At the end of the day fashion is a luxury, which is why it's so crazy that companies and society think they can tell you what to wear. Here's the low-down on the real cost of fashion and where the grey areas are that you can take advantage of!
Quality versus Quantity
When it comes to quality versus quantity, expensive dfesigner brands or high end alternative fashion isn't always better! It's all about the quality to cost ratio. It's plain to see that a pair of Doctor Martens that lasts ten years is a better buy than a wardrobe filled with cheaper pairs of boots that fall apart after two weeks of wear. But you should never assume a cheap piece of clothing is inherently bad quality. I've bought lots of cheap grunge clothing that has lasted years upon years (besides rips only add to the look!).
If you're on the lookout for better deals for a smaller price tag, here are a few tips to keep in mind when shopping online or off:
Know Your Fabrics
Even when shopping in store it's important to know your fabrics. A blouse may look great in store, but once you put it on it might be super uncomfortable or you may find some cheap goth clothes made from wrinkle free polyester. Or, if you sweat a lot cotton may not be your best fabric because it will absorb sweat and cause stains! Getting to know the most common fabrics can really be beneficial in the long run.
Review, Review, Review!
Something you may think is a gem at a great price may not show up like that at your door. It's always worth it to check if anyone has reviewed a piece before you buy it, especially if it's costly!
Check Out The Stitching
Bad quality clothing can be super obvious when looking at stitching especially on seams and hems. If a hem isn't entirely sewn in a product picture you'll know that it will eventually unravel. And if that unravels, what else might?
Image from allwomenstalk.com
Brand Names - Would You Buy a $800 Hoodie?
Well, if we can't trust a price tag, we've got to be able to trust brand names, right? Wrong!
Unfortunately, as told in this incredulous article in which a designer sold out their entire collection of $800 hoodies, that a name can affect the price of a piece of clothing even if it's made out of jersey. It's because of the celebrities wearing it that this brand has gained a recognition that means it can afford to set higher prices and customers will continue to buy them.
This idea doesn't only apply to brand names but also anything structly relating to higher-end brands. Alexander McQueen's famous skull print fashion is a great example as the print itself became highly popular and spurned lots of cheap skull dresses and scarves.
Where Do Your Clothes Really Come From?
Earlier we mentioned mass produced clothing, and while sometimes wearing massed produced clothing is necessary as it's so readily available and cheap, a quick outfit for a one-off job interview or picking up some cheap punk clothes to mosh in, other times it's great to know where your clothes really come from.
That's what's great about alternative subcultures!
Especially in the Punk and Goth scene, there has always been a huge emphasis on supporting the individual rather than the corporation. A great example of this is when you go to a show and love a band's performance so much that you want to support them by picking up one of their band tees and wearing it proudly. Supporting the individual and smaller alternative style fashion designers can be great because you know exactly who you're supporting!
Style versus Trends
While an important part of the price of fashion you buy is how long it will last before it falls apart, an even bigger measure of worth to take into consideration is whether it fits your style or if it's a trend. Do you remember in the mid 2013's when everyone in the media was talking about how to get the goth look cheap, how to rip your own stockings just right and where to pick up the best cheap Goth clothing? Those who had been long time lovers of the style were able to take advantage of the trend by picking up cheaper versions of the clothes they already love.
Don't get me wrong, trends are great! They're fun twists to everyday outfits that give you room to experiment. But trends, as they are defined, come and go. Sure, sometimes they become a big part of your style, but often they're literally thrown out with the trash. So, if you just want to try out something new but know you'll only get a couple wears out of it, say some unique high heels, go for cheaper trend pieces. And if, per chance, you fall in love just go from there!
What do you think? Is fast fashion worth the small price tag and how much is your closet practically worth? Oh, and who are your favourite small brands and designers you think we should support? Let us know in a comment!