Hermès, Gucci, Lancôme: if your mind is racing thinking of all the fabulous things these brands make, but your bank cards are starting to worry, you have most likely faced the dilemma of having to decide if you can stretch to afford a designer item. For a small proportion of the world, it’s not a question, it’s a given. Of course people are going to go designer whenever the opportunity arises. For the rest of us, with fewer zeros in our bank account, when are designer names worth it?
If you pick your luxury brands wisely, high-end clothes and accessories can indeed be worth the price tag. The quality of material and craftsmanship is what you are paying for. Compare a designer item to a fast fashion knock off and you will find that the cut and stitching simply don’t compare. A high-end dress is likely to be impeccably lined while a cheaper option may just consist of one layer of material, which is part of the reason that the designer option will hang better and also last a lot longer.
If you are choosing to invest in a designer piece then be sure to pick an item that has staying power. A trending item may go out of fashion, consigning it to the back of your wardrobe within a few months. However timeless pieces like a blazer, trench coat or leather jacket will last forever; even if they are not the current trend, they are never out of fashion.
Before splashing out, do your research. Louboutin shoes may look drop-dead gorgeous but they are well known for being incredibly uncomfortable. Do you really want to spend a mortgage payment on shoes you can barely walk in?
Cosmetics are a mixed bag when it comes to deciding whether to splurge or save on them. Generally speaking, the ingredients used in cosmetics are the same, however, the high-end options will usually contain more pigments to give stronger and longer-lasting colours. A better quality of fragrances tends to be used as well. The packaging in designer items will no doubt be of higher quality too.
Unlike the other items I’m talking about here, makeup and perfumes are finite which makes it slightly harder to apply the same rules about them being an investment. After all, you’re hardly likely to keep a hold of lipstick for years, nor should you, given that lipstick has a shelf life of a year at a push, and eye makeup should be thrown out after only 3 months. Items like blush, however, can last for up to 2-3 years, making them a slightly better investment if you feel they perform well above the basic brands. However, when it comes to basics like lip gloss and nail polish don’t be dazzled by a big name, the stuff you can get from Superdrug will do just as well.
It’s probably not the first thing your mind jumps to when you think of designer goods but designer radiators are gaining popularity. Similarly to well-made clothes, they are a designer item that can be truly worth the cost. The biggest difference between a designer option and your common radiator is that it is most likely made of aluminium instead of steel. Aluminium is much more malleable so it can be shaped into a whole range of designs, just take a look at the options from Trade Radiators to give you an idea of what is available in regards to design. The other benefit of aluminium is that it heats up very quickly so you don’t have to wait around for your room to get warm.
Designer kitchen appliances have also been gaining in popularity. If you have been drooling over a SMEG fridge you may be asking yourself if you can justify the spend. The thing to look out for here is features. SMEGs look amazing but they are known to be a little slim on features. For electric goods, you need to carefully weigh up what you are getting for your money. If the benefits seem to squarely be on the look of the item are you happy to pay for that alone?
After reading this I hope you have some new points to things about when it comes to deciding whether to go designer or not. Personally, I would say the most important thing to consider is whether buying a designer item will take you into debt.
I don’t think any bag, coffee maker or mascara is worth that. I would also encourage you to take a look at this study from Havard. It found that most people who were unused to having designer items felt inauthentic when using one. Instead of making them feel happy they actually felt worse about themselves and questioned how the money could have been better spent, or if a local designer could have been a better option than a big-name designer. Another good point to consider when you are thinking about splurging.
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