“Quality over Quantity” – how many times did you hear that growing up? I heard it a lot, and I didn’t take a jot of notice! Most such adult phrases were just BLA BLA BLA to me… I had my own ideas about life – and it involved… spending! I really used to think (and find myself still thinking) – oh, if I just had this, and if I just bought that… then I’d be happy/stylish/sorted/whatever!
And then… I started to grow up (just a little bit!).
I realised, that when I bought something high quality not only did it last longer and stay looking “fresh” longer, but I just felt so much more fabulous wearing it. PLUS I would only spend on something I really loved (Lesson Number 2 – tick!) and if it was high quality to start with – I felt motivated to care for it and keep it that way (lesson still to come…).
SO – LESSON NUMBER 4:
BUY THE BEST QUALITY YOU CAN AFFORD.
This lesson is about becoming a discerning customer. If someone sent me out to buy bricks… chances are I’d come back with a truck load of low quality expensive bricks… because I know nothing about bricks! My point is, if you want to achieve lesson number 4, you need to be able to judge quality and to judge value for money.
Learning to distinguish between high quality and low quality can take a little time, and no doubt you’ll encounter some errors… so clever are these shifty marketeers, but you’ll soon find you can tell high quality fabric from low quality fabric, strong seams from weak and good cuts from bad.
And if you feel like you haven’t got a clue in this regard. Then there are two books I can recommend: “It’s Vintage Darling!” by Christa Weil, and “Style Clinic” by Paula Reed – both contain useful information on the subject.
Of course, it’s difficult to get passed the feeling of “why buy one item when I can buy ten for the same price?”, but if you don’t take quality into consideration, you’ll find yourself with a wardrobe full of tatty pieces you don’t value and… “NOTHING TO WEAR”!
Other reasons to learn from this lesson:
– High quality purchases, though (not always) more expensive, often turn out to have a low “cost per wear” – think about the value rather than the cost.
– The more discerning you become about your fashion purchases, the less mismatched items you’ll have, thus helping you achieve what you learned in Lesson 3… aiming to look fabulous every day, not different every day. Who cares if you wear your gorgeous cashmere sweater every day!?
– If you buy high quality, and for whatever reason, you decide you don’t like the item and don’t want it anymore… it’s more likely to achieve a decent sale price on eBay or at a consignment store than and H&M piece might…
– Environment. Don’t you wonder where all those plastic-y smelling clothes from low-priced high street chains (H&M, Zara, New Look, River Island…) go when no one buys them? Or when they fall apart after 2 washes? What happens to the waste? This thought troubles me. Yes, choice is good, but the rampant production of cheap clothes… if it faded out… would not upset me too much.
– Wouldn’t we all be happier if we valued and cared for what we had even if it meant having less than we have now?
Tell me what you think? Quality or Quantity?