Background story first- I went shopping on Tuesday for the first time this month, and I bought a grey wool coat, two knit tops in purple and blue, and a blue cardigan.

I ended up receiving two compliments on the clothes. Firstly from my coursemate who described my coat as 'elegant' and compared me to Carla Bruni (French First Lady), and the second was from my housemate who told me that the blue knit-top made me look very pretty. Both were lovely compliments and they made my day.

But then, I was talking to another housemate about Christmas and rampant consumerism (I'm talking severe debt-inducing consumerism here), and she accused me of being a hypocrite because I invest some of my money in my appearance. When I pointed out that I have never been in debt once in my life because of shopping, she started going on about how clothes shopping was a waste of money and pointless anyway. Her attitude came down to the idea that it is a waste of time to bother with one's appearance. I don't want to change her but I really don't like someone trying to guilt me about spending a little money.

So two questions really: How do you deal with people who try to make you feel guilty about your expenditure; and how do you deal with people who seem to have the opinion that if you care about your appearance, you must be an airhead?