Saved for Best

My Grandmother used to have this notion that your favourite, most expensive, or highest quality things ought to be "saved for best". That meant for those occasions where their use was absolutely warranted and anything less would simply be inappropriate or socially unacceptable. This mentality however ensures it's own failure; when you expend this level of rationalisation to preserve those objects you become an expert at avoiding their use. 'Best' becomes an unattainable condition. You can always make do.

Growing up my sister had dresses bought for her as gifts at Christmas or on birthdays that were 'saved' and the next time they saw the light of day was an accidental discovery years after she had completely outgrown them. I know this same fallacy was applied to cutlery, crockery, and who knows what else.

I understand the sentiment, but cannot agree that it serves to preserve those items. It can only ever be wasteful. Something that you own that goes unused is without purpose, but this is different from those items that have an occasional or contingency use. Specifically something that you own and avoid using is a waste, both of your resources (likely financial) and space. The irony here is that the objects most likely to fall victim are those with the most significant cost.