Quality vs. Cost

If you’re a regular shopper you would have seen stores such as New Look and Primark taking inspiration from the designs of premium brands like Chanel and Valentino (to name a few). More often than not the difference is rather obvious, like the use of fake or real leather for example.

In London it’s easy to find some real bargains but it’s also easy to collate a large amount of substandard items that bubble shrink or lose their shape after a few wears.

But how do you know if an item of clothing is of good quality? Check the label, what is it made from? Is it pure cotton? Pure wool? Real leather? Genuine leather has a distinctive smell to it. What’s the finishing like on the item? If it’s a shirt check the cuffs and edges for a clean sew, try it on and check how well the collar sits. If it’s a pair of trousers check that the waist fits well, test the zip, does it have a good fastening such as a button or a hook? When a good pair of trousers are true to size they will usually feel snug with just a hidden zip and hook and eye. YKK make the best quality zips so check for their branding on zippers.

When it comes to deciding whether to buy a quality item or a cheap item, opting for the more quality item works out more cost effective in the long run. Why? Because it’s likely that the cheaper item will soon need replacing whereas the quality item may only need a much smaller investment such as the cost of dry-cleaning.

So what high street retailers do I trust when it comes to quality at a good price? First and foremost French Connection; they combine quality and value effortlessly. Next is Hobbs, yes I know what you’re thinking lol but these guys aren’t just for the over 40’s they have some great classic pieces. I do prefer their accessories and shirts but I bought a great pair of snake-skin white pumps from there in the summer and they are by far the most comfortable shoes I own. Gap, Banana Republic and Reiss also have my vote. When you’re out (and have the time) try the shops you wouldn’t usually enter. Marks and Spencer have some great gems in their Limited Collection and Autograph ranges.

But let me stress that I speak purely on experience, don’t rule out all the other stores to purchase your wardrobe essentials. Mixing and matching quality items with basics is great. You must always cut your coat according to your size; buy what you can afford and upgrade when it’s financially viable for you to do so.

Hope you’ve all had a fabulous weekend!

Claudia x

Whats my style anyway?

In light of the a-mazing fashion week designs that have captivated our TV screens and almost every social media platform, I thought it fitting that I touch on this topic. It can take a while for one to define their style, a look that is undeniably unique to you. It could be the way you wear accessorise or how you manipulate colour and patterns. We all have our style inspirations but there’s nothing better than having a look that is completely unique to you. I believe that before you speak your appearance and aura have already spoken and what you wear says A LOT about you. Personally your style is the fashion ‘signature’ you leave in the minds of others. It’s part of your bespoke brand. The dictionary definition calls style ‘a distinctive appearance, typically determined by the principles according to which something is designed.’ To have style requires an element of boldness, it says no matter what others think this is what I am and what I stand for and I choose to express it in my attire.

 

My style is classic, I love a pure silk scarf, a crisp white shirt, a good quality pair of jeans and a well made blazer (gosh I sound like a 40 year old lol) but this is my style and one that I am proud of. The classic look never goes out of fashion and is just as strong a statement as the on-trend patterns and cuts we see on catwalks today. Some of my favourite high street brands are French Connection, Reiss and Banana Republic because (for me) they get it right every season with effortlessly sheek style that can easily be re-worked for a day or evening look.

 

Many people don’t like telling others where they purchased items of clothings or shoes for fear that their ‘style’ may be imitated but the reality is that when you really have a style that stands out its rather difficult to emulate and someone who has style will always strive to take an item and transform it anyway, so I happily share where I buy items from (unless I am totally sure the person will wear it reaalllyyy badly)…kidding! (not kidding lol)

 

So even if you love the way Rihanna rocks wide-leg trousers or the way Beyonce wore her kimono on holiday, there’s nothing wrong with purchasing something similar but make it your own. We are all created to be beautifully unique and we have the creativity to do so. Embrace who you are and let it flow in your own special way 🙂

 

Until next time, have a fab weekend!…

 

Claudia x

 

p.s As blogging newbie I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so feel free to comment below 🙂

 

 

 

A beginners ramblings!…

Soooo…Here it goes! After much procrastination, requests from colleagues and friends (AND! changing where my blog is hosted lol), I’ve finally taken the bold step in sharing my views on all things hair, fashion and beauty! 🙂 I’m really excited about this and hope you enjoy reading about my interests! I promise to ensure regular updates and something that (will hopefully) be different from the norm.

 

Have a fab day!

 

Claudia x