Sunday, December 17The Voice of London

Shopping on a budget done right

It is officially December, which also means that we officially should start thinking about Christmas shopping. There are so many presents to buy and so much money to spend. So what a better time to practice the one tip, which we want to give you today, that will improve your shopping skills?

Image via Freestocks

Contemporary designers do a really good job producing inspiring, yet insanely expensive garments. We all wish to simply copy an outfit from the catwalk or our favourite magazine or Instagram and paste it into our wardrobe. Would that not be amazing? More like a paradise. But since none of us has such magical powers we are all constantly looking for affordable alternatives to fill our desires.

Throughout the years a lot of brands have mastered the so-called “fast fashion”. Today there is a variety of retailers, which provide us with the newest trends as quickly and cheaply as possible. Among those are some of our favourite brands, like Zara, TopShop, Forever 21, H&M, Bershka, New Look, Missguided, and even Primark. As a result, you can go shopping, buy designer look-alike pieces for 1/10 the price and head home, feeling good about your smart spendings.

Image via Freestocks

Yes, five pounds for a trendy shirt does sound pretty great. But what happens when after the second wash this cloth is no more wearable due to its poor quality? Well, you have to spend more money on a new one, thus making the cheaper choice more expansive.

In other words, if you really want to make good financial decisions while shopping, you need to start thinking about and investing in good-quality garments. After all, cheap does not always mean affordable.

In her interview for Voice of London, Alicia Manani tells her expert opinion about the importance of quality, how to test a garment, where to shop, and more.

If you want to become a smart shopper, there are four things you need to know.

1.We should not only not overestimate high-priced designer items, but also not underestimate low-priced clothing.

It is a fact that the price does not indicate the quality. However, we often forget that this works both ways. You can find a really expensive, low-quality garment, just as easy as you can find a cheap, but a qualitative one. This means that one should not consider the brand but “test” each garment’s quality, which leads us to the next point.

2. Quality shopping required some extra time and attention

So, forget about grabbing something and heading straight to the cash desk. When a garment grabs your attention, take the time to check the material, lining, finishing, elasticity, thickness, etc. As Manani explained in her interview, there are many factors that give away the quality of a garment.

However, as we are not all experts, we would not usually be that good in differing high from low quality. But one thing that we could all figure out by ourselves is does it feel good on the body. Every clothing we buy and wear has to feel good on the skin. Apart from the fact that this is usually a high-quality indicator, another key thing is that if the material is nice it is going to feel nice on your body as well. And feeling good means looking good.

3. If it is worth it, it is worth it

Sometimes you might want to treat yourself and shop at a designer store, or maybe you have found something high-praised from a usually cheap brand like Zara. But there is no need to feel guilty. If you like something and it is high-quality, paying a bit more is not a bad financial decision. On the one hand, you can wear good-quality items a lot, without having to replace them anytime soon. On the other hand, if you do not want to wear them anymore, you can try and sell them, because if treated well, qualitative garments can look as good as new even after 10 years. As Alicia Manani said, if the quality is good, do spend those £5 more. Or £15 or £50. Whatever works for you.

4. If you want to invest, you better invest in accessories 

A pair of nice shoes, an extravagant bag, or even just sunglasses and jewellery that look great on you may turn a basic outfit into a stunning look. Meanwhile, if you keep them classic, your accessories may not only be mixed with various clothing but also fit into the trends of many different seasons. In other words, never underestimate the power of a good accessory.

Image by Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash

Quality does play an important role, especially now, when more and more people start considering the new “trend” about developing a capsule wardrobe or simply having a minimalistic way of life. After all, having fewer pieces in your closet means using them more often, and for those to last, you need quality. So if you as well have pointed your closet in that direction or at least are planning to, then you need to know that

“less is more” goes hand in hand with “quality over quantity”.

 

As we found out from a quick, small survey, people around the world rely on quality rather than quantity when shopping. What about you? Are you a qualitative or a quantitative shopper?

Words: Zornitsa Valkova | Subbing: Alina Sirbu

 

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