High-end fashion names are becoming more affordable through partnerships with mass-market retailers, but are they worth your hard earned cash? Keep reading to find out what 4 factors to consider when buying items from budget fashion lines.
Most recently, there’s been a lot of hype over Target’s partnerships. When Missoni came to Target, the store’s site crashed due to the high demand. The response was similar for the Jason Wu partnership. But soon after, stories from buyers came out about their disappointment with the quality of the purchased items. Ouch!
Though Target is the undisputable king of collaborations – the store is joining forces with Neiman Marcus this fall – it’s not the only one. JC Penney became the pioneer when it teamed up with Halston back in the 80s. H&M has collaborated with Stella McCarthy and is joining forces with French Design House, Maison Martin Margiela this fall. Macy’s will team up with Nicole Richie. Kohl’s with Narciso Rodriguez.
Are you excited to go shopping this fall, or what?
It’s important that you don’t get so excited that you lose all perspective as you can quickly end up regretting your purchases. Creating a fashion fund (aka a budget) is helpful and so is thinking about these four factors:
1. Quality is king.
Remember that designers have to create pieces that are affordable when they join forces with mass-market retailers, which means something’s gotta give. Unfortunately, it usually ends up being the material quality. This is why many people cried foul when they bought Missoni pieces at Target. Before buying any new outfit, make sure you know the telltale signs of cheaply made clothes. I always check for loose buttons and threads, which is a dead giveaway something is poorly made. Remember, cheap is chic until it falls apart.
2. The price is right, or is it?
If you wouldn’t spend $100 on jeans at Target, then don’t spend $100 on jeans with a coveted label at Target. Yes, the pair is probably cheaper than purchasing at an upscale boutique, but why pay for a label just to get it in your closet? Though budget fashion lines are less expensive than high fashion, they are still costly. Consider the price of similar pieces before paying up.
3. Do the math.
If you decide to purchase an item, make sure to compute the cost-per-wear. The idea is similar to computing the cost per unit at the grocery store when you want to save money on groceries. Simply put it’s the amount of money it costs to wear an item. A low cost-per-wear means you’re getting a deal! For example, if a coat costs $80 and you wear it twice a year, then it would cost you $20 per wear. On the other hand, if you buy an $80 dress, but you wear it 10 times, then the cost-per-ware is lower and you’ve got yourself a deal at only $8 per wear.
4. Don’t get caught up in the hype.
I know a person who purchased a Missoni beach cruiser from Target only to put it up for sale. The reason? She didn’t need it, but wanted something from the collection. Avoid spur of the moment purchases, but don’t lag either. With these fashion lines, once an item is out of stock, it’s gone! Know that designers release a limited edition collection to help drive buyers and to protect their brand because once everyone is wearing it, it loses its exclusivity.
It’s now possible to score designer goods at lower prices, but it doesn’t mean it’s a great buy.
Have you ever stood in line to buy a piece by a couture designer? What do you take into consideration when buying clothes?
© 2012, Whalen Media LLC. All rights reserved. To repost or publish, please email Kelly.