Hot topic today: designer brands and are they worth all the extra blood, sweat and tears (I mean money) or not?
Of course this is a question for every one of us to answer for ourselves and I won’t pretend that I have the right answer, but I will however invite you to think twice before your next outrageous purchase. Just give this exercise a try and see if you get more quality and/or satisfaction for your bucks. I’ve been doing this for a while now and the “working-nine-to-five” part of me is grateful that “we” are not throwing away “our” money at the first glance of something shiny and trendy.
So let’s talk smart shopping.
I am writing this post now on my Chromebook which was a result of a smart shopping decision. I was looking for a lightweight laptop, white or silver which I can take everywhere. Of course the first thought was a MacBook Air, but the price tag hit me right in the back of the head. Not funny. So I then started to look for other options and I found the Chromebook. A fraction of the Mac’s price, does everything I need and is super-portable. Problem solved! And I really don’t feel like I compromised or that I’ve settled for less, which is also important.
I try to do this whenever I want to buy something expensive, like take for instance a pair of professional headphones. Of course the Beats look cool and, probably for my sense of perception, sound good too, but they cost as much as a LV bag for crying out loud! And I am not that stupid as to not realize that half of the price tag is just the brand. So I make some research trying to find other companies that sell the same kind of headphones. And not just companies that make good headphones, but companies that are doing this for years and years and have a solid reputation of high-quality headphone makers. Naturally a company like Sennheiser pops up, a company which is building headphones since 1945. They don’t look as flashy as the Beats, but they definitely sound better and cost less and are a classic.
So, there are options out there if your heart is not set out on that designer product. And maybe after you do some research you might find an even better alternative at a smaller price. Personally, I would feel better running around town with a pair of Sennheisers on my head instead of some Beats because they also give me a different image. Sennheisers say “classic, calculated, professional”, whereas Beats say “flashy, trendy, expensive, superficial”. It’s like wearing a hand-made, custom-made leather bag at an event where everybody else is wearing Michael Kors. People instantly acknowledge and appreciate a well made bag and set a higher standard for you as a person as well. It becomes clear that you are in another league when you surround yourself with statement products, not necessarily designer products.
MAKE A STATEMENT
Getting caught up in the whirlwind of designer brands advertising and promotions is so easy, and happens to me all the time. I am just put off by the price tag usually! I once walked past a gorgeous Burberry trench coat… my heart is still there… gorgeous! And more than I earned at that time in a month! So, it was definitely out of the question. But even if I had saved up and had enough to buy it, why was it worth all that money?? Yes, it was gorgeous and I’m guessing the best quality materials, but it was not worth the effort. I ended up buying a really good trench coat from Hallhuber and used the rest of the money for a lovely trip to Stockholm. Money well spent!
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying everybody should run to Primark and dress only from there (although I have a pretty cute blouse from there). The trench coat I mentioned above wasn’t cheap at all but an average price for a statement piece of clothing that you don’t buy every season. It’s a classic.
Making a statement is easiest through fashion. It is the first thing everybody sees and if you pick your battles you could say something meaningful about yourself without opening your mouth. A quality shirt and leather shoes when everybody else is wearing jerseys and sneakers instantly sets the bar higher. Or maybe a nice leather belt paired with leather sneakers instead of Vans. Or maybe a leather travelling bag instead of a spinner. Classic items give you a polished look.
I remember very well a 5-second-moment I had when I was a teenager and still feel the same way today. My school arranged an evening at the Opera so that the school kids can learn to appreciate classical music. We were all there, colleagues from my class and others and I remember something that caught my eye even back then: a few popular kids where all wearing casual clothes as if they were coming straight from class to the opera (although they were coming straight from home), and they were making fun of a boy who was wearing an old suit with the pants a little too short because he outgrew them and some old leather shoes. We all knew he came from a modest family and probably didn’t buy a new suit for this occasion. Which was perfectly fine because he was wearing a goddamned suit at the opera! He didn’t care it wasn’t brand new and shiny, he just knew it was the appropriate thing to wear. And he gained more respect that evening than all the other “cool” kids.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Designer bags, shoes, everything are cool, I give you that! I love a pair of Louboutins as much as the next girl and I did promise myself I would buy a pair in this lifetime. Just because I want to. And not from some website that sells them at half price or some department store where there is a small Louboutin corner. No, I will go to a big Louboutin store and get all the experience of trying on and buying a pair of those red sole shoes. I don’t buy designer stuff all the time, so when I do I want the entire experience! And I could get the same type of shoes from somewhere else at a fraction of the price, but here I don’t want to do the smart thing! I just want to reward myself for some personal achievements and get those devilish shoes. And as long as this doesn’t happen every month, or every year, I can accept that as a kind gesture to myself.
My final thought to you would be: pick your designer “thing” and buy it for yourself as a kind gesture or a reward, but also be kind to yourself and don’t give away your hard earned money on flashy things just because they’re trending now and cry later that you don’t have any more money left until your next paycheck. Those companies benefit exactly from this lack of kindness and consideration towards ourselves.
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