Too poor to wear cheap clothes? Sometimes dropping money for your threads can save you in the long run.
When it comes to fashion, you usually get what you pay for.
Deep down we know the H&M boots aren’t going to make it to Christmas, yet we’ve been conditioned to opt for the cheapest option, irrespective of quality, durability and origin, taking home the polyester jacket to save a bit of coin in the short term.
Dropping £500 on a jacket you'd wear to death is considered frivolous, yet buying nine different patterned shirts over the course of a year equating to the same amount is more socially acceptable.
While you may be bagging a bargain now, this shopping behaviour only leaves you more out of pocket in the long run (pun intended).
When you consult the cost per wear formula (cost per wear = cost of item / number of times worn), you’ll find that the £30 knit you have to replace each year because it starts pulling by the end of the season is a stitch up (double pun).
While we acknowledge a more expensive price tag isn’t always synonymous with quality, more often than not you’re paying for better materials, better craftsmanship and more ethical manufacturing.
Fast fashion is out of trend
You may have heard the term ‘fast fashion’ weaving its way around conversations, increasingly becoming a fashion deplorable over the last few years as we’ve progressed more towards sustainable living, boycotting all sweat-shop-driven outlets.
Fast fashion moguls like ASOS, Zara or HM, though we may guiltily love them, focus on rapidly producing inexpensive clothing in response to the ever changing trends - often at the expense of quality and environmental factors.
Now, there is more emphasis around creating a versatile capsule to extend a garment's life cycle, as well as reducing the amount of clothes that go to landfill, investing in items that will last you a lifetime will pay for themselves.
When you begin to mindfully buy clothes, you’ll find you aren’t buying clothes on impulse or as frequently, alas not supporting the fast fashion industry.
We’ve sewn together a few essentials we, and the internet, think are worth spending your precious money on to reap long term wear.
We live in Britain: sturdy outerwear is key, so a Primark puffer isn’t going to cut it.
North Face and Patagonia are at the epicentre of weather-proof/cataclysmic-event-proof gear, praised by the masses for their durability.
Investing in a leather jacket also deserves a notable mention, and a great first step if you’re looking at improving your overall badass-ary.
If you’re in the market for a sweatshirt, Tom Cridland guarantees each piece for 30 years and will repair it free of charge as well - legend!
A good pair of jeans should be the nucleus of every one’s wardrobe.
I would confidently claim jeans to be by far the most worn item - you can wear them to the shops, to the pub, to your uncle's 60th, to your nieces baptism, so the cost per wear would be ludicrously low.
Denim already is not a very expensive fabric, so you will find you won’t need to spend a great deal on a great pair.
Just ensure you’re staying clear of synthetics disguising as the real thing, the sneaky rascals.
Brand wise, Levis are always a good one to start with.
Otherwise, Buymeonce conducted a search for the most durable jean for men and women, and found Blackhorse Lane Ateliers were the best find.
Doc Martens. That’s all.
Blundstone is another popular brand that flaunts a handsome warranty deal.
Stock up on those cult classic Ralph Lauren Polo like you’re a cartoon character stuck in the same outfit for life.
The little black dress, originally coined by Coco Chanel, is an eternally chic item every woman should possess.
The style and cut doesn’t matter, the simplicity of the dress makes it versatile enough to be worn again and again without anyone batting an eyelid.
While we have you all here ladies, pay the extra money for a professionally fitted nude and black bra. You’ll thank me later, thought please refrain from actually emailing me with bra-related questions.
As you would have overheard in Waitrose, wearing Lululemon comes with a soy chai latte personality.
Activewear is a way of life, so you may as well make sure you’re comfortable. Pay the extra money for tights, shorts and one or two tops in a breatheable frabric that won't distort with one wash.
My personal recommendation is Nike.
So, how much should I spend?
According to award-winning financial planner, Pete Dunn, you should only be spending 5% of your pay cheque on clothes (cheat: multiply your pay by .05).
Or, easy option number two, just make a new goal in the Chip app, say something cashmere, and we’ll save towards it for you.
Next time you need to update the wardrobe, try to shop more consciously and responsibly.
If renowned British designer, Vivienne Westwood, is anyone to live by, “buy less, choose well, make it last.”