So there I was, standing in a not so well known independent clothing shop in Lincoln earlier today looking at a dress I had instantly fallen in love with. And if you know me you will know that I do not instantly fall in love with clothing very often. Impulse purchases are unheard of in my book. And this dress was £60.00 – outside my budget thanks to being self employed.
I hummed and harred over whether it was worth the £60. But then I thought ‘hang on just a minute‘ and berated myself for letting myself be swayed. Because I am always harping on about getting what you pay for. And yet here I was contradicting myself. Idiot!
Granted, it wasn’t a top of the range dress but it was fairly well made and there was a lot of detailing on it which made up for what it lacked in fabric type and label. I could not make this dress for £60.00 myself and make a profit. And I questioned why I was unwilling to pay the price in the shop – who clearly had much higher overheads than me.
One of the things that made me question my reluctance to make this purchase was reading this the evening before. I was just so annoyed when I saw this article. We have become firmly entrenched in the belief that everything should be cheap regardless of the effort that’s gone into it. I KNOW we are in recession which has left us with a Primark mentality when it comes to clothes, but seriously? The only reason companies make profit on dresses at this price is because they pay their workers appallingly.
And I am absolutely sick of people complaining about the quality of cheap products. What part of our logic doesn’t understand that it’s cheap for a reason? If you want something nice, you have to pay a realistic price for it. If you only pay £30 for a dress you will get something fairly naff unless you are buying vintage. But if that’s all you can afford, that’s the way it is. You have two choices. Buy cheap and don’t complain about it. Or SAVE. Invest in something beautiful that will last you for years, not some dodgy rip off that may not even make it past its debut outing.
If I buy something cheap I have no one but myself to blame if it is rubbish and only lasts a couple of wears. £90 (as in the example in this article) might sound like a lot to some of us. But when you think logically about what’s involved in getting a custom fit dress that £90 goes absolutely nowhere and it’s no wonder customers were let down. Fabric, labour for measuring, pattern drafting, fitting, alterations, shipping, taxes etc etc etc. It quickly mounts up. Anyone expecting to get a custom made dress for £90 has to be on another planet.
So back to my £60 dress. I bought it. And I didn’t worry about the cost (even though between you and me I couldn’t afford it). Because for the work that went into it it was worth it.
And I now have a dress that will probably last me years. And that’s what matters.