For when you want to splurge. Some things are truly expensive, such as houses and cars and computers. Then there are things that are relatively expensive, such as a $4 coffee or a $115 dollar parking ticket. Then there are little luxury items that seem expensive, but, since they are not regular purchases and will last for years, we think are relatively cheap.
Good towels and sheets fall into this category. You use them every single day, you appreciate how nice they feel against your skin, and they only cost tens of dollars more than midpriced brands. It's a no-brainer. Cut down on the lattes and really enjoy waking up and going to bed in your own home.
Matouk is a luxury linen company from NYC (since 1929), and we have recently made a few great purchases of their stuff.
First up: white, seersucker shower curtain ($78) which blows doors off of any of the other stuff - including the hokey waffe curtain and the terrycloth curtain AND the blue curtain with little green fish swimming on it.
Second up: Milagro towels ($37) made out of long-staple Egyptian cotton that is so soft and absorbent you will smile (and your guests will be jealous). They come in 13 colors (this one via NYTimes).
Small luxury purchases that you will use, use, use is what it is all about.
(ReEdited from 2005-06-22 - MGR)