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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?


AmberNectarine Thu 10-Jan-13 17:32:35

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!

AmberNectarine Thu 10-Jan-13 19:56:44

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!

AmberNectarine Thu 10-Jan-13 20:11:06

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.

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