Let’s say you are shopping around for a basic black jacket with a budget of US$50. You walked into your favourite store and three (3) jackets [pictured below] caught your eyes: they are really nice and stylish and would fit you perfectly. Right away you can see how well they would pair with a few other items in your closet. PERFECT! Now to check out the price tag …
Ooops, NOT SO PERFECT, jaw dropping isn’t it? So at a mere glance they seem like basic black jackets with a flare but somehow the prices tell a different story and with your budget of US$50, the choice is simple — the River island jacket.
Let’s face it, in this economic climate, it is only fair that we consider how much we spend for apparel and shoes and if the value justifies the price. When you are shopping for an item, you are looking for style, fit, affordability and other general things but at the end of the day what you are paying for is the “Name”. In essence, the “Name” carries a certain rating and scale of luxury and noteworthy quality and that determine the retail price of the item. Here is the thing, a Chanel blouse isn’t the same as a Gucci blouse, the cost of a skirt in Macy’s isn’t going to cost the same if you see the exact item in TJ Maxx and locally, buying a dress from Lee’s Fifth Avenue isn’t the same as a dress from Collectibles or Shimmer.
You are paying for the designer or name behind the label, the translation of his/her ideas in the creative and production process of each garment and the seal and stamp of approval that you will be purchasing beautifully crafted items with sustainable performance and coveted designs. You are possible paying for the location of the store you love so much and for the atmosphere, the customer service reps, the tea or coffee you are offered, and the store’s overhead too (you best believe it). In other words the higher the quality of the product, the more $$$ you will be shelling out. Yep, a whole lot more strings are attached to the garment 🙂
While we may consider these high end garments as gorgeous and well to do ‘must haves’, we do have to consider our earning potential and spending power if we are looking to buy them. JLo sings about throwing on her ‘Louboutins’ and Kanye West rapping “What’s that jacket, Margiela?”, is all well and good endorsements and inspiration for you to rock the labels but they can afford to drop the stacks of paper or swipe their black cards for the duds. Until we get to that level, we have to dial it down a couple thousands to suit our pockets and “paper chasing” incomes. So we opt for more reasonably priced labels or the “No Name” brands (and NOOOOO, I don’t mean the knock off/counterfeit versions). You know!! the cheaper “look-a-like” but also fashionable garments designed and priced with the average and not so averaged Janes in mind.
If you happen to be on a red carpet, it’s a nice thing to say you are wearing xyz brand when someone ask, but who really cares what “Name” you are wearing now, once it looks nice and you are working it… your job is well done :). For celebrity inspired looks and affordable clothing to suit our needs we turn to stores, like TJ Maxx and Macy’s and Brands such as H+M, Forever21, American Eagle, Guess, New York & Company, Old Navy, Gap, Charlotte Russe (to name some favs)— that carry cutting edge clothing inspired by high end brands and styles with lower price tags or reasonably discounted designer brands, have made it possible for persons like myself to dress well without breaking the bank. Some High Fashion Designers have also started making low priced clothing (avg range US$9.99 to US$60) for the masses (our benefit). Having the same excellent craftsmanship and durability associated with the luxurious “Name” you can still enjoy without the expensive take away (e.g. Mossimo Giannulli and Jason Wu for Target Stores).
It is no secret that everybody will have that one item or two, that they splurged on without thinking, a piece of clothing or a pair of shoe you just couldn’t let pass you buy. No shame in it either, you deserve to splurge now and again, but on a regular shop for items within a price range you can comfortably afford and do some comparison shopping as well to see where you can get the same or similar item cheaper. Designer apparel and shoes are great but remember there are some other “Names” out there that you can try and they are just as lovely, of good quality, tastefully designed and worthy of your money.
The finest clothing made is a person’s skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this. ~Mark Twain