What Does “Value For Money” Mean When Exploring Fashion?
Putting together your style is a fun and often empowering exercise. However, that empowerment comes at a cost.
To begin with, to wear one outfit by implication means you’re not wearing other outfits, and so it’s nice to always find something you’re happy wearing as opposed to a style you feel forced into.
We’re seeing many people delineate their own gender norms as it relates to their own style, as the rulebook doesn’t really exist. However, it’s also true that fashion comes at a cost. While most people can dress in the basics inexpensively, and personal crafts and tailoring can often help a piece last for longer, what matters is not really about spending more money than others, but making that onboarding cost work for you.
But how can you define the cost of fashion, and its value for money when there’s no one common norm? One person might not think twice about spending $1000 on a pair of jeans that will last years, another may think that outrageous.
In this post, we’ll discuss how to determine your own yardstick for fashion value, and hopefully help you find a comfortable middle ground as a result.
Versatility & Utility
There’s nothing wrong with investing in a single-use item, for example, many have suits in their wardrobe that they only wear for special occasions, or evening dresses they may have donned for a formal event and that’s it. However, if you’re looking for value for money, then it can’t hurt to consider the versatility and the utility of the items you wear. This can go from the boots you wear during winter to the accessories you bring with you – a good watch with a strong strap and protective waterproofing can both look great and last for some time.
In general, the idea is that versatility often comes from higher-quality clothes. Moreover, the longer you wear a particular item, the more uses it has. A beautiful plaid shirt may be a smart casual favorite of yours now, but in five years may be used as a gardening shirt you don’t mind getting dirty anymore. This is how you can stretch your payment out over time.
The great thing about fashion is that even if it’s out of style now, you can bet it will be in style again. Some designs are timeless. As you can see, a good strong leather jacket is always a good throwback but can complement modern aesthetics well also.
The same goes for modern renditions on old accessories. Chokers have been around for some time, but these days they’re more subtle, comfortable to wear, and genderless. You could even focus on hallmark timeless items like the tye-die shirt, bell bottoms, and other fun additions for particular nights out or when you want to put a genuinely fun outfit together. These days, there’s no real distinction between “good” and “bad” fashion provided you wear it with confidence.
However, if you’re looking for clothes that will always deliver, then clean blue jeans, white button-up shirts, black dresses, tailored blazers, cashmere sweaters, and silk scarves are among some of the most common and worthwhile to invest in. Always having these staples in your wardrobe will, to some extent, complement any outfit you put together.
Value for money rarely means opting for the cheapest possible option. In this way, you actually save more money over time. For example, a solid pair of boots that look great, complement your style, and are well-constructed can be repaired over the years and may even last up to a decade or more.
As you can imagine, this is much cheaper than replacing a pair of boots every two years because the cheaper variant disintegrated from overuse. While it’s not good advice to tell you to “pay more” as not everyone is in the position to do so, going for the best you can afford is almost always worth it. Brands like Fuller’s Jewelry make certain to provide the best quality for affordable prices, for example.
Can you put a price on self-expression? Not always, but we think that you deserve to feel confident in making the choices you do and not apologizing for them.
Let’s say you want to wear a mixture of male and female clothing because that helps express who you are. It may be that opting for brands that use cohesive design in their gendered distinctions can help you avoid clashing outfits.
As such, finding the brands or the designers that work for you and your own taste can be important, and as such, you’re finding value for money in the kind of taste that helps curate your self-expression.
There’s something to be said for cultural authenticity and imagination. Not all high street brands will offer that, as their job is to curate clothes that appeal to as many people as possible, not necessarily replicate the most authentic standards.
So for example, if you hope to wear a cultural dress like a sari, or accessories from your culture, then it’s helpful to find brands that are actually curated and come from a tradition. This may cost a little more than a simple online store or disposable brand, but you can’t put a price on validity and respect for the culture you hope to embody. In the long run, that might help you develop a shrewd approach to how you invest in fashion.
Ethical & Sustainable Convictions
It’s also wise to consider the ethical and sustainable convictions of the brands you support. It’s not just about paying for clothes and seeing how much you could get for how little you spend, but what you do with your money that counts. For example, fair trade fashion suppliers where you know the clothes have gone nowhere near a sweatshop or exploitative manufacturing facility is important. Certain brands, like Shein, have been accused of contributing to such conditions. Ultimately, considering the worth of your ethical dollar is essential when determining value for money.
With this advice, we hope you can consider what value for money means when exploring fashion. Note that this is personal to you, and a good purchase for another may not be so for you. That’s absolutely valid.