Look At Me And My Designer Clothes!

If there is one thing I have never understood, it is the allure of overpriced designer clothing. The reason I don’t understand it is because most people buy fancy brand names because of the name and the fact that it is displayed in a large font on the item itself, all in an effort to impress other people. Is a Gucci handbag made in a factory in China any better than any other decently-built handbag made in a factory in China? Nope. But I guess having the big “G’ on the side makes it 10X more expensive and worth it, right? I mean, who doesn’t like paying a fortune for a big “G” on the side of their handbag?

One great example of this kind of thinking comes from a friend of mine who visited China last year. He was there with a friend who knew someone in China who was a clothing buyer, and he took them along to check out a few of the factories. Inside one of the factories they went to, there were t-shirts being made and emblazoned with all sorts of different well-known logos. One of those logos was for a very famous clothing company, which sells overpriced t-shirts covered with skulls and hearts to fashionistas around the globe. I looked up these t-shirts online, and saw that their prices run from $62 all the way up to $132…for a single t-shirt. One. T-shirt. The t-shirts for this company were being made and printed in the exact same factory, on the same lines, and by the same people making t-shirts being sold at hundreds of different stores for way, way less. But yet when they left the factory, because of the logo/name on the front, these shirts are being sold at a premium over the “regular” shirts. Just goes to show you the power of branding and logos, right? Create a buzz around a name and you can sell anything, at any price, to all sorts of people who are more concerned with impressing everyone than they are about wasting their own money.

Are those shirts any better made than most other shirts? Probably not. Sure, they are probably better made than $5 shirts you can get at any big-box store, but I doubt they are better than shirts sold at medium level stores for $25. Are my $39 jeans from The Gap any less well-made than a pair of $200 designer jeans from Armani? Doubt it. Personally, if I am going to wear clothing with gigantic logos on them, I think the companies should pay me to do their advertising for them. I don’t want Sean John written across my chest in size 400 font!

Buying quality clothing is one thing; buying designer brands with logos screaming at me is another. I believe in paying for quality, as then the goods last longer and I don’t have to replace them as often. However, quality and exorbitant prices are not one in the same. I don’t believe in wasting my money in an attempt to try to impress other people. Does anyone really care if my messenger bag is from Louis Vuitton? And if they did, would I even want to be friends with them? Not really.

I have much more important things to worry about and spend my money on. What other people think of my belongings is at the bottom of that list.

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Comments (10)

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  1. I entirely agree. I will only become a walking billboard if (1) you pay me, or (2) I really like your company.


  2. Annie Jones says:

    Personally, if I am going to wear clothing with gigantic logos on them, I think the companies should pay me to do their advertising for them.

    I have always felt this way. Not that I never have logos showing, but if I do, they are small and go mostly unnoticed.

  3. Mrs. Micah says:

    Until I was about 12, most of my “shopping” was done by looking through bags of hand-me-downs, so I couldn’t be choosy by brand. Then it was thrift stores (now that I think about it, the only thing I bought in normal retail stores until I was about 15 was underwear). You can get designer clothes in thrift stores, but it’s rare.

    Anyway, I suppose I could have responded by desperately wanting designer clothes, but fortunately I responded by thinking I had a very smart mom. 🙂

    The only way you can make me pay more than $20ish for a t-shirt is if it has something darn funny written on it. I recently got one from Cafe Press which says “Have you seen a blowfish driving a sports car?” (referencing Torchwood Season 2 opener http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-M9fL9YsU6A). That was worth buying, but only because I’m a bit of a geek.

  4. Boy am I glad both my wife & I agree with you on this. It saves us TONS of credit card debt :O)

  5. David says:

    I totally get that Mrs. Micah. I have spent money on things I thought were witty or were for a cause I believe in as well, for sure!

  6. Enrique S says:

    I like the quote from Fight Club: “You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your khakis.” Kind of sums up my attitude on “things”. I will pay more for quality items, but there should be a discernible difference from a less expensive item.

  7. David says:

    Absolutely – I loved what that movie stood for.

  8. nate says:

    I think designer clothing is a much more complicated reflection of human desires than you’re countenancing here. That’s not to say that designer clothes are awesome and we should all rush out to buy them, just that they may not be “for you”.

    Based on the general tenor of this website, I’m going to guess that you don’t reside in a community or workplace where designer clothing is the norm, and you don’t go to dance clubs in major metropolitan centers. In Toyko where I live, most people think a big apartment, a car and a big screen TV are unfathomable luxuries.

    Also, just as an aside, most of the heavily logo’d stuff is decidedly “down-market”.

  9. David says:

    I understand what you are saying, but no matter where you live, if you let fashion and what others think dictate what you are wearing, then I believe you are overly concerned with what others think of you. And in turn, I see people go into debt to impress others.

  10. Hey!! I am totally agreed with Nate. Well Said….