality Skincare Products – I agree that our faces need to be taken care of but don’t agree that the products we use need to cost a lot of money. I know plenty of women (myself included) who are happy with drugstore products. I’ve tried pricier stuff in the past and don’t think it was worth the money or hype.

7. Bras That FitHell to the Y-E-S.

8. Manicures and Pedicures – I’ve never had one of either, so I can’t speak to this.  I will say that I don’t see myself ever getting into manis and pedis, simply because gardening and running don’t mix well with pretty hands and feet.

9. Swimsuits – After last year’s Swimsuitpalooza, I agree with this. I need a lot of structural support and the cheap ones don’t provide enough framing to keep the house standing. I also don’t wear bathing suits enough to have to worry about replacing them often, so maybe I’d feel differently if I were buying two or three every season or two.

Actually, I take that back. I’d still buy the more expensive ones because all that lycra makes one look so. much. better.

10. Fancy Dresses – I agree that a nice outfit can do wonders for a girl’s mood, but I don’t know that it has to be a fancy or expensive one. One of my favorite dresses came from Target and another favorite is from Old Navy. Both look nice and both make me feel really good when I wear them. I do think it’s fun to dress up fancy every now and then, but it’s been so long since I’ve done so that perhaps I have forgotten that I felt like a princess when I was all gussied up.

So that’s the list. I think that it should be more of a guideline and not a hard and fast requirement. More realistically, each of us would choose those items that are important to us.

What items on the list make sense to you, which would you discard, and what would you add to the list?

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22 Responses to Splurge

  1. Lori H says:

    Looking through your comments I feel as though I could have written them myself, if less eloquently, esp #’s 3,6,7,and 10. I will differ on pedicures. I waited until I was 40 to have my first (my sister forced me to!) and while I am no monthly pedicure person, I find that 4 times a year keeps my feet in better shape (smoother) and I like pretty toes in sandals. I always take my own polish so that I can later fill in any chips or as they grow out. I would be willing to splurge on great hair if I could find the person who could make that happen.
    BTW, Jen, I was thinking of you in the middle of the night…I have been waking at 2 and not falling back to sleep until right before my alarm goes off. I didn’t comment yesterday because sleep deprivation makes you lazy! I am 49 and not in full menop yet, but the lack of sleep seems to be my main issue during peri. Once I go off the Pill, I would imagine that other lovely symptoms may arise. My sympathies!

  2. Andrea says:

    Bras, absolutely. Good shoes (workout and all-occasion), definitely. Swimsuit, I must have one that supports well, so I do spend money on good ones. Salon, yes, I do that one, too. As for jeans and fancy dresses, I think it’s important to have well-made clothes that fit well and are flattering. If you can get those inexpensively, all the better. I don’t change purses all that often, so I do have a couple quality ones that are not cheap, but I wouldn’t drop several hundred dollars on them either. Fun jewelry is another one I like to spend money on because it makes me feel good, but it doesn’t have to be pricey. No excessive splurge needed there, imho, to get fun awesome pieces that accentuate your outfits and bring a smile to your face.

  3. Patience says:

    I do think designer jeans are worth the money. That’s not to say that it’s impossible to find cheap jeans that look good, but once I bought my first designer pair, several years ago, I found there was no turning back.

    I would add food to the list. I know I’m privileged to be able to afford high-quality food, and it makes me crazy that this has to be a privilege, so I say this without passing judgement on those who can’t afford organics, but if you can afford it, the best quality food is the best thing you can do for your body.

  4. I’d agree with almost every item on the list except the pedicure. I, too, only go a couple times a year, so it’s no so much about having pretty feet, but treating myself to a little feel good for all the hard work those feet do. Bras would be #1 on my list and I’d add other nice underthings like panties and shape wear. It just changes EVERYthing.

  5. Becky says:

    I am quite happy with my thrift store levi’s. They are broken in and just right. I do have some designer jeans, but again, I got them at the thrift store, broken in. You know what? I look better in my levi’s. So I’m not buying that I need anything more expensive. I don’t wear jeans that much anyway, as I prefer skirts and dresses.

    Pedi’s, however, are worth it. I don’t do mani’s, but pedi’s, hell to the yes. I tend to go with dark color polish not just because it hides the dirt under my toenails from gardening barefoot, but because it looks better with my skin tone. My husband has noticed, when I go to a salon, the polish lasts weeks longer than when I do it myself, even if I own the exact same polish. Also, the foot and calf massage that comes with the pedi? Quite nice.
    I also have a habit of painting my entire toe when I attempt to do my toenails, so pedis are essential.

  6. Jenny says:

    I’ve figured out exactly which Levis’ sizes work for me and I buy them on eBay or thrift stores. Designer jeans are too trendy for me; I’m still recovering from buying my daughter Jordache jeans, and that was almost 30 years ago. I had my only manicure/pedicure the day before the same daughter’s wedding. Spa? meh, but I could squeeze a massage in anytime.
    Great article.

  7. RE: Designer jeans. A young woman I know, professional, well employed, yet living with her mom and dad so she wouldn’t have to pay rent, told me that once I’d tried the $185 jeans, I would never go back. I just nodded, but what I wanted to say was, “As soon as someone else starts paying all my bills, I’ll consider it. Until then, eBay or consignment jeans are good enough for me.”

  8. Jenn3128 says:

    I just recently spent a whole bunch of money on a new purse, and I LOVE it. All those other items, nope, not something I splurge on.

    (I like to save up my money for hobbies vs appearance stuff! New yarn and/or books give me such a thrill)!

  9. bdaiss says:

    Does Ann Taylor Loft count as deisgner jeans? Because oh my am I in love with them. (Although I shop their outlet and never pay full price.) I used to have a love affair with Gap jeans, but after kids my ratios changed and now not so much. Workout shoes: yes, but I also shop Sierra Trading post so I can get them cheap(er). Everything else: eh not so much.

    I would add massage to the list and really ought to take my own advice and get one more often. They are miracle workers.

    That being said, what I’d swap this list to are things that don’t cost a lot of money but that mom’s feel guilty about: 1) stay in bed and let dad deal with the kids one morning of each weekend, 2) read a book FOR YOURSELF, 3) Hide some good chocolate and don’t share, 4) Go for a run/walk/bike ride whatever by yourself, 5) don’t enroll the kids in some program that will only make your entire family’s life chaotic, 6) serve dinner out of a box/takeout once in awhile. No one will die of not having a perfectly balanced homemade meal once in awhile. 7) Say no to a few requests for your time (school/church/community/etc). 8) Don’t fall into the “I need to do it because they do it” trap. (scrapbooking/photography/whatever). I could probably come up with a million more but maybe someone else will have a few.

  10. alison says:

    I think I’m in love with you, bdaiss. I agree with everything you said!

    Most of the indulgences listed in the article Jen quoted are things that are too much for my budget, but I always make time for reading.

  11. Not Beehive says:

    I have a lot of imaginary indulgences that I plan to act on whenever I win the lottery. In the meantime my main indulgence is good tea.

  12. I indulge in some of those but for me the greatest indulgence is having my house cleaned by a service. No fancy dress could make me feel better than a house cleaned top to bottom by professionals.

  13. All except the fancy dresses. I wear fancy dresses so rarely anymore that unless they are classically cut, they would be painfully out of style between wearings (think giant shoulder pads a flounces from the ’80′s- oh pops, they are coming back). So to spend a lot on a trending fancy dress is silly.
    To drop a wad of cash on a classic little black dress is another issue entirely. I also recommend having that LBD altered to fit just right so you can use it for decades to come. I once had an Oscar de la Renta simple black silk crepe cocktail number with a white starched silk very fine mesh band and bow around the top that worked for years. An excellent investment.

  14. Green Girl in Wisconsin says:

    I’m almost 100% with you on this except for the jeans. I’ve done the mani/pedi and I can live without either/both. Good bras, good shoes and a good hair cut are essential. A purse is a purse, but a swimsuit requires more construction.
    On jeans: since they are a staple of my wardrobe, I want them to fit well. I never tried “designer” jeans until I won a pair of Joe’s Jeans and let me tell you: I will buy another pair. They fit so well, they look so awesome, they are totally worth the investment. If I’m going to wear something at least once a week, I am willing to pay for excellent quality.

  15. Alice says:

    You KNOW I’m all about pedicures and great hair dressers!

  16. Cassi Renee says:

    Well, I think bdaiss’s list is much more for me than the list from the article. It sounds from Jen’s list like the article was very focused on consumables. Peace and quiet for an hour are priceless for me –I care significantly less about consumables.

    Having said that, I do think that things like shoes and bras are worth the money, because you could pay a lot more down the line for health problems if you don’t invest up front. As for the rest of your clothes, I think people’s bodies are so different that where one person loves designer jeans, for another they just don’t work. I love Vera Bradley bags; I have several and change them with the seasons, and to me they are expensive so that is a splurge. I don’t care about manicures, but I think I’d really love a pedicure. Unfortunately, my feet are so ticklish that NO ONE can even TOUCH them. Heck, I have trouble touching them. I buy cheap swimsuits: with a pool in the backyard, I go through two a season and no one but family and close friends see me in them.

    Good coffee and chocolate are more important to me than expensive clothes!

  17. Mary Wright says:

    I think this list would shift with age. At my age, designer jeans are not an option. Comfortable knits and jeans with expandable waists are. I’m willing to pay a small fortune for comfortable, well-made knits that don’t bag, sag, or pill. My bod needs “flexible clothes” at this point in my life. I do have one good handbag…and use it for everything except fancy evening occasions. It is almost indestructible…and that works for me. It has to have pockets in the right places, zippered compartments in the right places, and an adjustable shoulder strap. Otherwise, I’m really not picky. Leather jackets and salon visits are not for me. My hair is so short that it is “no maintenance”…and a nice lady at my Mom’s Senior Living facility does a great short cut. I’m definitely a “wash and go” gal…and I have let God color me gray. No roots to worry about…and I don’t mind looking my age. I DO, however, indulge in the occasional pedicure and find them amazingly relaxing and definitely in the “self-pamper” category. I encourage anyone to give it a try. There’s a nice place in Orange, VA, called Hamilton’s that does a great job for a very reasonable fee. Shoes, bras, swimsuits….anything that supports activity….HAS to be GREAT. Can’t cheat on those, and they have to fit, be comfortable, and support what needs supporting! Finally, I’m not a “fancy” person. I have to be comfortable, and I don’t mind looking decent while I’m at it. That’s pretty much it. I would add 60-minute massages to the list, however. I KNOW those are in Heaven!

  18. Aunt Snow says:

    Splurges and indulgences, that’s what I like!

    OK for me –

    Designer jeans – none so far, but I am actually contemplating getting a pair. For most of my life I’ve been a Levis 501s gal, and then when I stopped working in a jeans-type job, I didn’t even HAVE jeans. But now I’m thinking about getting a good flattering pair of dark indigo ones.

    Handbag – for the last several years, I’ve bought my handbags from a boutique seller of quality bags at a charity fundraiser. They last for a long time, and the guilt I feel at the price is assuaged by the fact that a portion goes to the charity.

    Leather jacket – I had a great one for many years, but it died and I haven’t replaced it.

    Salon – I finally found a stylist who’s good, and she’s worth it. And deciding to color my hair after 50 was the best personal grooming decision I’ve made in a while.

    Shoes – not so much.

    Quality skin products -Cetaphil. End of story.

    Bras – now you’re talking! Totally worth it.

    Mani/pedis – I love the pedicures, but I often go too long between. Manis, no, since they chip way too easily.

    Swimsuits – no.

    Fancy dress – no. I have “dressy business” black things that work for special occasion.

  19. Sue Treiber says:

    I can’t believe you haven’t had a pedicure. Manicures are a waste of time, because I’m always washing, gardening, baking, etc. But a pedicure is the best. Leg massage? check! Pretty polish? check! Smooth heels? check! I think even as a runner you deserve to pamper your feet.

    • Jen says:

      Sue, I have REALLY ticklish feet, so that’s why I’ve never gotten a pedi. I’d really hate to accidentally kick someone’s teeth in.

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