‘never pay full price’ debate

IMG_1255see, I don’t only have black clothes….
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We’re taught to value a bargain. To proudly never pay full price and to get excited over sales like they’re never going to happen again. Especially for clothes. The mark-up in fashion is extremely high so I understand why you wouldn’t want to pay full price, but I don’t agree with the way of thinking that what you pay for something is what’s most important.

When I confronted my shopaholic ways (about 10 years ago), I changed the way I looked at clothes. Instead of as individual pieces, I starting thinking of clothes as parts of a wardrobe; a wardrobe that reflects me and my lifestyle. When purchasing something (or when offered something for free) I ask myself if I really love it, does it fit, and then think about how it will work with what I already have; does this piece expand my wardrobe or would I have to buy all new things around it.

Along with that, I saw that how much something cost wasn’t so important. Especially since when I edited my wardrobe, those bargains I never wore were donated; not much of a bargain at all. So now, one of my rules is ‘never buy for price’. While it’s nice when something is on sale, “this was $400 and now it’s $50” isn’t a reason to buy it. The truth is no one cares how much you paid for something when you’re wearing it AND you rarely pull something to wear because of how much you paid for it.

Now I think in terms of cost per wear. For instance, I have $325.00 blouse I bought 6 years ago. I wear it all year round, so if I wore it 8 times a year (which I wear more often than that), 8 wearings per year X 6 years = 48 wearings total.  $325/48 = $6.77 per wear. Take that against something you purchased for $40 and wear maybe 4 times then toss or it doesn’t wash well (like lots of cheap stuff). That’s $40/4 = $10 per wear. 

Only buying pieces you love, that fit you and your lifestyle, regardless of price means you’ll buy less stuff (if you’re truly following those guidelines) so you can pay more for individual pieces. The idea is being more selective when buying means you’ll want to wear them more, curbing your need to constantly buy new things. Imagine, gettng more enjoyment out of the clothes themselves, over getting the enjoyment out of BUYING them. I know it works as I did it and I’m so much happier and better dressed because of it.

At one point to try to save money, I shopped at less expensive places like Zara and Madewell and I always find something I like at a good price. But the truth is I actually don’t LOVE those pieces when I get home. I realize that I like certain pieces over the other pieces at the store, but when I get home, compared to what I have, they’re not so great so I don’t end up wearing them making them quite expensive. 

How do you feel about it??

5 responses

  1. I find the same the thing when I try to shop less expensive clothing chains. When I get home and compare them to the more expensive pieces I have saved for in my closet they look cheap. I’ve been working on creating a small, curated wardrobe of good-quality pieces I love for the last four years. It is a slow and steady process. The pieces I love the most are ones that were hand-crafted of from small designers.

  2. Laura, love this post, I think about this often. Sharing on FB and Twitter today!

  3. Thank you for this post, Laura. It’s a nice reminder for me to stop thinking about it as “clothes shopping” and start thinking about it as creating a wardrobe. It is a challenge to keep all these little details in mind while shopping for pieces to build a wardrobe and too often final decisions end up being about the price. But I think getting into the mind frame of “buy less quantity and more quality” while shopping will really help.

  4. royall: yes it does take time. it took me years to really have a wardrobe i felt was ‘complete’. living in 4 seasons doesn’t help…

    elissa: it is a good reminder. and it’s about just getting into the habit of thinking this way. then before you shop you can see what you need and shop with purpose for specific things.

    thanks for sharing dacy!

  5. I’m learning! I’m learning! Meanwhile, I love the clothes of yours that you have spotlighted.