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Real life MMD: Should I buy my sons' clothes from Burberry?

Former_MSE_Penelope Former MSE Posts: 536 Forumite
edited 5 July 2011 at 8:37PM in MoneySaving polls
Money Moral Dilemma: Should I buy my sons' clothes from Burberry?

My sons have got to that age where everything they wear has to be an expensive label like Firetrap or Burberry, which are ridiculously expensive. I can't afford to keep buying them expensive clothes but don't want them to feel left out or be sniggered at at school because their clothes aren't as cool as their friends'. Should I keep paying the extortionate prices to keep them happy, or just buy them ordinary clothes?
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  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Forumite Posts: 2,175
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker Name Dropper
    If you can't afford it, don't do it. If he wants to buy clothes with expensive labels, make him get a paper round and learn the value of money. Either that, or tell them "This Burberry jacket costs £70, so you can have that, but you'll be forsaking watching TV for 6 months if you have it." (£70 = 6 months TV license, right?)

    There's no need to "keep them happy", I'm sure a little discipline wouldn't go amiss either. You're the parent, and you call the shots, you don't live in fear of your kids.

    In fact, look around you. Look at anyone aged 20-29 in your town centre. Now pick out the ones wearing Burberry. Do you want your sons to turn out like that? Of course you don't. Or if you do, you're the most sadistic person I know ;)
  • scotsbob
    scotsbob Forumite Posts: 4,632 Forumite
    No you should not. Burberry is well out of fashion, even the chavs have stopped wearing it and your boys will just get laughed at.

    If your finances are stretched have a look on Ebay and get some decent designer stuff or look at web sites from the far east where you only need to pay proper prices.
  • awm49
    awm49 Forumite Posts: 18
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    My parents faced this same problem largely with my sister. I can understand that you want your children to have the best and avoid being ridiculed by thier schoolmates.

    However as a parent it is important to set boudaries and they have to understand that items such as Burberry are expensive. By all means they should have some nice clothes but they should also understand that this must be mixed with regular clothes and if you can tempt them vintage clothes from ebay or charity shops.

    I would also recommend teaching them the value of work and assigning a budget. You could start with giving them a clothes allowance so that they can understand the cost and implications of buying branded clothes and link this allowance to the amount of help they give around the house. If they want additional money you can always suggest that they find a part time job or arrange for them to do jobs for other family members or friends.

    Remember they are likely to make mistakes and will complain but if you stay the course and let them make mistakes they will learn and appreciate you more for it in the long run.
  • Sharon87
    Sharon87 Forumite Posts: 4,011
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I would make them save up their own pocket money or clothing allowance if they want designer gear. They need to know how much designer stuff actually costs!

    The odd one item of designer clothes would be reasonable, maybe as a Christmas present or something. I remember wanting designer stuff when I was 12/13 just things like adidas tracksuit bottoms for school PE. My parents bought me a couple of designer pieces, but most of it was from cheaper places. I think designer shoes like Converse are worth the money as they're better quality than the cheaper alternatives.

    If kids have a couple of pieces of designer clothes they will look after them more than if they had a whole wardrobe of designer stuff!
  • Ladywhisper
    Ladywhisper Forumite Posts: 165 Forumite
    I went to 6 different schools (moved house a lot!) and i don't recall anyone ever being that fuss about brands. You can get 'the look' for a fraction of the price in other stores, I think far fewer people really care than what is made out. But like others have said, if he insists get bits off ebay or outlets.. Or get him to use his own money and give branded ones for christmas and birthday.
  • newkitchenfund
    newkitchenfund Forumite Posts: 37
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Definitely not. Burberry is the chavviest label ever, and who needs friends like that anyway?
    Seriously though, this seems to be more a boy's problem - girls don't seem to be bothered about labels as long as you look cool.
    My daughter gets a fixed monthly allowance and has managed this well since age 14. She very soon learned to weigh up the relative merits of bargain hunting versus expensive stuff, leaving more of her cash for cinemas and pizza with friends. The allowance has to cover clothes, haircuts, presents for friends, and treats like the cinema. She even treated me to a posh lunch out on my birthday! Her best bargain - her prom dress, marked down from £189 to £56. She looked better than some girls wearing £500 designer dresses. And she is, I hope, learning to handle money well for the future.
  • jamespir
    jamespir Forumite Posts: 21,456 Forumite
    no dont be stupid they go to school to learn its not a fashion parade plus they can look smarter in non labeled clothes
    when i was a kid it was reboks vs hiteck the poor kids all had hitek the rich thr reeboks
    but it was funny how many more had hitecks than reeboks
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  • nonnatus
    nonnatus Forumite Posts: 1,458 Forumite
    I already have this problem as both my teenagers attend a non-uniform secondary school and the competition to wear the biggest and best labels is HUGE. My son is easier to dress than my daughter as, I suspect, are most teenage boys who are less interested in their appearance.
    6 months ago it was the "Superdry" brand. £30 for a (very badly made) T-shirt with a special logo on. Totally ridiculous and yet I understand the horrors of peer pressure and the feelings of desperately needing to fit in with the crowd :(.

    To start with I NEVER buy new, Ebay is my friend. The kids never realise because I just say I wash stuff when I bring it home! I also have a network of other parents who get together on a monthly basis and swap things. It's a bit like a "bring and buy" sale and works really well to "refresh" the kids wardrobes (and the wine is great!). If the kids want something specific (pair of stupidly priced shoes or, god forbid, Uggs) they go and earn some money and I insist they pay 75% of the value. They have quickly learned the value of stuff and are very good at working this rule to their advantage.

    They also know that pocket money, birthday and xmas money and relatives generosity will largely be put towards their clothing as opposed to gadgets and toys.

    Finally, I never stop petitioning the school to re-introduce the uniform. Almost won last year with the appointment of a new, female, headmaster but she put it to vote and non uniform won :mad:
  • bouncydog1
    bouncydog1 Forumite Posts: 2,696
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 6 July 2011 at 7:45AM
    My 18 year old DD is always being complimented on how well turned out she is - secret is that she is a savvy shopper. Mixes classic designer stuff only ever bought in sales or on line using discount vouchers, with sale stuff from New Look. Looks after her clothes and accessories and is still wearing stuff bought several years ago!

    She always went to schools where a uniform including blazer was compulsory so there was no differentiating between the children from different income families. No uniform in 6th form but rules insisted on suits for the boys and smart office dress for the girls.

    I would give your boys a choice of either you funding their clothes and they wear what you say (within reason) or give them a monthly clothing allowance that has to cover everything.

    I certainly would not be buying them designer stuff (particularly if you can't afford to do so) - what sort of message is that sending out?
  • jackyann
    jackyann Forumite Posts: 3,433 Forumite
    When I was 11 my mother gave me a clothes budget and a 2-day lesson in sewing my own clothes. As I too had boys (MUCH more difficult to sew for) I just gave them the budget.
    We paid for school uniform, specific sport clothes (rugby team) and one pair of sensible shoes a year (extra if they actually grew!). Everything else: pocket money, work or presents.
    Part of growing up: managing a budget & sorting out your priorities. Personally I prefer to let them find out for themselves rather than debate what is cool or not (have never had a clue myself!)
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