At the beginning of this year I had made a resolution not to be a shop-a-holic. It's been really tough especially with all the Spring collections coming out. Last year I spent over $100,000 on shoes and bags alone. This year I swore I would cut it down to $50,000. And I already spent $3,000 at Prada the other day. I know you have lots of advice on shopping so could you please advice me on how do I become a smart luxury shopper?
-- Allison P, New York City
There is something crazy I need to confess. Wealth permitting, I don't think there is anything wrong with spending $100,000 a year on shoes and bags, as long as you have another $100,000 to dispose of philanthropically.
You must have the most joyous closet in the world and put the bitches of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills to shame. And let's be real, with designer prices ridiculously inflated they make it easy to spend that sort of money. But alas, my condoning this behavior is not helping so let me get busy.
Start by hiring a "wardrobe assistant" to catalog what exactly is in your closet. I'm sure you probably have quite a few things that look very similar; you probably have too much python; too many five inch heels; and just a few too many bags. Prune what you don't want and donate it to an organization that provides clothing for people transitioning back into the workforce. Then find yourself another addiction like looking at the faces of really, really hungry homeless people and while they aren't as pretty as Louboutin shoes, they sure do need your help.
But I guess Bergdorf Goodman needs your help too. So go to their shoe department in person once a month, try on a bunch of shoes and only buy what's really, really special. I'm sure a refined shopper like yourself has good taste and knows the difference between royalty and bourgeoisie. And don't forget to bring your assistant who has your wardrobe database on her iphone.
So, I might be a pot head. I am the CEO of my company and get my ass to work everyday from 9 to 5, but I also smoke 9 to 9. My girlfriend had a semi-intervention with me and says she feels like the Harold to my Kumar. She informs me the breaking point is when I invited my drug dealer to Christmas dinner. I mean, he is a nice guy and since then has my weekly ounce a little heavier than usual. So, if at the end of the day, I'm a good person (pay my bills, work hard, love my friends/family and such) do I really have to stop smoking in 2011?
-- William Y, Long Island
First of all, I don't know any CEO that works 9 to 5, but I do know fools like you that invite their drug dealers to Christmas dinner. Either way, you are a hot mess and I have some advice for you: Get your act together or you won't have a company. Smoking point all day long is childish and a really great form of denial. Clearly there is a deeper problem here if you can't navigate your life with a clear head.
But I'm not a shrink. I am an advice expert and I think you should approach this the same way I cut down on smoking cigarettes. Every time I go to light up, I ask myself, "Do I really need this?" More often than not, the answer is absolutely not. I cut back my smoking by nearly 90 percent. You may find this tactic just as useful and slowly be able to deal with the issues at hand. No more clutches in 2011 -- just a fabulous Gucci one for your girlfriend to tote around, bought with all the money you saved from not buying so much pot.
My ex and I had a really intense relationship but often I would find that he would be upset with me that I was too emotional about things yet he loved that I was so passionate (wink, wink). It often led to fights and really hot make-up sex but ultimately a break-up. This year my resolution is not to expect every other guy to be like my ex. I just need your advice on how to implement this new me.
-- Daniel D, Miami
Sounds like your ex wanted to have his cake and eat it too. Adults with any sense of maturity should know better than to behave like a spoiled brat. Clearly, his juvenile behavior has gotten the better of you even in post break-up. The advice on this one is so simple -- when you fall off your bicycle, you get back on and start riding. Here are some tricks for a smooth ride. First and foremost, get your sh*t together. Before you jump into another relationship, make sure you aren't emotional and crazy like a teenage girl on her period. Your intensity may lead you to over think things so take a deep breath, enjoy the moment, and the one you are with. Whenever you get the feeling you're beginning to judge the new guy based on the old guy, do a visual and spiritual control+alt+delete. And put that passion (wink, wink) to use and learn how to be appreciated again.
Have questions? I have answers. Leave comments here or at http://www.askmichaelcohen.com