Clothes - Treat or Necessity?

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  • I like high quality clothes (although I'm not into following fashion and am not a label snob). I'm fussy about mostly only wearing natural fibres too, which are usually more expensive than synthetics. Basically, if I like something, I'll buy it, whether it's from a cheap shop or somewhere more expensive.

    Having said that, clothes are a luxury at the moment, and all clothes buying is on hold until I'm debt-free. But when I have more discretionary income, I'll be setting some aside for nice clothes again, and won't feel bad about it!
  • Are cheaper clothes necessarily better value than more expensive ones?

    I've got a Next suit which I bought for £120 when I graduated five years ago and it's still going strong and looks great when I wear it - normally once or twice a week. On the other hand I've lost count of the number of times I've bought something from a shop like Asda and then had to re-sew popped seams and then throw away after a few months when the colour fades or the elbows wear out.

    What does everyone else think?

    Kat
  • KatrinaC wrote:
    Are cheaper clothes necessarily better value than more expensive ones?

    I've got a Next suit which I bought for £120 when I graduated five years ago and it's still going strong and looks great when I wear it - normally once or twice a week. On the other hand I've lost count of the number of times I've bought something from a shop like Asda and then had to re-sew popped seams and then throw away after a few months when the colour fades or the elbows wear out.

    What does everyone else think?

    Kat

    i think more expensive clothes are ok for classic items, like your suit, that won't go in and out of fashion in a week. but things that are high fashion and likely to be scorned soon after buying are better from primark, where by the time they fall apart, they won't be cool anymore.

    i find i get bored of clothes quickly, after a couple of wears i'm sick of them, so buying from primark suits me, i do have a few more expensive pieces that i wear on a regular basis.
  • I view decent clothes as an investment, particularly those that I wear for work. It surely is true that we are judged by our appearance, and I suspect women particularly so. I'm also finding that I feel it's harder for me to 'get away' with cheap clothes as I get older/more senior.

    I have 7 suits which I wear on a strict rotation (how sad is that?!), and I replace 2 of them every year. I buy them in the sale or at outlet shops (trying to be a good money-saver) but I do believe that it's worth the upfront investment to buy reasonably expensive ones. (I usually aim spend between £100 and £200 with at least a £100 discount on the original price.) As long as I take good care of them, they last well. If I can, I economise on the blouses/tops to wear underneath but I do find that if I spend a little bit more I get something that wears and washes better than some £6 shirts I've bought in the past. Tights vary, they don't have to be expensive but some are better than others, and I do handwash them or I find I ladder them very quickly :-(

    I'm particularly fussy about shoes; they don't have to be expensive, but work shoes have to be real leather, cleaned every day and replaced as soon as they start to get scruffy. Usually I try to get a couple of pairs in the John Lewis sale (about £30) which I keep tucked away until a current pair wear out. (My husband thinks this is madness but they are £45 full price, and however much weight you gain/loose the shoes will still fit!) It's a complete cliche, but I think a decent pair of shoes can lift a cheap suit and I have always tried to get good shoes even when I was first working and trying to buy work outfits for £30 or £40.

    For non-work stuff I do spend more than I need to, but it's on quality not quantity. I save up and twice a year I go to John Lewis Southampton and have a session with their fab personal shopper. That doesn't cost me anything (apart from what I buy) but I feel utterly pampered after the experience, plus I now have a wardrobe where everything goes together, rather than as previously I had at least 3 times as many clothes but could never find anything to wear. (I am not joking. I was really dubious about this the first time I went, but afterwards I threw out about 2/3 of my previous wardrobe. It was utterly liberating!)

    I guess the way I see it is that I'm not borrowing to do it, and I 'deserve' good quality stuff. For me, I prefer that to having a high turnover and lots of new things all of the time, but I'm sure that's a personal preference, I know friends who get itchy if they haven't bought anything new for a couple of weeks. I do see my personally shopped sessions as a real treat, in the same way that these friends view spending £20 or £50 on a saturday shopping outing as their weekly treat. Overall I spend much less than they do.

    So to answer the question - both! You have to have clothes to a minimum level of quality and quantity. But you can enjoy treating yourself above that basic level too, and I think that as long as you can afford it, it's OK to chose this as your treat for yourself.

    You spent twenty thousand francs on this !!!!!!??
    Marc - Art, Yasmina Riza
  • Definately a need but can be a treat in the right circumstances!

    I buy my daughters clothes from Tesco's, next, matalan, but 99% of all mine from ebay, absolutely love it and it's the only way I could afford new (to me) clothes say every 8 weeks or so

    See it's a treat & necessity
    Cath
  • I wasn't able to afford to budget for clothes for myself for years, so only replaced worn out clothes and shoes. During that time, I viewed my occasional clothes shopping as a nuisance. Now that I'm out of debt and can budget for clothes, I've had to face up to the fact that I've looked like a bag lady for years, so they've become a necessity! Perhaps when I've had some practice at shopping for new clothes I might view it as a treat ...
    Debt at highest: £6,290.72 (14.2.1999)
    Debt free success date: 14.8.2006 :j
  • Ali_UK
    Ali_UK Posts: 302 Forumite
    ZTD wrote:
    Gel Y-Fronts.

    You could be on to something there, removeable gel pads that the guys can put in the fridge - I reckon they would sell well for summer and for men who are trying to improve the quality of their swimmers!! ;)


    But back to the topic...I can't remember how I coped without Primark. I'm wearing a pair of black linen type cropped trousers which I wear at least once a week - have had them ages and they only cost £8, they wash up great. Same with some black work trousers, £6. I do think you need to be careful with both the fabric and the cut of their clothes - examine seams etc carefully - but you really can get some great stuff that doesn't fall apart during the first wash!

    The problem I have is that when I replace I can't seem to bring myself to get rid of the worn out item (unless it's in a REALLY bad way!)
  • The OP said she is a size 8/10 with 34" legs.

    Ok I'm not jealous at all. :rolleyes:
    Bank Balance: In the black for the moment.
    Sainsburys Loan: Cleared July 2010
    Credit cards: AMEX Airmiles Card: direct debit set to clear balance monthly
  • Ali_UK
    Ali_UK Posts: 302 Forumite
    :D I'm jealous of the 8/10 bit but not the long legs as obviously the OP doesn't find it that easy buying clothes (unless she wears crop trousers a lot!).

    Incidentally, has anyone noticed that the bigger you are the longer the sleeves and legs tend to be? I mean, just cause you're a size 16 or 18 doesn't mean you're tall or monkey limbed!
  • If I could have 34" legs I would happily accept the challenge of finding trousers or skirts to fit :rolleyes: ;):D

    OP: I'm not having a dig - I am just very bitter as I have (just about) 30" legs which I hate!
    Bank Balance: In the black for the moment.
    Sainsburys Loan: Cleared July 2010
    Credit cards: AMEX Airmiles Card: direct debit set to clear balance monthly
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