Monday, December 31, 2018

Conspicuous Consumption

I just learned this highfalutin term recently from PhD student-friend. A fancy term for those into buying Branded stuff (with a capital B) or Luxe.

The term kept running circles in my head as I watched Sex and The City (and will continue on with Devil Wears Prada). For the most part, Carrie and the girls consumed fashion with passion. The dresses, bags and, of course, the shoes were all designer labels. It was just so lovely to look at. These are one of the times I wished I was a lady, so I could indulge in couture.

It just ain’t the same for a man, methinks. Sure there are all those brands pour homme too but face it, the cuts and the styles are extremely limited. You can’t be too fashion-forward, especially at my age. So a shirt is a shirt is a shirt whether by designer or not. Yeah , I can turn to bags. But monogrammed messenger bags or even duffels are not my thing either.

But beyond fashion there are many other pricey items I have started to appreciate.

There’s bone china or dinnerware. In my mind there was only Noritake and its exquisite sets. I finally found a classic set, 136-pc for 12 but from a Korean manufacturer Hankook. I discovered that bone china stands out from ordinary porcelain because of its luminescence. And Hankook supplied the sets used in Buckingham , the Vatican even Malacanan!

That was followed by crystal stemware. Turns out that the properties of crystal (lead glass) allows it to be thinner than glass. And that makes it more desirable when looking at wine. I loved the shape of the Diva line of Schott Zwiesel so I decided on the Bordeaux Goblet, the White Wine and the Sparkling Wine sets. The water goblets I got from Crate and Barrel.

Then there is the flatware (used to be silverware). This was harder to find as I had a particular design in mind , to match the dinnerware. I found the Tramontina brand with the 18/10 (Chromium Nickel alloy) stainless steel (they don’t use silver as this tarnishes). This alloy has the highest polish finish and superior rust resistance.

I made these investments last year. Yes , investments as there is (supposedly) an after-sales market for these items. I was initially hesitant to use them. But this year , with all the health issues of my folks , I decided to use them for everyday. I wanted all of us to experience having meals in these really beautiful dining pieces.

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