“Take a minute and think before you shop”
Ok, here is a question for you. Do you like buying clothes often? Do you always or very often say “I don’t have anything to wear”? I think that it is quite safe to say that woman who likes fashion and like to look fashionable, also like shopping, am I right? The thing is, that most of us need to make choices what to buy next. And then the big question comes “Do I buy cheaper clothes but more of them, or do I buy less clothes but more expensive”. It is never ending dilemma of quality vs quantity. So today I will be talking about why buying quality clothes matter.
Does expensive equals high quality?
But first, let me get one thing straight. Expensive clothes are not a synonym for high quality. You would, of course, expect it but it is not always the case. There are brands, and I am sorry, I won’t be naming them here, that when I checked their clothes up close and from the inside as well, I was not at all happy what I saw. Stitches were not straight and threads coming out everywhere. And for that I should pay more then several hundreds of pounds? No, thank you, I will pass. There will be another post about brands specifically, but this time I want to focus more on quality vs quantity. Why does it matter?
There is a one very simple and straightforward explanation. Good quality clothes last longer and therefore you will get, in the end, much better value for money per one wear. However, there is also another side of the coin and that is, that you can get bored of that piece of clothing at some point and will like to get something new anyway. In that case, maybe the quality doesn’t matter that much? Well, there is a simple solution to this everlasting dilemma.
If you really can’t help yourself and want to have a piece of new clothing every week or month, follow these easy steps to keep your quality vs quantity balance right.
Choose your investment pieces well
Invest in coats, handbags and shoes. That is generally my rule. I always want to have at least one high quality coat in my wardrobe and my favourites are Max Mara and Escada. They are not cheap, but they last for years. And not only that, they look expensive and they make you looking more polished and elegant. Go for colours like off white, beige, navy blue, black or grey as you won’t get bored of that any time soon. You know that I am a handbag lover, but even with handbags, I don’t quite like buying crazy seasonal trends bags and rather go for bags that are timeless. A good handbag will cost you several hundreds or thousands, but if you choose well, you won’t regret it. And shoes. Well chapter by itself but the same rule applies. Your feet carry you all day long and they deserve to be taken care of. Nowadays you can get good quality shoes for affordable price, but invest in couple of timeless, comfortable and glamorous shoes, which you can put on when ever you need to look your best. Believe me, shoes can make or break the outfit.
When it comes to clothes, split your investments into 3 buckets. The first bucket represents only small number of pieces that you and actually any woman should have in her wardrobe at all times. These are the staples of the wardrobe which hardly ever go out of fashion and you can spend more money on them. These pieces include classic black (or / and white) blazer, biker jacket (I have the one on the photo for several years now and still not bored of it), LBD, cashmere sweater, jeans, white shirt, day dress, evening top and summer dress. Now I can spend hours to go through every piece in detail (and I might in one of the future posts) but the fact is, each and every piece of these pieces you need to choose based on where and how you live, where you go, how you spend your time etc. The point though is, have at least one piece in a really high quality and in timeless design so that you can wear them in the years to come.
The second bucket are the clothes you like to buy seasonally. Not everyone can get several cashmere sweaters each year and have them in every colour. However you can get cheaper sweaters from wool or different day dress for each season. This bucket will fill most probably the majority of your wardrobe. But even here I pay attention to the quality of clothes I am buying.
And finally the last bucket. These are the clothes that are extremely trend sensitive and can be out of fashion before you know it but you just can’t help yourself and must have them. Personally, I tend to be a bit more careful with such trends and rather prefer to expand my first bucket and the second bucket. But there is, probably during every season, at least one or two pieces I can’t resist. However I don’t tend to throw them away after wearing them once or twice, but rather keeping them and secretly hoping they will come back to fashion soon!
“300,000 tonnes of used clothing goes to landfill in UK each year”
Why quality vs quantity matters?
The buzz words here would be “ENVIRONMENT” and “CHEAP LABOR” and on a lighter note “SAVING MONEY”. Our planet suffers and one of the biggest industries to add to this suffering is fashion. Did you know that more than 300,000 tonnes of used clothing goes to landfill in the UK every year, according to Wrap, the waste charity (2018 data) . It said that 5 percent of the UK’s total annual carbon and water footprint came from clothing consumption. That is simply far too much, wouldn’t you agree? I do believe that if you buy higher quality clothes that last longer, you are actually helping our planet.
“Cheap labor, Environment, Saving money”
The cheap labor is another big buzz word. But how is it possible that a woman’s dress can cost as little as 20£ when you think of the cost of fabric, haberdashery, electricity used and labor? And still have a margin for a profit? What is great though is that more and more labels are focusing on making sure their clothes are produced ethically and are not, in any case, involved in such situations.
Now on the lighter note, the durability is something important to me. Think about it this way. Imagine you buy one year three sweaters. They will all be super trendy, quite cheap, but the yarn will be cheap or even artificial. You will spend probably the same amount for these three sweaters, a beautiful wool or even cashmere sweater would cost. So you feel happy the first year as you have 3 items instead for just one. However the next winter, when you take the sweaters out again, you notice they don’t look that great anymore. They lost their shape and look too worn out. So go and buy another three sweater. If you would buy already the first year a good quality sweater, you would still be able to wear it in the years to come. And on the top of that,you would always look polished as good quality clothes just look better. So win win, as you would also save money on the long run.
“WHY, WHEN, HOW”
How to balance the quality vs quantity better
There are three words you should always think of when buying clothes. WHY, WHEN, HOW. Be more mindful of what are you buying and why are you actually buying it. Apply the “RULE OF THREE”. Come up with at least three occasions when you will wear it. Next, come up with at least 3 ways of styling it or wearing the item. If you do that, you might find out that you don’ buy as much. Also, you actually have better quality clothes in your wardrobe.
I can go on and on about this topic but will keep some for the next posts. Meanwhile, just have a thought about how you shop (and I will too).
Have a chic day and please stay healthy in this unprecedented time