The luxurious fabric, the tailored supermodel cut of the clothing, and the designer name make you walk with extra confidence. Ahh, designer labels. Wearing them makes you dream of walking the catwalk at fashion week in New York City. And that’s when I trip and fall.
Adventures in Toronto: Designer Window Shopping
On Friday, I had one of my usual outings in Downtown Toronto to the Eaton Centre. My friend and I decided to stop in to “The Room” at The Bay. It’s the super exclusive area of the store that houses the most fashionable and sought after designer labels in the world.
The fashionista and once shopaholic in me loves to eyeball the designer goods. My friend and I enjoy laughing as the security guards get worked into a nervous frenzy watching us “regular folk” peruse the designer section. Last outing, I held up a $400 Gucci scarf like it was a piece of used tissue appalled at the price, while security walked past wondering if I was going to cut and run with it. Those are fun moments!
What’s this?! A sign: “SALE 60% off”. What utter excitement is this? I quickly moved to the Armani Collezioni section and selected a beautiful black suit. The tag showed $2100 but scribbled in blue hand-writing was the magical number of $840. My mind raced at the savings splendor of it all. Wait a minute – what the hell am I thinking?! That’s $840 plus tax – $949.20!!! Many of the dresses at sale price (even regular price) would take almost one pay check and would mean not paying regular bills for a month. That’s not happening!
Would you buy Designer clothing if it was on sale for 60% off?
My simple answer: HELL NO! Even at 60% off, many of the $2000+ dresses still have a major price tag of $800. The other problem is practicality; they are not for everyday use. Yes, they are very beautiful but the fabrics are often heavy with strange textures and have all sorts of odd buttons, baubles and zippers. They’re a piece of art that you would most likely wear to a movie premiere, gala or charity ball. Last time I checked, I wasn’t anyone of celebrity popularity to sneeze at.
Question of the day posed by my friend: “Even if you were a gazillionaire, would you still buy a $2000 dress?”
Well Forrest…my answer, surprisingly, was NO. Even if I had enough money to buy a dozen $2000 dresses, I don’t think I ever would. It’s just not worth it. They’re trendy, go out of style quickly and are difficult to care for. Not to mention, there are so many other charitable and good things to do with that kind of money.
As we moved through the store, back into reality land, we stopped into the Topshop section. In my opinion, Topshop is a more affordable, yet trendy, twenty-something clothing line (in their words – “Our cool-girl aesthetic is all about mixing up styles and turning the fashion rulebook on its head”).
I happened across the interesting clear vinyl raincoat you see in the pictures above. I felt like Twiggy minus the polka dots. Can you believe that piece of plastic was $70?! I couldn’t believe it. After 2 minutes of wearing it, I was sweating, and it was sticking to me, making it near impossible to take off.
Ultimately, designer clothes are nice to look at, nice to touch, nice to torment the security guards over while you touch the fabric and hold a dress up in front of you but practicality is zero for everyday life. So, I’ll just stick to my J.Crew, Club Monaco, Banana Republic when its-on-sale-type of lifestyle.
How much should you spend on clothing?
Fashion Budget Tip: If a single piece of clothing costs more than 10% of your monthly net pay, you can’t afford it, or you need to save for it. Quality purses and shoes are the most costly investment in a woman’s wardrobe and will require setting aside money every month towards a savings goal.
Year to date, I’ve spent $1737.59 on clothing, or 18.53% of my total spending. My yearly clothing allowance should be somewhere around $1900 if you use LearnVest’s calculations of 4% of net pay. I’m not in bad shape; I haven’t exceeded the max suggested clothing budget. However, there’s no law that says I need to spend that entire $1900. If I can save some of it, I will. 🙂
According to Statscan, Canadian households spent an average of $55,151 on all types of goods and services in 2011. Of this total, clothing represented 6.5% of the total. On average, couples with children spent $75,543 on goods and services, the highest total of all household types. The lowest spending was for one-person households (seniors 65 and older), at $26,047.
I really can’t lump myself in as a senior but for numbers sake:
One person household: 6.5% of $26,047 is $1693 a year on clothing. $1900 is a good number for a single person (non-senior), childless household.
How about a challenge? We’ll start off small; for the rest of June and all of July no clothing purchases. I get a clothing time out for the rest of the year.
Have you been tempted by designer at a huge discount?
I would love to hear about your designer shopping experiences and frugal fashion tips in the comments below.Statscan sources: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/130130/dq130130b-eng.htm http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/120425/dq120425a-eng.htm