Sis, Treat Yourself: Normalizing Luxury Amongst Black Women

Growing up, I was never fully exposed to designer labels. My momma was a woman who loved J. Renee and ordering her exuberant three-piece church sets from magazines. I remember constantly thinking that my momma was a woman who always looked so glamourous and put together. From the way she wore her signature honey-blonde swoop to the way she so effortlessly coordinated her striking banana yellow snakeskin pumps with the matching handbag. I was the oldest child in a middle-class, single parent family who was always encouraged to work hard and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Early on I learned that, if you work hard, you play harder.

Now, as a grown woman, I’ve fully adopted the ever-popular affirmation: “Treat yourself.

If you didn’t know, there is stigma with Black women and the obtainment of luxury items. Whether she’s rocking a Balenciaga bag, Amina Muaddi heels or Bottega Veneta knits, a Black woman who has purchased such expensive things is seen as “bougie” or “stuck up”. Black women who lead such lux, upscale lives are often shamed for choosing to spend their coins as they choose to. I even have friends who literally question elevating their style status, based off what others (especially their family) may think.

Yet, the kind of “luxury” that I’m focusing on is more subjective…

Instead of treating yourself, material-wise, maybe your steez is investing funds into decorating your home, investing in stocks, getting your nails done or keeping those tresses laid for the hair gods. All you have to do is figure out how you want to incorporate bits and pieces of elevated tastes into your every day routine. Me, myself, I simply cannot afford to drop an entire home payment on an Hermès Birkin bag, it’s just not a smart investment for me.

Think about it: I totally get that it’s a “luxury” item, but for one $10,000 Birkin bag, I can split that money up into various “luxury” aspects of my life – from investing in the food I eat to spa days to adding a few designer pieces to my wardrobe to making sure I invest in that trip to Bali. Be smart about your investment.

Below, I’ve shared a few of my own recent luxury purchases, and a few are even still on my radar. These are not “in your face” lux items, but they are quality pieces that I utilize, day in and day out, to sprinkle posh vibes into my daily routine.

From top left to bottom right: 1) Louis Vuitton “Cannes” Monogram Reverse Canvas Bag $2,540; 2) Yves Saint Laurent “Libre Intense” Eau de Parfum $130; 3) Chanel Miroir Double Facettes $42; Bottega Veneta Oversized Square-Frame Acetate Sunglasses $440

Investing in luxury is a choice. We, as Black women, can’t seem to part with the “crabs in a bucket mentality”: there are a large amount of Black women who simply do not want to see other Black women succeed, questioning how this woman has apparently come up. Either the scenario of “who” purchased such expensive items is presented or the “it can’t be real” complex kicks in. Shit’s crazy.

Sis, live the life you want to live. Create the life you’ve dreamed of and bump what the world has to say. People are going to talk regardless, whether you’re doing good or bad. Keep in mind that, as long as you’re out here slaying, thriving and flourishing, injecting a lavish moments is the icing on the cake.

“Luxury is a state of mind.”

-L’Wren Scott

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Writer. Fashion Enthusiast. Dopeness Curator.

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