If only I could afford a designer wardrobe! Why does Jane always look so stylish on her budget?

If I won the Lotto, I would definitely upgrade my wardrobe, but right now I cannot afford designer clothing.

These are the comments I get more and more from ladies (and gents) when I am at functions. It got me thinking as to why is “designer high quality fashion” perceived to be only for the exclusive few. After much grey matter bashing, here is my thinking and why I think fashion, quality and style belongs to everyone.

We currently have a culture of buying clothing on account, be it 6-month interest free or not. When buying clothing in a major retail store you rarely see purchases that are not being made on account. This allows us to shop without feeling as though we are stretching our budgets or using up our valuable cash and because of this we often buy too much, what is not ideal or totally right for what we are wanting. So we buy many items at an amount we believe to be correct for what we are getting and compromise fit, functionality and look.

Hey don’t feel bad, we are all in the same boat and don’t ever believe that designers never do that!! I am as guilty as the next person for desperately needing a white blouse and quickly popping into the shops buying the white top that will “kind of do” even though the sleeves are a bit long and it may be too big on the shoulders but the smaller size will not fit around my hips. But I am in a hurry so it will have to do. Which it does for the one function I needed it for after which it sits in my wardrobe until I decide I need a clear out and throw it.

Why! because every time I have decided to wear it, and HAD to wear it, all I could feel was the long sleeves, to big shoulders and I felt sloppy and untidy, so onto the OUT pile it goes having been worn only once.

This is where my logic starts setting into that we can all afford designer clothing, the catch being designer or not it should fit well and be well made. That is the secret to style

So if we shopped with a culture or attitude of a “wear to cost” ratio, sorry to bring in maths but here goes, wouldn’t it be cheaper to buy less, good fitting, well made clothing? So keeping on with the maths if I bought a pair of black trousers from a major retailer for R400-00 and wore them 4 times before I got irritated and chucked them on the out pile because the waist was too big but they fit my hips, I would therefore have paid R100 a wear (Scary). Let’s say instead of 4 pairs of black trousers at R400 each not fitting properly, I spent R1200 on a well-made, fitted to my body pair of black trousers. Money outlay is the same (and less in my wardrobe wrinkling everything) but because I feel great in these trousers, I were them once a week for 3 years! (it’s a basic so it should last a long time). That is 3 x 52 = 156 wears before it hits the out pile! That is a little under R8 a wear!!

So I ask you what is the cheaper pair of trousers? And which one makes you feel like a style guru!

I know my answer! So perhaps add up all the money you spend on accounts over the month, start scaling down and putting the money into a saving and buying less but buying better!!! Especially for the basics and splash and fun with the accessories and T’s.

And that is where you will find your designer style!