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    Former MSE Penelope
    Real life MMD: Should I buy my sons' clothes from Burberry?
    • #1
    • 30th Jun 11, 12:11 PM
    Real life MMD: Should I buy my sons' clothes from Burberry? 30th Jun 11 at 12:11 PM
    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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    Last edited by Former MSE Penelope; 05-07-2011 at 8:37 PM.
Page 1
    • billbennett
    • By billbennett 5th Jul 11, 9:49 PM
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    • #2
    • 5th Jul 11, 9:49 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Jul 11, 9:49 PM
    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
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    • scotsbob
    • By scotsbob 5th Jul 11, 10:35 PM
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    • #3
    • 5th Jul 11, 10:35 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Jul 11, 10:35 PM
    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
    • By awm49 5th Jul 11, 11:46 PM
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    • #4
    • 5th Jul 11, 11:46 PM
    Try a Compromise
    • #4
    • 5th Jul 11, 11:46 PM
    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
    • By Sharon87 6th Jul 11, 12:41 AM
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    • #5
    • 6th Jul 11, 12:41 AM
    • #5
    • 6th Jul 11, 12:41 AM
    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
    • #6
    • 6th Jul 11, 12:54 AM
    • #6
    • 6th Jul 11, 12:54 AM
    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
    • By newkitchenfund 6th Jul 11, 5:21 AM
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    • #7
    • 6th Jul 11, 5:21 AM
    • #7
    • 6th Jul 11, 5:21 AM
    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
    • By jamespir 6th Jul 11, 5:53 AM
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    • #8
    • 6th Jul 11, 5:53 AM
    • #8
    • 6th Jul 11, 5:53 AM
    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
    • By nonnatus 6th Jul 11, 7:32 AM
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    • #9
    • 6th Jul 11, 7:32 AM
    • #9
    • 6th Jul 11, 7:32 AM
    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
    • bouncydog1
    • By bouncydog1 6th Jul 11, 7:42 AM
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    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?
    Last edited by bouncydog1; 06-07-2011 at 7:45 AM.
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 6th Jul 11, 7:42 AM
    • 3,334 Posts
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    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!)
  • naimone
    No to "designer" labels every time. Explain to your sons and daughters that they are simply 'following the herd' with these items. They are often less well made or, at best, of similar quality to much cheaper brands. Plus it will encourage them to use their imagination and identify themselves as individuals.

    My teenage daughter was very pleased with herself yesterday in a simple tee shirt, leggings and light jacket combination. Three different shops, no labels, colour co-ordinated and she tells me she may have a new boyfriend now! (fatherly groans....)
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  • bigsur
    I am not a parent but I do understand that children feel a need to be 'one of the crowd'. With regard to Burberry: if your children still have a longing for this brand you could find out if their factory shop - it used to be in Hackney - is still in existence and if it is you may find some bargains there.
    • mum67
    • By mum67 6th Jul 11, 8:20 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    I have the same thing with my teenage son. Like you I don't want to be unreasonable so I've come up with a few options that we follow. Firstly I look at which have a lot of the current popular brands at reduced prices (the same cost as ordinary clothes). I also look on Ebay, either buying second hand or looking at the discount stores - Superdry have a store on there for example selling very good seconds. But if it has to come from a store at full price I offer to pay the price I would for unbranded clothes and he has to make up the difference. You soon find out how much they really want it!
    • 19lottie82
    • By 19lottie82 6th Jul 11, 8:25 AM
    • 5,789 Posts
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    Quite simply no. I’m not saying send him out in Supermarket own brand clothes but buying him loads of designer clothes is a waste of money (especially if they are still growing) and spoiling him. If you think that he is responsible then give him a reasonable clothing budget to cover what he needs, leaving it up to him to decide how he spends it, OR buy him the basics and leave the designer items for birthday or Christmas presents. If your son really wants expensive clothes fair enough, but he should realise their worth, and you shouldn’t have to fork out for them on a regular basis.

    Finally, I doubt the majority of kids are wearing only designer labels, your son is most likely exaggerating on this one to try and guilt trip you into splashing the cash!
  • bennett2kuk
    Good grief, grow a set already. When I was at school I wanted certain branded things, the odd set of Nike or Adidas trainers but I certainly wasn't kitted out in head to toe designer clothes.
    Now in later life I again buy the odd branded trainers but generally from a discount store.
    Spoiling your kids on chavvy crap just so they don't feel left out isn't parenting. Burberry as well! Do you want them to start stealing cars or something?!
    • LACEY174
    • By LACEY174 6th Jul 11, 8:50 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    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.
    Originally posted by Ladywhisper
    The above quote seems very dated, i was bullied constantly at school for having the wrong trainers for PE, i mean we had to wear school uniform when i was at school and outside of it i had no issue wearing what i wanted, however it was very prominant that there was a group of kids who would use anything BUT ESPECIALLY your clothes to use as a way to bully people. If however he is at 6th form/college then at that age no one seemed to care what you wore, its more grown up and adult, plus you change social groups at that age.

    That said, i agree you can get the look with cheaper non branded clothes. Weaker/fake brands seemed to picked on even more abuse than non brands so i agree he shouldnt have the stuff bought for him (especially burberry (or should i say fake burberry) i mean thats so stereotypically chav i dont think anyone wants to be associated with it). It should be a treat but if like me when i got good clothes, i'd wear it like everyday clothes and it would get ruined pretty quick. The plus side was i learnt the cost of it pretty quick.
  • laurahughes
    I agree with posters saying they should save money to spend on the designer gear they want.

    How about a compromise - They get a part-time job to earn money to spend on things they WANT, not necessarily NEED. You continue to help them buy clothes but only at prices you can afford, if they want anything more they have to purchase it themselves.

    So say, if they want a jacket which is £100 from Burberry, and you find a similar one in the high street such as Burton for £55. You pay the £55 towards the jacket but the boys have to cough up the extra £45 for the designer label. They can either choose the "freebie" non-designer label from you, or pay the extra themselves to get the designer label.
  • JoannaS
    The short answer for me is no you shouldn't.

    I was never a 'cool' kid at school and always seemed to get the newest 'thing' 6 months after everyone else....we never wanted for anything but mum and dad couldn't afford to keep up with fickle young people's ever changing crazes and I don't think they should have had to the same as you shouldn't have to.

    When your kids leave school they will realise how unimportant all that stuff is and realise that life is not about the clothes you wear but the person wearing them.

    If they want Burberry then I'm afraid they will have to save up and pay for it themselves.....if you don't wear it why should you pay for them to?!!

    I guarantee when they are earning their own money, Burberry won't be a priority as they will realise their money will go to much better use if spent on something they actually need rather then want.

    Good luck but don't give into peer pressure!!
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    • dirtmother
    • By dirtmother 6th Jul 11, 9:17 AM
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    • 85 Thanks
    My children go to a non-uniform secondary school and there doesn't seem to be any of this (and for totally different reasons I am there a lot so I see, and hear, them all coming out - I actually think they tend to be more appropriately dressed to study than polyester blazer wearers). It may be due to the location - no High Street or city centre accessible enough to be trailing round every weekend. One of mine even wears jumpers his Granny has knitted for him!

    I feel it is a game you can't win, so best not played. Yes, if you can afford to get them something for birthday or Christmas, do (not too far in advance as things may change!) but don't get sucked into anything that doesn't feel comfortable. Do as much as you can to bolster their own (deserved) sense of self-worth and facilitate opportunities to mix with more congenial peers. You could even play the 'ethical' card.

    I can remember getting loads of flak for mentioning that my Mum had bought my school skirt in a jumble sale (remember them?). I was really proud of her and walked right into the trap... I was pretty secure but it was an unpleasant time so a more vulnerable child, and in today's climate, might really have a hard time. So, don't go along with it but be gentle with them!
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