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

Well I buy premium everything except socks (I lose them constantly), vests (I buy long £3.99 ones from H&M which I have never found a rival for), and underwear (mainly because I have been bf for most of the last 3 years so haven't had a chance).

I buy premium stuff because, in the main, it is better quality and lasts longer than high st. Now there are exceptions to this (Rag&Bone viscose piece of shit sweater, I'm looking at you), but overall I would say I get more use from my stuff. T-shirts are thicker cotton and keep their shape, cashmere won't bobble and look tired like acrylic, silk won't feel staticky and awful like it's man made equivalent. Jeans especially are worth spending on because the fit is great.

As for bags, well, I have my beautiful Alexander Wang on my lap right now, the leather is thick, textured and smells delicious, it is beautifully lined, the zips are tough, the hardware is solid, the stitching is perfect. Yes, it cost a bomb but I expect it will last 10 years, most likely more because I rotate a lot of bags. Also I bought it in the sale, as I do almost everything I buy. Sites like the Outnet are great and Donna Ida, NaP and all the big dept store have great sales. You'd be amazed at some of the bargains I've had!

I like medium priced brands like Vivienne Westwood Anglo range, boden dresses and leggings, Anya Hindmarch bags and Brora cashmere but I only buy in sales and on EBay.

That way I pay Next prices (not Primark) so £50 or less for an item. I have a £258 Brora cardigan new from EBay for £44.

mirpuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 17:45:36

Depends on the item and your attitude.

I tend to treat my premium brands better -- they do not get rumpled and put with the children's laundry IYSWIM.

So generally they last longer because they are better made and I treat them better.

notMarlene Thu 10-Jan-13 17:59:28

Meh. Depends. It's obviously worth paying for quality, but when it comes cut and design you're paying a disproportionate amount for the design once you get beyond a certain price point. Quality of materials is unlikely to be better.

shopafrolic Thu 10-Jan-13 18:03:12

I was in a similar position to you in the summer. Most of my jeans from GAP, lots of M&S etc in the wardrobe. I was gifted some cash and went shopping and found some more mid range brands, you can definitely see the difference in quality of workmanship.
I have a few designer handbags which have lasted for years and I buy designer jeans in the sales - lots of chat about this on the Vogue thread at the moment.
Brands like Aubin & Wills, Whistles, Reiss etc are worth looking at. It isn't true to say that all designer items are good quality but for certain items I think definitely worth stretching I the best you can afford.

justasecond Thu 10-Jan-13 18:03:26

You can get some good quality bags that are not designer that will look good for ages. I have a few coccinelle, via repubblica and francesco biaisia bags that are well made with quality leather. They are not cheap but not Mulberry prices either. I also prefer an understated bag rather than one that screams designer.
As far as clothes go its all down to budget really. I used to buy premium when I was working but now as a SAHM I still dress well but buy the big stuff likes coats, jackets etc in sales then buy Zara etc for the rest of the year as I have a shopping addiction and couldn't go weeks months without shopping blush

MrsCampbellBlack Thu 10-Jan-13 18:05:06

I agree with Amber.

I don't buy premium brands in everything but I'd rather buy less and better. And I do sell on when I no longer wear.

Interestingly I did a big wardrobe clear out yesterday and its all the cheaper stuff that's going. I guess most of it is the fabrics - its harder and harder to find silk etc in the high street now. I mean reiss/whistles etc are charging £100 for polyester and viscose which is crazy.

But I very rarely pay full price for anything. Like amber I use the outnet or buy quite a bit from my-wardrobe who reward you for your loyalty. Also once you know your size in certain US brands its lots cheaper to buy directly from sites like shopbop.

I also really rate J Crew and just got a cashmere jumper in the sale from there for £60. Equally I got a DVF lace sarita dress in the summer from Matches at 70% off.

MrsCampbellBlack Thu 10-Jan-13 18:07:23

And I do like a designer bag but will not pay full price since prices went crazy. I got a lovely Anya maxi zip cross body bag last year for just over £200 in the my-wardrobe sale.

Its good pickings at the moment as the final reductions are happening on matches/nap/my-wardrobe and the stock does seem to get replenished as things are returned so worth shoving stuff on you wish list and checking back regularly

orangeandlemons Thu 10-Jan-13 18:15:00

I agree that natural fibres are getting harder and harder to find. I nealy started a thread about my loathing of polyester the other day. I still think £39.99 is steep to pay for polyester shit. It's cheap as chips to produce. Oly 4 or years ago, there was a lot more cotton and silk around. I saw a denim shirt the other day......made out of polyester! Surely denim is meant to be cotton?

MrsCampbellBlack Thu 10-Jan-13 18:17:05

Yeap the rising price of cotton has meant its polyester-tastic out there. I just won't buy it as hate the feel of it and zara is full of it at £45 a throw for a top.

A couple of years ago warehouse used to do some really lovely silk tops and dresses but its all polyester now.

orangeandlemons Thu 10-Jan-13 18:21:32

Yeah, I remember those....

MarshaBrady Thu 10-Jan-13 18:22:04

I mostly buy more expensive things.

But I really love the outnet and much prefer to spend on £30, £60 or £100 etc item on there than full price on the high street. I enjoy it more, I love feeling like I have saved £ (handily shown as I buy it) and that it's good quality and not acrylic.

Sometimes I buy things at the beginning of the season from Matches or NaP that are good quality but only right at the beginning and I have to love it.

I hardly ever buy jeans full price as too expensive.

Anyway it all works out and I feel happy with what I've got without feeling like I've paid too much. It is related to what I think the value of something is.

Annianni Thu 10-Jan-13 19:06:39

I spent 10 years working in retail, so I hate buying things at full price and will stock up in the sale.

I paid £143 yesterday for a jumper, 2 cardigans and a scarf, all cashmere. They were from gap, whereas I'd have only got one thing from brora (and then be worried about my ds's spilling something on me)

But i'll look after them and will get plenty of wear out of them.

I've been looking online at jeans and there's some great bargains to be had at the moment.

I will pay more for shoes, bags, coats because I do think they last longer, but again I try to get them in the sales.

And like Amber I stock up on h&m vests.

shopafrolic Thu 10-Jan-13 19:14:34

Can someone link to the H&M long vests please? They sound bargainous....

Tweet2tweet Thu 10-Jan-13 19:33:26

Don't forget charity shops! I got into them on my last mat leave. You can get some amazing bargains. A summary of things I have purchased over last year:

New cashmere jigsaw cardi 4.99
Furla bag 4.99
Longchamp bag 1.99
Mulberry Melanie pencil case/make up case 6.00
Boden trench 14.99
Toast skirt 7.00
Shirin Guild cashmere cardi 14.99

Most of the above were like new and over £700 in savings in above list!

Look at fabric and fit and pay more for that. Lots of 'high end', high fashion brands are a rip off. Charge for of the moment style but use polyester etc.

Go for classic style and classic labels. On high street I would say Hobbs in sale, John Lewis sale and then end of sale at Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Liberty of London- all can go to 70% off!

To summarise- never pay full price but by best you can in sales!

Yes charity shops are great. I went into my local one the other day and saw a leather Raoul dress (too big for me), a BNWT Anglomania dress (already have it) and a pair of Marc Jacobs trousers. I also have an amazing dress agency locally which is like a boutique. Full of Prada and Marni. Also sample and clearance sales can be brilliant, I have bought Acne Pistols for £36 at one.

I ironed some of my beautiful Warehouse silk last night and mourned the fact that they now do so little of it. Lucky to find one dress or one top nowadays, whereas a couple of years ago they had a great choice.

MrsCampbellBlack Thu 10-Jan-13 19:59:35

It was the assistant in Whistles who told me it was special french polyester when I queried how any polyester top could be £195 who really made me laugh.

justasecond Thu 10-Jan-13 20:06:40

I too have some lovely silk dresses and shirts from Warehouse, its all polyester these days but at the same prices as silk. Aubin and Wills have some silk dresses and tops in their sale at the moment.

orchidee Thu 10-Jan-13 20:07:23

Tweet- £4.99 for a furla bag?

Charity shop tips please!

I'm pissing myself at special French polyester!

Tweet2tweet Thu 10-Jan-13 20:18:02

It's best to go to charity shops in affluent but low key areas. That way there's less competition from other shoppers but usually high quality donations.

I find banardos and Marie Curie really good. Try and have a really good rummage, the furla bag was piled with a load of other bags. It's a lovely leather tote, slouchy and unlined so lovely leather interior. It was under a pile of plastic ones though!

You need to visit quite often too and not be put off by tat and 'find less ' days.

The other thing that seems to be popping up are gently used designer boutiques. Not really cheap but designer labels at a fraction if the price and often the clothes are hardly worn.

dexter73 Thu 10-Jan-13 20:19:22

You're lucky - our local chazzas are full of overpriced 'Atmosphere' clothing and mothbally coats.

MarshaBrady Thu 10-Jan-13 20:35:06

We have one that is so expensive. £60 for a jumper. But they do swaps for credit which you then spend. I can't imagine anyone buying not swapping.

I love a good sale but can't wait til the end of season for some things.

kaiserfootmuff Thu 10-Jan-13 20:39:13

what's the opinion on viscose?

grin @ french polyester!

I also buy mostly premium stuff but if its full price then i have to really fall in love with it to buy it or know that I would feel bereft if it sold out while I waited for the next sale grin.

So most items in my wardrobe are ££, mid range designer, not Lanvin/Carven smile and I think they are usually better quality, although I agree with mirmuppet about them getting better treatment. Whilst I am not precious about my better clothes - screaming "don't touch my skirt!" at your toddler is really not a good look grin, I wouldn't potter round the house with my family much in them either? Also I mix them with the odd bit of Zara or Gap, (H&M vests!), particularly if it is something particularly trend driven, eg a neon item or pleather top from zara rather than a real leather one that costs £££ and is unlikely to get worn next season. These can look fantastic and expensive with higher end jeans, classic trousers, or great boots or accessories.

I particularly think you should spend as much as you can on jeans, bags, coats and shoes/boots, the difference is noticeable. A warning on good cashmere, it is very addictive, lambswool will never quite do after you go down that route smile. I don't have many expensive bags, but the ones I do last forever, a fabulous big red Marni shoulder bag my DH bought me 7 years ago as a changing bag for example, still looks great and is used a lot.

orangeandlemons Thu 10-Jan-13 21:19:18

Viscose creases like mad unless it's jersey. I am wary of any woven viscose

keepmoving Thu 10-Jan-13 21:23:56

For those that wear Aubin & Wills, what is the sizing like?

kaiserfootmuff Thu 10-Jan-13 21:25:28

i quite fancy this jacket but it's viscose so it will crease all the time?

shopafrolic Thu 10-Jan-13 21:32:06

I wear a lot of A&W. I am a 12/14 and wear 12 in their blouses, L in knitwear and 14 in their trousers. They've always come up fairly true to size for me. Silk blouses for £29 at the moment.

RedwingWinter Thu 10-Jan-13 21:33:36

I like viscose and it has a nice drape, but it has to be a reasonable weight. If it's too thin, it's not good. Anything that is natural fibres is way better than polyester, and basically nasty man-made fibres are not worth paying any money for. (I am laughing at the special french polyester).

I think some luxury brands really are better, because the fabrics are better quality and the cut is better (cut is crucial). But I think you have to evaluate each piece because in some cases you are paying more for the name. Feel the weight of the fabric, look at the stitching, see if the cut is just-right or a bit off, and use that to decide if it is worth it or not. I also take into account whether something is washable, as dry-cleaning adds a lot to the cost of a garment.

I love Brora for cashmere in lovely colours that lasts forever. I think designer jeans are worth it because the cut is so much better.

Good quality basics that you will wear lots of times, and gorgeous pieces that are just 'you', are worth spending money on.

keepmoving Thu 10-Jan-13 21:34:53

shopafrolic can you give me an idea of length? I'm just under 6' and quite like the look of the silk tops.

shopafrolic Thu 10-Jan-13 21:46:48

I'm 5ft 9 and have no issues. If you want to link to the top I can see if it's one I own....

chartreuse Thu 10-Jan-13 21:52:17

The cut and the fabric are the deciding factors for me. I love a well tailored blazer and you usually have to pay £££ for that, but one of my favourites was 30 quid in the Zara sale. And I tried on Whistles trousers recently which were very well cut but the fabric was hideous, 100% polyester. I think you have to assess each item on it's own merits.

keepmoving Thu 10-Jan-13 21:57:12

Thanks shopafrolic I'm on my phone so can't link, I like the silk tee style. as you're tall, going to give it a go. I can always return if they don't fit. Thank you.

shopafrolic Thu 10-Jan-13 22:00:20

Let me know how you get on. I love the quality and cut of their clothes. Fingers crossed!

justasecond Thu 10-Jan-13 22:02:38

I think I ordered that today keepmoving is it this one?
www.aubinandwills.com/en-gb/product/stokesley-tee-01691200102 I hope it comes up long too.

keepmoving Thu 10-Jan-13 22:16:18

That's the one! smile

Mominatrix Thu 10-Jan-13 22:19:32

I buy the best quality I can find. Sometimes it is the most expensive and sometimes it is not.

For bags, I find it is worth it to pay more for the quality. I spend a seemingly obscene amount on one bag, but they are handmade, classic, and incredibly well built. They will outlive me! There are auctions in France (accessible on line) where you can get a crocodile vintage Hermes clutch in excellent condition for a couple hundred pounds. You can also find vintage pristine Kelly bags at a third of retail. Just have to know where to look.

For clothing, I find that it is rarely worth paying full price, and for many trendy labels ( yes you, Zadig & Voltaire), not even worth the sale price. I buy the bulk of my clothes from J Crew (fantastic sales), Massimo Dutti, and Uniqlo and fill in with designer things on sale. Underwear and jeans I purchase in the States, much cheaper. I also visit Bicester Village twice a year and always find incredible bargains there. I prefer to purchase in person, as I am petite and feel more comfortable trying clothes and shoes on prior to purchasing.

Definitely agree that cut and fabric are key - another reason why I like to touch and feel the clothes I am thinking about purchasing.

Samnella Thu 10-Jan-13 22:41:31

Thank you all. I am feeling most pleased with making 2 pages, I don't think I have ever managed that. I am liking the idea of charity shops, more my budget. smile I also like all the tips about not paying full price. Mominatrix - Where are these French auctions?

I think I conclude the cut, fabric and fit are what counts. You are more likely to get this with premium brands but not exclusively. I have to say the best pair of black trousers I own are from H and M and cost £15. They hang beautifully and are made well. Unfortunately I can't get my fat backside into them at the moment. grin

happybubblebrain Thu 10-Jan-13 22:46:02

Most of my wardrobe is Monsoon or cheaper. The most I've ever paid for a handbag was £150. But I do have a few more expensive items - See by Cloe, Orla Kiely, Antik Batik, Paul Smith etc - so still not silly prices. These tend to be the most treasured of all my clothes and I'd never part with any of them because they are really beautiful. I've found them either in sales or from years and years of rummaging in TK Maxx. TK Maxx in Birmingham seems to have quite a lot of designer clothes.

I think you have to ignore labels and only buy something if you really really love and can't go on living without it. Otherwise, it's just tat that you'll be giving to a charity shop in a couple of years.

noviceoftheday Thu 10-Jan-13 23:06:39

I tend to buy things that I think are a one season whim at low end of the high street, and to buy my basic tops and jumpers from there (those I wear on the weekend with the kids). Other casual items tend to be mid/high end of high street (eg Gap).

Clothes for going out and for work, I shop at the high end of the high street (Phase 8, Kaliko, LK Bennett, Ralph Lauren are my current favourites).

I only tend to buy designer for accessories - shoes, bags, scarves and jewellery as they really finish an outfit and in my mind can really make a good outfit seem more expensive. Accessories will also far outlast the fashions so well worth investing in. I buy expensive shoes (Choos (but gone off them now as I think quality has gone down), RB, Rupert Sanderson, LKB) because they last well and also I wear 4" heels for work/big occasions and so need them to be comfortable.

I find the cheaper stuff lasts very well because I look after them well, particularly laundering. Eg I let most of my cheap £5 primark jumpers drip dry rather than tumble dry. I think that this makes a huge difference to the longevity of an outfit.

CaptainNancy Thu 10-Jan-13 23:41:19

I agree with happybubble- ignore the label, feel the quality- it's how I shop in TKMaxx... just walk around feeling the fabrics, you soon learn which are the quality items. I have had some great items from there in the past- Ralph Lauren silk shift dress for £8 was probably the best bargain, but it still looks brand new 12 years later.

Like justasecond, I really rate coccinelle and francisco biasia for bags- lovely quality leather, lasts ages, even with a lot of use.

BunFagFreddie Fri 11-Jan-13 01:34:42

I miss the Warehouse silk dresses and tops too. I wish they'd do more again.

MarshaBrady Fri 11-Jan-13 05:38:56

Do people always wait for discounts?

Amber you're a good sales guru, do you buy stuff at beginning of season and know it will be discounted but think oh I prefer not to wait.

I have an idea in my mind which seems reasonable (a few full price etc). For eg I need some flats. But won't wait for sales.

MarshaBrady Fri 11-Jan-13 06:05:15

Possibly a 50:50 split on discount / full price in wardrobe.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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 09:46:36

grin Hehe I know.

Mu place sounds good.

Great to see you btw!

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

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.

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.

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.

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

I meant I needed a coat not a cost!

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?

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 09:51:04

Thanks shopafrolic off to have a look now. 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 Sun 13-Jan-13 12:07:11

Thanks Amber smile

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).

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.

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.

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

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

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