Quality vs. Quantity: How To Decide What's More Important When Building Your Wardrobe
"How much should I spend on my clothes?" Sound familiar?
It's a question that comes up frequently.
Check out this interesting fact...
According to Esquire magazine, the average man spends just over $1,000 each year on shopping.
Here's the catch -- they only wear 13% of what they buy!!
If that sounds familiar, think about how much money you might've wasted over the years.
Honestly, it could be in the thousands of dollars.
This is likely the result of not knowing how to add pieces to your wardrobe that work with what you currently own.
But there's another reason why this could be happening.
Helping men to develop their own sense of style has taught me many things over the last couple of years.
Not knowing how much you should actually spend on clothes can be tough to figure out.
With new options for every budget popping up everyday it can be overwhelming.
Rather than blowing your budget on one or two pieces keep reading to help you make the right decisions next time you're out shopping...
What are you really paying for?
This will vary from brand to brand.
For the sake of this article, let's just focus on the general guidelines.
It's no secret that premium fabrics (like cashmere) will cost you more.
But what else justifies paying more for some items and not others?
Something to consider is that when you spend more on an item, that you'll get more out of it too.
This could be anything from added details like surgeon's cuffs (functional buttons on your suit sleeve) to seams that will make the item fit your body better.
At this point we could dive into how much you should generally spend on specific items.
I'll hold off for now and save that for a future article since there's a lot of detail involved with that and will vary depending on your specific situation.
Does Paying More Equate To Better Quality?
Yes, but only to an extent.
When you compare a brand like H&M to a brand like Club Monaco you will notice a significant difference between the two.
In case you're not familiar with either, it's worth mentioning that they're nearly on opposite ends of the style spectrum.
The first thing you'll notice is a noticeable gap between the pricing for each brand.
Next you'll also feel the difference in the quality of each of their materials and how well they're manufactured.
Fast fashion brands like H&M typically only last for a few washes.
After they've been through a cycle or two over a period of a couple months, you'll notice the wear and tear.
Things like the structural integrity and the colour of the clothing will start to give out. Eventually you'll have to replace these items.
On the other hand, brands like Club Monaco could be considered investment pieces for your wardrobe.
Expect to pay much more for one of these items but also realize that they'll last longer too.
From the business or a designer's perspective there has to be a compromise made.
In order to drive their prices down there's only a few things that a company can realistically do:
A) use lower quality materials
B) cut labour costs (sweatshops) or
C) minimize their overhead (e.g. focusing most of their efforts online rather than paying the bills for a brick and mortar store).
There's also a few factors that you'll want to think about before committing to either the budget-friendly or higher-end approach to style.
Consider your lifestyle, how frequently you'll be wearing certain items, and your budget before diving in.
Doing so will eliminate overwhelm and gets you moving in the right direction sooner rather than later.
How What You Wear Affects Your Self Image
Think about this one for a second...
When given the freedom to dress however you like have you ever chosen to go the more comfortable route rather than dressing up?
It directly affects the way you carry yourself!
Wearing a comfy sweater, trendy sweatpants, and sneakers subconsciously triggers us to feel more relaxed. Which is ok when you're taking it easy at home.
But say you wore that same outfit on a day that you NEED to be productive.
Studies have shown that the type of clothing you wear can actually affect your self image.
That means that you're less likely to feel motivated and check everything off your to-do list.
Embodied cognition studies focus specifically on how we associate certain qualities with the type of clothing we wear.
Wearing budget friendly (or poorly made) clothing has been shown to lower self worth.
The opposite is also true but take everything with a grain of salt.
This doesn't mean that spending your life savings on luxury brands will make you feel good.
Focusing too much on external factors like brand names and how people will perceive you based on the logos you're draped in is a much deeper issue.
The key takeaway here is that we need pay close attention to how we present ourselves because it influences how we show up in the world.
Hopefully you enjoyed today’s article.
Thank you for taking the time to read it.
While you’re here, you should check out the free style guide below…