Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Thoughtful Dresser poll - shopping within one's budget?

Shoppers fall over themselves to buy £3 jeans at Primark

A simple enough question, but one which drives many women mad. Is it really necessary to max out one's credit card when there are so many good clothes at all prices? I'm not really talking about the shopaholic syndrome, buying for the sake of it, but rather, going into debt for a £600 dress instead of making do with a £200 one.


Anonymous said...

There was a story in the Boston Globe about a month ago about folks from the UK coming to Boston to do their Christmas shopping. That £200 dress would be about £97 ($200) at the Wrentham Premium Outlets. Phyllis

Toby Wollin said...

Again, I think that a large part of the issue has to do with the "throw away" nature of women's fashion. My husband is no fashionista, but he has five suits plus several sport coat/pants ensembles that he rotates through every single week. Once a year, he replaces a suit and I think in the 30 years of our marriage, I've seen him gift himself with an extra one once or twice. He buys good quality clothing, takes care of it and it works for him.
Women's clothing styles change so much that unless you are really disciplined and invest, it is hard to do that - we tend to be lemmings in that respect.

Anonymous said...

Speaking as someone who can't afford the "making do" £200 dress, I'd say it is a challenge, but that the key is to be name-blind. Shop the garment, not the designer/brand.

Oh, and I agree that men don't have the clothing problem, but overall stats suggest they actually spend more play money than women do--they just spend theirs on electronics, which make fashion look durable by comparison.

Teresa said...

Being as fashion impaired as I am, I thank my lucky stars that I haven't had to worry about such things to this point in my life. (if one never goes anywhere... outside of the occasional nice restaurant... "good" clothing is not a worrisome expense)

Although I am working to change my fashion impairedness - it still won't change my lifestyle to the point that I will be fighting over clothing bargains.

In any case, I think I would be shooting for the classic pieces (if I can find them) so I don't have to buy too much too often.

Then again - I would never go into debt to own a piece of clothing - no matter how nice it is.

morty said...

What I can´t understand is who said we have to buy new clothes all the time 50-5000 euros? Somehow it is understandable if you live in a country that has 4 seasons,something must be bought. And the growing children need to get clothes that fit them.But then there are a quite a bunch of us-me included- who just buy although we don´t need so much. It would be challenging to avoid shops and malls for a couple of months and see what happens. Actually quite a few have kept blog of such a period.

Deja Pseu said...

I recently fell in love with a Carolina Herrera skirt (at $1800, WELL out of my price range). One of my blog readers was kind enough to point me in the direction of a similarly styled J.Crew skirt which works with my budget. But there have been a few times when only the Real McCoy will do, and in those cases I budget and save rather than going into debt. Usually.

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Sarah said...

This is one of the reasons I'm so glad my mother taught me to sew. The $200 dress is still a long way away from my student budget, but really good quality fabrics -while still pricey for me- aren't out of the question. Instead of spending that much on a dress, I can invest a few hours and $40 of really lovely fabric and be sure I'll have something that is exactly the color and style I want, and takes into account all the figure details that off the rack clothing can't.

Meg from The Bargain Queen & All About Appearances said...

The only dresses that cost me more than $100 were my prom dress, wedding dress, and my college graduation dress. Most of mine cost about $20, give or take $5. They're mostly day dresses, though, and I get them at discount stores like T.J. Maxx and Ross.

Having said that, I can definitely see why a gal would spend a lot of money on a dress if it were absolutely perfect. There's that magic feeling that comes with finding the perfect outfit that makes one look spectacular. That's the kind of dress most of us dream of wearing to our school reunions.

But that still doesn't explain why some women pay so much on crap that makes them look fat, dowdy, or desperate.