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SaraKali
Style_council
SaraKali
posts: 3

I am a student here in Los Angeles and I have a limited amount of money every quarter to purchase clothes/accessories with. I need some basics like leggings and tank tops…but I also want to buy jewelry/totes that cost in the $100-600 US dollars range. I can’t seem to decide if it would be better to buy a bunch of clothes from places like Forever21 or Zara that wont last very long, or if I should buy one tote bag from Tory Burch that will tie everything in my closet together and perhaps a pair of J Crew mary janes…but those purchases will leave me sorely strapped for cash and unable to buy anything else fashionable until the summer time. What should I do?

posted almost 3 years ago
catiebeatty
Forum_moderator
catiebeatty
posts: 1333

I struggle with this as well. One tip, don’t buy J. Crew flats. They’re all really cute, pretty good quality, but they are SO uncomfortable. I would also check reviews of the Tory Burch bag before buying it (I don’t know a lot about Tory Burch).
It’s easy to fall into the trap of equating high price with good quality, but unless you’re buying Chanel and Prada, the $300 bag maybe just as good as a $25 bag. Example, I bought a pair of Sam Edelmen flats once, and I will never buy another pair of his shoes. I was told they were solid leather, but it turned out they were made of a thin layer of leather over canvas. They stained my feet green, the leather is now peeling off and the soles are coming unglued. Not worth the $90!

Really, you just have to decide if having more clothing choices is more important than having a nice bag. Both have their pros and cons. Make a list of the pros and cons and see how you feel after. You can always save your pennies and buy a high-quality bag in the future :)

posted almost 3 years ago
 
SaraKali
Style_council
SaraKali
posts: 3

Awww…I am sad to hear that J crew flats aren’t comfy, because I walk around campus all day every day and can’t afford to be constantly nursing a blister! That is really good advice, making a pros and cons list. I would just like to have one every day bag that I carry my iPad and books in, that won’t fray or look old after a year or two worth of use. I hate it when I purchase a faux-leather bag and it begins to peel away to reveal the canvas underneath, like you said happened to your sam edelman shoes. I will contemplate my pros and cons list and then post an outfit with whatever I have decided upon :) Thank you!

posted almost 3 years ago
 
AnErin
Style_council
AnErin
posts: 123

Are you the type of person who wears an outfit a couple times and gets tired of it? Buy quantity.
Do you enjoy the same nice outfit for many wears? then quality.

posted almost 3 years ago
 
tightsandtea
Style_council
tightsandtea
posts: 1063

saying the choice is between quantity vs. quality is equating cost with quality, which is more often than not, untrue. a lot of my favorite pieces were dirt cheap, but survived years of use. my rules of thumb are:
*if it’s a new trend/accessory you’re experimenting with (i.e. not a staple) play around and buy it cheap. if you decide you love it and the cheaper version isn’t cutting it, go ahead and get the more expensive one.
*look around for decent dupes before you drop a ton of money on something—do some research, shop around, etc.
*if it’s uncomfortable, ill-fitting, or completely unflattering, there’s no point in even buying the cheap version because you probably won’t wear it.
*if you’re buying something 10x more expensive because you think it’ll be more durable—do you really think you’ll need it 10 years from now?
*if you want something specifically because of brand appeal, get it from that brand. but only if it’s something you’ll use (i.e. versatile)
*look for trend/DIY blogs like a pair and a spare, there are toonns of tutorials and “how you can wear this style without breaking the bank” tips (she’s an established blogger for a reason)

my absolute FAVORITE bag of all time was one I got from F21 back in ‘07 for thirty bucks. I can’t even find a designer equivalent, but if I did I would drop the money just to get the same bag. it was pretty much my go-to bag up until a couple years ago, when I spilled a smoothie all over the inside. when I washed it I used a strong detergent and it ruined the fabric—but if I hadn’t, who knows how long it would have lasted!

posted almost 3 years ago
 
obsessed1302
Style_council
obsessed1302
posts: 248

I would say your staple pieces that you will wear more then a few times to buy quality so it holds up…but trendy items, etc just buy quanity because those will change. I am always changing my mind about everything so I buy in quantity-altho if I can get a good item for cheap of course I will get it. I shop Goodwill! :) Shoes tho you may want to spend a bit more. Esp if you will be on your feet for long periods of time. And as for your bag…if you change style, etc quite often then go for quantity…but if you will stay with the same bag for awhile go for quality because you will want it to hold up.

posted almost 3 years ago
 
SaraKali
Style_council
SaraKali
posts: 3

I totally agree about the need to buy quality shoes. UCLA has a super hilly campus and I find myself in agony if I wear a cheap, trendy shoe, or even anything bigger than a 2 inch heel. I was looking for an “everyday” bag that I could toss my books, computer, etc in. The thing is, I am a grad student now and so I wanted to update my look from ‘college student’ to something a little bit more professional, especially now that I am going to meetings with professors and other business people who always look super sharp! I was thinking about perhaps investing in a briefcase, but that might seem to serious. I guess I am a bit stumped, but I will keep on looking. Good Will hunting sounds fabulous…I have been thinking perhaps flea markets might be the key as well, but I wish there was an app or something that would let me know where the heck to find them, haha!

posted almost 3 years ago
 
karro
Style_council
karro
posts: 53

Some time ago i have written an article about it. Check it out, you maybe find some answers http://stylebykarro.blogspot.com/2011/06/price-or-quality.html

Take your time to read it :)

posted almost 3 years ago
 
BowsandGlitterxo
Style_council
BowsandGlitt...
posts: 466

i tthink its better to spend more on staples that can be used in several outfits.
trends on the other hand I will go cheap on !

posted almost 3 years ago
 
KimboNotKimmy
Style_council
KimboNotKimmy
posts: 13

Some of my favorite larger/every day tote bags are from stores like Old Navy and the Gap, but I am also a huge fan of Tory Burch. Her bags are quality items, but since you’re still in college I think you could hold off. Why not make a bag like that a ‘congratulations me’ type present when you get your first job?
I’d use the largest percentage of your budget for a great, comfortable pair of shoes (I just splurged on a pair of Cole Haan oxfords with Nike Air technology – I could run a mile in them!). It’s a purchase that can be both sensible and fashionable at the same time. Then use the rest of your budget to shop wisely, scoring quality pieces at bargain prices, either at online sample sales (or local ones if you have access) or discount stores, and trend pieces from stores like H&M and Zara that are reasonably priced.

posted almost 3 years ago
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