At Tongue-In-Chic, our philosophy when it comes to designer clothing and accessories is to buy smart. This means that the pieces you spend your money on should stand the test of time and allow you to enjoy them for decades. How do you do this when fashion trends are shifting all the time? Is there any merit to buying designer in the first place? Here are four tips to get your style on.
Why: Get your priorities straight
Why are you buying designer? If you are going to buy designer, focus on the benefits of designer products: high quality fabrics and materials, skilled cuts that flatter and design accents that make you look good and stand the test of time. These reasons make buying one designer item worth more than buying 10 pieces from a fast fashion high-street store.
Resist the temptation to wear a different outfit every time you’re out with friends. You want to be known as the girl with the signature designer tailored trousers, rather than the girl who’s always wearing something different from the low-end brands. This also helps you accumulate the funds for your designer buy, because if you’re not careful, even the low-end brands can rack up a sizeable bill.
Of course, investing in designer doesn’t mean you stop wearing high street or mass market labels entirely. School yourself in the ways that top bloggers and fashionistas from Kate Middleton to Michelle Obama are wearing hi-lo (mixing high end with low end labels) and change up your look with different pieces or accessories each time. Put your creativity to the test and create something different and fresh.
What: Make a list of designer basics
The more targeted you are, the better off you will be. Do some research and decide on what designer staples you need for building that timeless wardrobe: the classic tailored blazer, well-cut trousers, silk shirt, LBD, dressed up jeans, patent pumps – whatever suits your lifestyle and personal style.
Think about classic pieces that you could style several ways and are functional. If you buy a piece of clothing that you know you’ll wear often or treasure for years, you’ll make sure you get your money’s worth.
It’s also better to invest in clothing rather than the latest It-Bag. Why? Mainly because wearing an expensive bag with cheap clothing will look imbalanced and off. Secondly, It-Bags tend to phase out quicker.
Having a list will also prevent you from getting distracted in a store and splurging your budget allocation on the wrong thing. Once you’ve struck off the basics and have disposable income at your fingertips, your list can be more varied. After all, we all need something to look forward to and to reward ourselves with.
When: Buy When the Time is Right
The thing about buying designer is that you dictate when that happens and not the other way around. The labels will tell you to buy the latest arrivals because they’re the hottest things to own, or that they are limited editions and you could be missing your chance, or there’s a sale on and you ought to take advantage of the lowered prices.
The rule of thumb is to buy when the time is right for you. When you’ve made a budget allocation for a designer item for something that has been planned on your designer list, AND the rest of your life is in order, then go ahead and make that purchase.
You could also make it all about planning. Window shop to find the perfect item on your list beforehand and target to buy in when it goes on sale. If they run out of the item and you miss it, then it wasn’t meant to be. The world continues.
Who: Choose the Designer Who’s Right For You
The key to looking good in designer gear is to find a designer who’s right for you. There really is no point wearing a designer who’s all the rage if the image, cut and fabrication isn’t right for your life, your personality, YOU.
Be as selective of designers as you would be when buying a car. Check out their lookbooks, the silhouettes, the fabrics, the graphics and colours. By researching different brands, you can pinpoint the ones that embrace the style you enjoy, whether it is structured power femme dresses or relaxed athleisure.
Don’t let trends influence your shopping principles. If magazines are promoting a hot trend that doesn’t fit your style, flatter your body, or fit your needs, think twice before buying it. If you spend large amounts of money on passing trends that you don’t love, you’ll be wasting your money. Be authentic! Be you!
See Part 2 of this story: How to Build A Designer Wardrobe on a Budget
Cover image credit: Chloe.com