Fashion: 7 Reasons to Choose Quality Over Quantity

December 28, 2010
This is a topic I’ve been wanting to write about for a while, but since the sales are at the gates, and I got into a project from another blogger who made me think about this issue, I decided to go for it!
The project is “Recessionista Chic” by The Dolls Factory , which I’m going to attend very soon, and it is about the ability of building a nice outfit with less than 50€ tot.
I’m a great fan of “being stylish because you’re creative and not because you’re rich“, and it’s obviously what I am, since my parents don’t like fashion at all and never let me spend too much about it, and I’m a young worker at her beginnings.
So, I love that one can be stylish, creative and stunning without having to be rich.
But of all of these nice things about “fabulous on a budget”, there’s a thing that concerns me a lot: quality.
Wheter one likes it or not, I was “fashionably” born in a fashion academy, so I was raised with the myth of the couturier, quality, local made materials, tailoring “bravura”. I love the art within fashion.
So I can’t help but feeling guilty when I buy something cool, but poorly made.
This is a big problem, because of many reasons:
  • if you buy poorly made stuff, you can buy more items for a lower budget, and you have more possibilities in terms of mixing and matching, but you are still dressed H&M.;
  • quality doesn’t necessarily mean 700$ Louboutin’s heels. You can find quality bargains, but it really requires a lot of research, ad most of the things you’ll find will be second hand.
  • moreover, if you have to look for bargains to avoid going on streets with no money, it’s more likely that you’ll develop a unique style, because bargains are often one of a kind!
  • about second hand clothing: vintage. Before it became a trend, you were very likely to find quality bargains, now it’s almost impossible, because it’s a trend and they make you pay a lot also for cheap old garments. You have to be very carefully when browsing “vintage” stuff: rip-offs are behind every corner!
  • fast fashion: I think that’s the biggest problem of it all. We all love fast fashion chains (H&M;, Zara and so on) but they’re making us used to the fact that a t-shirt will last only two washes, and it looks normal because it probably did cost 10€. Truth is: we are a disposable generation; does it still make sense talking about designer’s quality?
  • another big problem with fast fashion is that they actually often make you pay too much for the real value of what you are buying, just because it’s trendy. But you’re probably going to buy it as well, because you won’t find such a cool thing at a similar price.
  • last but not least quality issue: quality doesn’t always mean established brands items. It also means handmade, and young emerging designers. The real issue is that people is often buying branded things because it makes you look “wealthy”, not because of the quality. That’s why designers are often offering lines targeted to a wider slice of people, with lower prices, same logo, and lower quality. (or, worst, doing bad taste collaborations, Lanvin for H&M; anyone?)
So, the quality vs quantity has an obvious answer with the points above: quantity seems to win hands down, especially if we’re doing a general discussion about latest 40 years.
But do we really want to be reminded for this in the future?  Do we want to wear black sweaters that will turn green within a season? Do we want to wear bijoux that stains your fingers and tarnish in a week?
 
What about you? How do you feel about shops always trying to sell us cheap stuff? How do you try to avoid this vicious circle?
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Elisa

About the Author

Elisa

Hey, it's Elisa, the woman who founded styleonvega.com in 2010, when it was called styleBizarre. I gave this blog to another awesome woman and she's now running the whole thing: Cynthia. If you want to follow me on my website or social media please click on the icons that are probably showing somewhere around this text box :D

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Fashion Nicotine

At the moment I prefer quality for quantity, cuz at the moment my closets and room are just to full with clotes and shoes!!

Vivian

Ahaha this is a very good point Natascha 😀 I could add this to the post as a reason to prefer quality over quantity XD

Nicoletta

concordo con il commento precedente…
anche se non riesco a identificarmici,perchè dal mio punto di vista io non ho mai abbastanza vestiti.. però caspita ha proprio ragione .__.!

Laura Connell

I love the way you covered this topic and I agree with you on every point. I am going to take that pledge with you as a new year's resolution. "Modern vintage" in the form of second hand clothing is also a good-quality/low-price bet which I am selling on ebay and hope to transition to a boutique one day.

KT

I have seen a number of fashion bloggers writing about this topic lately. It is certainly an interesting one to discuss and to consider. I think we'll have to use it as a FBFF topic in January to get the opinions of everyone. – Katy

Vivian

@ Nicoletta: quello sarebbe un problema persistente anche se avessi tutto H&M; a disposizione per un cambio diverso al giorno! XD

@Laura: is it your ebay shop? can you give me the url? 😀

@KT: really? I haven't read on this topic recently, I just see people buying tons of designer stuff but I supposed it was because they're rich and they can ahahhahah! Which bloggers did talk about this topic? I'd be very interested in reading what others have to say!

Trés Awesome a Chicago Street Style Blog

Hi there! What an interesting topic. I am a total clothes horse who in recent years has become more comfortable and am able to afford some luxury items. I would say that quality varies wildly when it comes to fashion. There are pieces I have from H&M; that are almost a decade old that I still wear and there are pieces I have from Marc Jacobs that have fallen apart. I think it comes down to having a discerning eye and really inspecting a something before buying.

Come check out my street style blog at
http://www.tresawesome.com/

Vivian

I think so, too! That's true especially when we're talking about "bargains"! You really have to have an eye for it! Look at hemlins, sewings and fabric!
By the way, I think that quality of fast fashion chains has clearly decayed in last years! I bet the things you bought from h&m; lately won't last 10 years like the ones you bought ten years ago! 🙁

Masha

great blog, thanks for sharing! i would love to hear about your recommendations. 🙂

Vivian

Hi Masha! I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean with "hear my reccomendations" XD I'd be happy to help you if you explain me better!

Masha

oh, i was refering to "will share my secret finds with you in my next posts" 😀

Vivian

Aaaaah! Ahahaha! I didn't figured it out yet though! I hope I'm going to have more time to do proper researches!

Masha

yes, it is hard to find good stuff – i have different experiences also within the same shops, for example h&m;: some pieces of clothes last for ages while others get crappy after first or second washing. >.< zara is also interesting - it is surprisingly popular in ljubljana but it is really hard to get anything good and it isn't even that cheap - i don't really like it. stuff in topshop is quite similar to my personal style but again - you can get something crappy. i used to say that i don't really mind if the clothes wear out quickly as long as they are reasonably cheap (because trends are changing quickly anyway). but now i've realized i have nothing to wear (at least considering tops) and i don't really like to shop a lot so i'm considering investing in quality item that would match my style which isn't as quickly changing as it used to be. but if i only knew what to buy ... 😀

Vivian

I guess I should do a Quality Guide! It's not that easy having an eye to pick the more lasting pieces in a shop! You should look at sewings, fabric, "heaviness", but when it comes to colours I don't really know how one can check them before putting them in a washing machine! This is a thing that really concerns me! What do they use to dye fabrics? Water colours? XD And I wash darker colours with cold water, too! Uff… it's a really hard world for people who care what they're wearing!
Anyway, I'd suggest you to shop online, but then I think that when you buy on line you are buying a closed box. I mean you can't touch and feel what you're buying. So I think that not buying stuff because it's cool or cheap is the first step! We must look for basic items, that look like they will fit ans be of use for a very long time, and maybe that cost a bit more than the usual h&m; price!

Style Geek

We are the disposable generation and it might get worse before it gets better. Have you ever walked into a thrift store and wondered where it all goes if no one buys it? I think that's a topic for another day though…

I've always been torn on this issue mainly for the first point you made: "you can buy more items for a lower budget, and you have more possibilities in terms of mixing and matching" but then your closet is bursting a few months later – feels like a Catch-22.

Quality for sure SHOULD win out but fast fashion is part of the fast-paced society we live in – everything has a life-span. I agree, though, that certain pieces should be bought with quality in mind: the basics, the classics – something you know you will wear 3 years down the road.

~ BTW thanks for the comment 🙂
http://blog.stylegeekproductions.com

Vivian

Where do things go when they're not sold? It depends on stores, chains and franchising policies! Some give back the leftovers to the brand, and some (like United Colours of Benetton) have to keep all in stores, and pull things out every year for sales! (that's why in some shops you really see '90 things when sales are on!)
For the rest, I don't know. I mean, I don't know when leftovers are given back to brands what they actually do with stuff!
But I actually believe there are not so many leftovers! Shops tend to sell whatever is actually selling, so..!

Merry Makes..

Excellent topic which really needs to be discussed.

In my early years I spent a lot of time buying affordable, fashionable items only to find my closets full of things I didn't really enjoy wearing. Having matured and moved on in life, I now operate on the basis that quality items (clothing and accessories) should be easily incorporated into many outfits, thus providing more wear for our money. It doesn't have to cost a bomb to look good; often a discerning eye is enough to pick out quality pieces even at high street stores.

My top tip is to judge the craftsmanship involved in making the item rather than evaluating a piece based on its price tag alone. With this principle in mind, I've been crafting and selling one-off jewellery and accessories over the past year or so. I'm looking forward to launching my on-line shop in autumn 2011.

Vivian

Yes I completely agree with you!! This matter becomes a great problem when you actually own a lot of things, that obviously start to fall apart, and you feel disappointed.
I really feel frustrated when a thing I recently bough falls apart. It's almost the same level of feeling I feel when buying something that looks cool for a few bucks, but instead of feeling extremely good it feels extremely bad.
I don't want to feel that disappointed! Even if I do expect things to not last forever if I buy them for 15$.
I like your crochet jewels anyway! <3 I received your carnival submission, I'm going to include you because you dealt with the problem with a deep point of view, the one of possessions, and I really enjoyed reading it and checking the links you gave!
Anyway, I hope you are going to sell many silver jewels because metal stains ahahahhaa! (talking about quality XD)
Thank you for stopping by! 😀

Merry Makes..

Thank you, Vivian, for including my submission for the blog carnival. I look forward to reading the other posts you will include, too.

erin F.

Quality makes putting together an outfit much simpler, quality gives unlimited options, not all are gonna be good.

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