Monday, October 15, 2012

Buying Better- Quality Not Quantity

Earlier in the summer I mentioned I was on a mission to buy better- spend a little more on better quality items of clothing in order to find better value. Remember this?

Well I'm pleased to report that it's going well, Having done a fair bit of wardrobe clearance  I've been moving towards a more grown up approach to replacing items- find things that suit a broader range of occasions and realising that I'll never be a fashion-type who can get away head to toe trends all the time. 

A few recent purchases. 

Ankle length trousers, Uniqlo 

2 more pairs of £11 denim leggings that will last approximately 2 months. Or... a pair of trousers that can be dressed up or down, worn for work or shopping or play, with flats or with heels, cost £29.90 and are more likely to last 2 years. For me it's a no brainer, ankle length trousers have been on my hit list since I saw my mum rocking them recently and realise they could be a perfect non-denim addition to my own wardrobe. Uniqlo are my go to for reasonable basics- they're not the cheapest on the market, neither are they the most expensive, but they're fits come in a good variety of sizes AND half sizes, and past experience with their items tells me that cost-per-wear will be exceptional. 

Outfit details HERE

Carousel Ride Flats, Clarks

I do love a bit of leopard print, and cliché or not I think a leopard print pair of flats is as much an essential pair of fallback shoes as a black pair. These were by no means an 'expensive' pair of shoes. At £29.99 you could buy 2 or 3 much cheaper pairs that look similar, but having fully cemented myself as a Clarks addict in the last 6 months, I've come to appreciate that it's what you don't see- the soles- which are rubberised and cannot be folded in half, and the soft cushioning inside that ensure I can't feel each individual piece of gravel digging through into my feet. Again, cost per wear on Clarks shoes so far- off the scale and with regular 20% off discount codes, I've never actually paid full price for my shoes. 

Bra, Rosie for Autograph (Marks & Spencer)

Friends have laughed a plenty at my penchant for pretty underwear, understanding perhaps why I chose to by from a brand that has long been known for it's underwear and placing importance on regularly being fitted and not always assuming I'll be the same size, but not so much why I love silk, lace, pretty colours and fine details. You can't see it, after all. But good underwear- and not just well fitting underwear, but beautiful pieces, they show in the confidence it gives you- the smile that says I know something that you don't, and makes you feel feminine- wherever you, whatever you're doing. Worth £22.50? Every time. I'm in the process of overhauling my underwear drawer as I have a few bras on their last legs at the moment, and I've taken to purchasing one new bra each month. This sage green silk and french lace beauty... my favourite yet. And yes, there are matching knickers. I prefer to keep those off the blog.... call it a gift for T. 

I feel I should probably clarify, I'm not banishing Primark/Supermarket ranges/name your fast fashion brand from my wardrobe, but I've fallen into the trap of buying too much from just that sector of the market before now. Instead, my budget pieces have been a couple of trend lead items that I'll enjoy wearing for now, but won't be sad to drop off the end of the rail come spring or summer once they've been worn and washed and are beginning to fray or fade. 

This t-shirt is part of the outfit I'll be wearing this evening for an event in the City that I'm super excited about, you might recognise it from my Nigeria outfits in July. It's an Asda special but something a little different fir me. 

Would love to hear if anyone else has recently become less enamoured with fast fashion and cheaper clothing, hit me with how you're moving away from it or ideas you've had for mixing it all up. 


Caroline said...

I'm trying to stop spending so much money in Primark etc on things I don't really need and spend a little more on better quality pieces that'll last! I didn't realise Uniqlo did half sizes.. I never think to look at the trousers in there but must do next time I'm in! x

Lucy said...

I really enjoyed reading this piece because it's so true. I am very guilty of buying things in bulk just because they're cheap and oh-whatta-bargain. But I have come to realise that all my Primark items have barely lasted and it's probably better to start investing my money else where and more wisely. Also, I find that Primark's prices are rising but their quality isn't necessarily improving in proportion to their prices. Nowadays I am spending a bit more (hello new Zara coat!) but like you say, it's an investment which will hopefully get a lot of wear out of it for years to come x x

Chloe said...

It's definitely been good for me to spend less in Primark et al, but cheap doesn't necessarily mean good value and that's the key lesson I've learned.

I don't know if Uniqlo do half sizes in everything, but all their shorts/trousers I've tried on or bought come in half sizes (ie 29 waist as well as 28 & 30).

Chloe said...

Glad you enjoyed, sounds as though you're on the same track- it's about good value rather than just cheap. I'm with you on Primark pricing v quality too, I bought something in the summer, and the seams gave way after the first wash.

Chloe said...

I've never really shopped Hobbs before, will have to add it to the grown up shopping section of my shopping links so I take a look.

Helen said...

I definitely agree - I get bras from bravissimo now and sometimes m&s and they last so much longer and fit so much better than la senza, etc. I also love clarks shoes, they are so comfy and long lasting. Even my pair of loafers that I wear nearly every day are still looking good after nearly a year.

Chloe said...

My Clarks shoes (the ever increasing collection) are definitely fairing better than any other shoes I've had in terms of daily wear, so I'm a hundred percent with you on that. I've never used Bravissimo, might have to have a quick look, I'm getting so much more pleasure from lasting purchases than from big hauls of odds and ends or things that I know aren't for the long haul.