Does spending £££ ; mean better long term value.

(72 Posts)
Samnella Thu 10-Jan-13 17:03:31

I am on a mission to lose weight and once complete update my look. I have always very much been a high street shopper. Next, Gap all the usual. But I have been enjoying reading all these lovely threads on here. I have noticed a lot of you seem to spend £££ on clothes and bags. I was a bit shock at the bags thread as I don't think my entire wardrobe cost as much as one of those bags grin.

After many years of not working or when working, paying childcare, we have both DCs at school so I have upped my hours and childcare costs are relatively low. So, I finally have some disposable income.

Should I look at some of the luxury brands? What is better about them? Do you find they last and what particular items do you not mind spending on? What happens if you stain something (as I often do)? Do you sell things on when you want something else? I have a £90 voucher for House of Fraser from my lovely boss so was thinking of getting a bag to start with. I have always been of the opinion that a designer bag is the same as high street one. What is different or is it a matter of taste?

Thanks

dexter73 Sun 13-Jan-13 20:46:02

I get my socks from TK Maxx. They have some really nice socks there.

Oh yes, quite agree, all my socks come from Primark. Can't compromise on a white t-shirts though, have to be Vince or Wang. Seem to last well on the white cycle using biological powder.

HollaAtMeBaby Sun 13-Jan-13 16:02:13

I think you get better quality when spending more on certain items (coats, handbags), but you need to go up to a high enough level. Mid-range/more expensive high street stuff e.g. French Connection/Ted Baker, is no better quality than Primark and H&M - it just looks better because the shops are nicer.

Corygal Sun 13-Jan-13 14:15:09

I'm agreeing with the principle of paying cut-price at the chazzas and TK for jeans, labels and knits. Also boots - they do Ash for 30 quid. Dresses - TK usually does a good swathe.

In terms of buying, not paying, bear in mind that some garment types aren't ever worth coughing a lot for, just as cleanser is less worth spending on than moisturiser. Eg: I would NEVER spend on expensive white T-shirts (nothing stays white, buy 10 from Primark, bin after 6 months), socks (except thermals), thermals (Heattech pls) and leggings (except Falke for best).

And onto GARMENT GOLD - the freak item from the discount store that lights up your life for a decade. This is more likely to be a dress (yes, because all is poly now, Primark comes into its own here), a PVC mac (same 'fabric' as upmarket), or a wool-mix jumper (BUT generally avoid all cheap knitwear like the plague - knitwear is impossible to fake on quality).

Snowkey Sun 13-Jan-13 12:07:11

Thanks Amber smile

Hi Snowkey, top tips for premium denim are Donna Ida sale (brilliant reductions), and if you live meat westfield they have a £50 rail all year round which is great. The Outnet or Yoox do great bargains, and Trilogy or Question Air have good sales on st the moment. Also MiH and James Jeans have some great reductions on their own websites.

If you're after a specific pair, like I often am, I highly recommend Shopbop.com. They are a US site where you can buy denim for US prices. Ok, you have to pay taxes but the shipping is free, they arrive within 3 days and are still around 50% of UK rrp.

Another little gem is TK Maxx. My mum got a pair of MIH in there for £20 the other day, and yesterday I saw 7s for £11 in the clearance.

A premium brand I like which is a bit cheaper generally is Nudie. Great quality for the price.

HTH

Snowkey Sat 12-Jan-13 09:51:04

Thanks shopafrolic off to have a look now. smile

shopafrolic Sat 12-Jan-13 08:46:42

Hi Snowkey, I know I'm not Amber but if you take a look through the last 3 or so pages of MN Vogue thread there is lots of talk of premium denim at low prices. Hope this helps.

Snowkey Sat 12-Jan-13 07:45:58

Hi AmberNectarine I'm on the look out for a great pair of jeans - have you any tips/recommendations for finding cut price premium denim?

Samnella Fri 11-Jan-13 20:04:01

I meant I needed a coat not a cost!

Samnella Fri 11-Jan-13 19:43:47

I need to go to Bicester by the sounds of it. I must admit I avoid TK Maxx as I generally hate shopping (shock for S &B) but don't mind internet shopping. It would never have crossed my mind to look at Net-a-Porter and the like as I don't have huge amounts of money but I think I need to just buy more wisely. Seems less is more and all that. I must admit I needed a cost this year and really struggled to find what I wanted and ended up buying something I could afford but was not what I had wanted. I have seen exactly what I want on my wardrobe so maybe I should have just paid more. Thanks to all.

justasecond Fri 11-Jan-13 16:47:57

I agree Dexter I am not far from Bicester either and all I seem to find is weird stuff in odd sizes (either teeny weeny or humungous). Its worth a trip just for kids clarks shoes x3 though.

Snowkey Fri 11-Jan-13 11:59:45

Paul Smith suits are cut beautifully, lovely fabric too but very fine but it can't take every day wear and that's what they are bought for....are they worth it? Well depends how you look at it, dh looks and feels fab in them....so it probably is a good investment in that respect and we keep buying them.

In general though I think quality can be a bit hit or miss, I'm not convinced as you move up the price range you get in same increase in quality or value for money.

hettie Fri 11-Jan-13 11:19:39

depends what it is... I have a pair of trousers from Reiss that are about 8 years old and still look good.... If they are staples (eg work trousers, classic jacket... then it's worth it as you get good per wear value. Expensive doesn't automatically mean long lasting though. Imho it needs to be a classic style, shape that really suits you and made from certain materials (eg wool blend or silk). Anything that might date or bobble is not worth spending £££ on (unless you've got eh kind of income for high end disposable fashion)... and try yooks for bargains too

MarshaBrady Fri 11-Jan-13 09:46:36

grin Hehe I know.

Mu place sounds good.

Great to see you btw!

Mominatrix Fri 11-Jan-13 09:31:34

WHAT? Marsha, you NEED to get to Bicester! Hmmm, next meet-up location?

MarshaBrady Fri 11-Jan-13 09:18:45

I know. They are really tricky. I need a 40.5 and no point in getting red patent or two tone as I just won't like it as much. I did see the lovely blue on the outnet which I would have bought pronto if they had had my size.

Must admit I'm always happy if I don't see stuff I bought full £ in the sales. Completely agree on silly prices for denim.

Am yet to go to Bicester.

PlumSykes Fri 11-Jan-13 09:11:41

dexter73, I have never found anything for me there, either. House stuff. Kids stuff. Presents. But zilch for me.

PlumSykes Fri 11-Jan-13 09:10:35

Bear in mind that spending more on something might mean it will last you years, but doesn't necessarily mean you will like it for years. Even 'investment buys' can go out of fashion.

dexter73 Fri 11-Jan-13 08:28:33

I am jealous of the people who find bargains at Bicester - I only live 1/2 an hour away but I only ever seem to find a lot of tat when I go there sad

Oh yes, Bicester and TK Maxx are good ones. Recent TK Maxx finds: VW red label skirt £30, Moschino skirt £20, Alexander Wang sweatpants £37. From Bicester I have had a sub £200 Mulberry.

Marsha I nearly always wait, but I do buy things full price if I think they will sell out. Your Lanvins for example, I did see a few pairs in the sale, but not many. Shoes in general are more tricky, they tend to be the thing that sells out quickest. And yes if I really, really want something, I will just buy it, like the Jimmy Choo slippers i have pinned, which are next on my list. But I have never paid full price for premium denim, nor do I intend to start!

I buy from all over the place - and I think that some of the high end labels are not worth the money and have been disappointed with the quality. A high price doesn't necessarily mean better quality.

Anything I like but think will have a short shelf life, I don't like to spend much money on.

If something which will have a reasonable amount of wear - coats, knitwear etc then I'm happy to spend a lot more on. I always buy Heidi Klein swimwear for example.

I look for natural fabrics but do wear cheaper fabrics if the mood takes me grin

I think places like M&S are brilliant quality for shoes - unless you take them off you can't tell the difference between the M&S ones and the Choos etc that I have.

I'm not a handbag person and wouldn't look after a Mulberry etc so for me, it would be a waste of money.

Mominatrix Fri 11-Jan-13 06:14:03

Certain things I am willing to pay full price: things which will never go on sale (certain handbags, jewellery), items which are limited production and difficult to find (certain shawls/scarves, very unique design items), and basic shoes. Everything else I get on discount because I HATE the feeling of perusing sale racks to see things I purchased full price a month prior. If I need an immediate fix, I know it is time to make a visit to Bicester.

DonaAna Fri 11-Jan-13 06:12:40

Some popular items sell out early in the season. I still regret not shelling out the full price for the red Carven dress and blue Band of Outsiders blazer, both now sold out. If I have a strong hunch I'll love something, I can pay the full price (this AW, for example, the leather pencil skirt and my chambray shirt). I tend to do this to items that are on-trend or quite unique.

You will get better materials for a higher price, but for normal non-couture wearing mortals the breaking point is somewhere between 100 and 500 € (depending on the item). After that, it's hype, brand image, exclusivity, but rarely better fibers or craftmanship. A luxurious label is no guarantee that good materials have been used. Some of the worst synthetics and materials I've seen came from designer diffusion collections (See by Chloe for example).

I shop by finger feel. I hate synthetics (I also hate poor man's cotton, viscose, with a passion - if you must wear cellulose, tencel, bamboo and lyocell are the quality alternatives) and shoddy finishing.

One more thing: some expensive clothes are pricey to own. They need dry cleaning or continuous maintenance (ironing, steaming). Pick clothes that suit your lifestyle. I like to wear nice clothes at home every day, but I avoid linen and viscose and cheap cashmere (they require too much maintenance). My heaviest silks I save for parties, but silk/cotton is a superb everyday mix as are hardwearing merinos, good jerseys, chambray and denim, and other forms of pure cotton. Too much Lycra can feel cheap. Lycra also complicates laundering and ironing - I prefer a good cut and fit to 'forgiving' stretch.

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