In an era when the high-low price mentality rules, allowing women to mix high-priced designs with low-cost knockoffs, what makes an outfit worth the price?
Obviously, when we invest in a Ralph Lauren Purple Label button down or a killer pair of Louboutin heels, we know that we are paying for the quality. And often times, we are paying for the genius that created the outfit. (Let’s face it, we can’t find everything we want at the Gap.) Beautifully made clothes are definitely something to buy now and love forever. But is spending the extra cash for quality and genius really worth it?
With all of the low priced knockoffs available to today’s market, it’s easy to avoid high-end retailers. We all remember when Isaac Mizrahi’s line premiered at Target in 2002, or just this past fall when Kohl’s introduced Vera Wang’s collection. It seems as though there is a widening gap between high and low merchandise, and who is willing to pay for each. I usually just take my inspiration from runway photos and Vogue fashion spreads and look for their lower priced alternatives elsewhere.
So where do we go from here? I like to follow my mother’s advice regarding the price battle: invest in expensive staple items (white collared shirts, black pants, a classic handbag) and have fun with accessories (or rather, buy throw-aways to perk up your look). Be weary about buying the current runway looks; by the time you get them, they’ve been in every magazine, and you’re bored with your big investment (that’s why I never invest in an â€œitâ€ bag).
And always remember: if it fits you, and you feel fabulous in it, the number on the price tag is irrelevant.
Pictured top to bottom
Derek Lam Spring 2008, Balenciaga Spring 2008, Chanel Spring 2008 photos: Style.com