July 16, 2007
Price isn't always the best indicator of quality
There has been some response to my post a few weeks ago about quality in the mass market fashion industry, which is exciting.
I should point out, though, that the sad thing is that the price tag of an item is hardly a reliable indicator these days of its quality. I've seen features in magazine such as Marie Claire and Glamour in the past few months about why fashion items cost as much as they do, and the differences between one designer's bag at target and in her eponymous line, for example. The problem is, some of the justifications just don't make sense to me. Paying $555 for someone to make me a great fitting wool cashmere jacket is one thing, but I'm not going to shell out for hand sandpapered jeans...but that's just me. What do you guys think?
Anyway, the other problem I have with these articles (as much as they help justify my occasional splurges to my husband...) is that they don't mention that a lot of the "quality" details exist in cheaper items as well! It's about knowing what to look for...
For example, ignoring my terrible photography and styling, the bag I bought above last week cost $25 (On sale for $50 from originally $100 but it was buy one get one free and so my friend and I each bought one) at H&M, but I've been getting some compliments on it and I think it's an exceptionally great value from the Swedish company. (Disclosure: I first saw it on a fashion designer friend and sourced it from her!) Why? Well, unlike a lot of the other bags at H&M that were just as cute, it was well-stitched (heavy thread, good match between thread and leather color, no puckering and good sewing tension overall), has a decent lining fabric and color, was made of real leather (most of their other $34.90 bags were pleather or fabric) and the design was simple and tasteful enough for me to wear it to work...even though I work at a fashion-obsessed place.
Do you even consider these details when you're shopping?