Are Designer Clothes Worth It? (Pros and Cons)

When you look at the price of designer clothes do you ever ask yourself if some of the designer brands are worth paying for?

Designer Clothes Store
Designer Clothes Store – Worth the Price?

Over the years myself, and more so my wife has purchased a wide range of clothes, ranging from bargain Tesco Clothes Sale items for everyday wear to designer clothes, usually for special occasions or one-off the treats if we really like the piece.

With such a wide spectrum of pricing, there can come a point when you ask yourself are designer clothes worth it?

Designer clothes are typically made with better quality materials and workmanship.  Therefore they generally look and feel better while being worn as well as lasting longer when compared to cheap fast fashion which sometimes doesn’t last more than a couple of wash cycles.   

When it comes to price and quality alone there’s a mid-range of designer clothes where higher prices reflect better quality.  However, with high-end luxury fashion, prices can far exceed any increase in the actual quality of the garment.   

Overall there is a range of factors that might be relevant to your personal situation as well as the specific items of clothing as to whether designer branded clothes are worth it or not.  After all, some designer clothes are far more expensive than others.

Are Designer Clothes Better Quality?

More than ever we live in a throw-away society and this is ever more the case since the rise of fast fashion availability online.  It is now not uncommon for clothes to be brought, worn once and thrown away.

Typically designer clothes are of better quality than normal high street clothes.   However, there are designer clothes and then there are high-end luxury designer clothes which can be far more expensive.

Although there does come a point when an item’s price far exceeds the materials and attention to details in its creation.

Over and above this is when you are paying for the design and the items rarity if it is produced in very limited numbers.

In general, you would expect designer clothes to:

  • Look new for longer
  • Fit better
  • Keep their shape

In part, this is due to the better quality materials they are made from and the garments overall weight and drape.

Compared to Cheap Fashion, the likes of  ASOS, Zara, Boohoo, Pretty Little Thing, Shein and Primark.  Some of these brands sell clothes so cheap and of such poor quality that even charity shops refuse to sell them.

Not always, but often cheap fashion will soon have the tell-tale signs of:

  • Colour fading
  • Losing shape
  • Not fitting as well
  • Looking worn
  • Buttons or zips coming off

However, this isn’t always the case and certainly, in some instances, the reverse can be true.

Another reason designer clothes are considered better is because are created by the actual designers.

They can experiment with designs and be more innovative in their approach.  These designers are leading the fashion that the cheaper designs follow as cheap and cost-effectively as they can.

This is how Miranda Priestly explains the way designer fashion filters down through to everyday stores.

Often designer pieces have extra layers, pockets or attachments pieces that help them seamlessly intertwine with other fashion pieces which the mass market might not take advantage of, therefore these extra’s are lost from cheaper designs.

Reasons Designer Clothes Are More Expensive

Designer clothes are generally more expensive because they use better and more expensive materials.   Each clothing item is better made.  For example, clothes might be made in Italy rather than the cheapest labour possible in Bangladesh or China.

However, there are other reasons designer clothes cost more which is over and above the increase in quality.

Brand Marketing

When you are buying designer clothes you are also paying for the brand marketing which include:

  • TV Advertising
  • Social Media and Influencer sponsorships
  • Magazine Ads
  • Fashion Shows

When purchasing designer brands you are paying for all the above and more on top of the improved quality.

As an investor of individual stocks, one of the best companies to buy is one that can take raw materials and make them more valuable simply by creating a brand that people will pay more for.  

When it comes to pricing there are many factors at play as highlighted in this difference between a $5 white T-shirt and a $125 white T-shirt as discussed by experts in the HuffPost.

Limited Quantities -Rarity Factor

Many designer clothes are produced in limited quantities.

Firstly it’s a lot cheaper per item to create thousands of the same designer item than to create just 100.

Secondly, the limited supply also pushes the prices up if the demand for the time of clothing is there.

Sometimes it’s the high price alone that can make an item more desirable.   Fewer people can afford to make such purchases, therefore, increasing the status of the purchaser.

Some people think this is worth paying more for just because it’s a lot less likely you’ll bump into someone wearing the same outfit.  You might be fine with this, but you can bet someone will point it out.

If you buy designer this is a lot less likely to happen, even if mixing with peers who all wear designer, simply because there’s less produced.

For some people it can be awkward, for others, it’s something to laugh about.

Maintain Quality (With Correct Care)

The key to keeping your designer clothes in excellent quality is to care for them correctly.  Only clean when they need cleaning and make sure you follow the care instructions.

If you buy designer clothes and over wash and repeatedly stick them in the tumble dryer you will soon reduce their quality.

This is also true of cheaper clothing, but perhaps some people are more likely to take the extra care if they are spending more on designer clothes that they want to last.

Whatever clothes you buy it’s how you care and treat them as to how long they are likely to last, you could perhaps have them last a lifetime if you follow the tips from the choosing to mending and other tips to avoid waste here in theguardian.

Feel-Good Factor

If you feel good in cheap fashion great.  But some people don’t, instead, they get immense pleasure from wearing designer clothes.

In general, you can expect to find designer clothes that fit better.  The material they are made from feel good on the body.   This all translates through to the wearer and relates to whether the item is worth buying or not.

Self Expression

As well as feeling good, designer pieces can allow people to uniquely express themselves much more so than they can with mass-produced pieces.

The clothes they wear mean much more to them and their identity, therefore they may be willing to spend a lot more when they see items they completely identify with.

Some Designer Clothes Never Go Out of Fashion

When it comes to fashion, some designer brands clothing lines will never go out of fashion and you can wear them on occasion over many years.  Examples of this might be a Burberry Trench coat or Dolce Gabbana Floral or Lace Midi dress.

Status & Make an Impression

In some walks of life, it pays to make an impression, and if that impression is looking good and wearing recognised designer and luxury brands it may well pay off.

Whatever the reason, be it lifestyle marketing or status that wearing designer clothes that other people look up and also aspire to wear.

Have you ever heard the expression “dress to impress”? Well, it’s true, what you wear can make an impression and first impressions can be particularly important.

There’s no doubting some people tune in to what designer labels other people wearing.

Also in some business settings, although not always the case, it can pay to dress in quality designer clothes and give an impression of wealth and status.

Being a well-dressed businessman or woman might make them feel more confident which they, in turn, benefit from.

Different Levels of Designer Clothes

As with many things, there is a wide spectrum of different value designer clothes and brands.  Some designer clothes might be for sale in the £100’s whereas other items can go into the £1000’s.

In some instances, the design of the piece can equate to buying art.   How is art valued?  Usually by how much the highest bidder will pay for a one-off or limited edition.   The market decides the price.

When you buy high-end luxury designer clothes you are part of the demand and supply market when there are only a 100 or so of an item produced by a sought after designer as opposed to tens of thousands of an item of clothing produced and sold to the mass markets.

It comes down to what people are willing to pay.

Examples of Luxury Designer Brands:

While the designer clothes from the following brands might well be considered excellent quality, it can be hard to say certain items of clothing are worth the price tag on quality alone.

Even within a designer brand, there can be different levels of pricing targeting ranges of consumers.  Prices tend to vary far more than the quality of the items.

Examples of luxury clothing brands:

  • Armani
  • Balenciaga
  • Burberry
  • Chanel
  • Dior
  • Dolce Gabbana
  • Fendi
  • Gucci
  • Hermès
  • Louis Vuitton
  • Prada
  • Valentino Garavani
  • Yves Saint Laurent

Affordability

Can you afford it?  Or are you buying with debt?

It’s one thing buying designer clothes you can well afford, and totally another buying designer clothes with debt via credit cards, overdraft and various buy now pay later options.

If you are buying with debt, you really have to question why you are buying designer clothes you can’t really afford and whether spending decisions like this are actually what’s keeping you in debt.

You’d be much better off buying clothes you can afford and focus on improving your financial position so you can comfortably afford designer clothes in the future.

I can’t think of any reasons for buying designer clothes with debt would be worth it. At least not brand new, maybe check out some local charity shops in more prestigious areas and see what’s if there are any second-hand designer clothes in your price range.

Even if you’re not in debt, beware of the percentage of your income you are spending on designer clothes.

Resale Value

Designer clothes are more likely to hold value versus worthless throwaway fashion.

A key factor when it comes to buying designer clothes that is sometimes overlooked is how well they hold their value, especially if you take care of your garments.

There are even specific websites and apps that are dedicated to selling designer clothes.  Many clothing items sell for hundreds of pounds, some even for thousands on these sites.

When it comes to selling designer clothes, especially the more high-end items it pays to have proof the item is genuine and not a fake.

Upon purchase consider keeping:

  • Receipt
  • Labels
  • Any related packaging, gift wrap
  • Store bag

This also goes for any other designer items such as shoes and designer handbags.  Keep the boxes and any related packaging, box ribbons etc.  If ever you might consider selling the item and want to easily prove it’s genuine as weell as get the best possible price all these little extra’s will help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Designer Brands Clothes Overpriced?

Designer clothes are only overpriced if they are not selling.  If there are buyers for them then simply rule  demand and supply says they are not overpriced.  As far as individuals items go, for some people the item of clothing may be considered overpriced if price is higher than they are personally willing to pay.    Perhaps the value of the item is a larger percentage of disposable income compared to someone else a lot wealthier who snaps it up without hesitation.

Are Expensive Designer Clothes Worth Buying?

Whether expensive designer clothes are worth buying is a personal choice.  If you are going to get pleasure from the purchases over other equivalent purchases you could make with the same amount of money it could well be worth it for you.

Is Designer a Waste of Money?

Whether it’s clothes, shoes, handbags or other accessories if they are designer products they are far more likely to hold some value if they are kept in good condition.  Therefore at least some money can always be recouped if ever you wanted to resell.

Also, your personal financial situation is a factor.  If money is of no issue and you enjoy buying designer clothes that’s your choice.  If you are someone trying to keep up with the Jones and you are buying designer clothes  as a priority over paying other bills, putting food on the table or paying for your kid’s education, that could be considered a waste of money.

What’s the Difference Between Designer Clothes and Normal Clothes?

Designer clothes are typically produced in small numbers and made of higher quality materials and to a better standard.  You can expect designer clothes to last longer if you follow the care instructions for washing and drying.

Conclusion

Whether designer clothes are worth it really depends on what you are comparing and your own personal views of the clothing and price.

What are your views?

Do you think designer clothes are worth paying extra for?

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