Quality

Shopping. It’s an addiction. The smell that floats in your nose as you enter, the beautiful, never worn clothing. A sales associate greeting customers with a wide, toothy grin. It’s captivating, exciting and an escape from life. In a new outfit it’s easy to create a different persona. A persona that flies from continent to continent in a private jet, has tea at The Plaza everyday and is a regular customer at Bergdorf’s.

To outsiders it seems like an expensive hobby, a waste of money and of time. “Shopaholic” is how they describe us, and they are exactly right. In the news there are always stories about citizens lifting cars off of people… professionals diagnose it as an adrenaline rush. Well that’s the same feeling shoppers get when entering a store or picking through the sale rack. Personally I get a bubbly feeling and a wide grin when heading toward a beautiful dress or embellished skirt. My weakness is the sale rack! In expensive stores like Anthropologie, I browse but save my time for the saleroom. Dresses that cost $300 originally are marked down to $50. Blouse sleeves sticking out and teasing the eye, calling you over with their bright patterns and red sale stickers. As a 16 year old high school student, I do not have a year round income therefore I am buying on a budget. Staying on budget is hard due to my expensive taste, but I seem to always find great deals on sale or in less expensive stores. The one down side to an inexpensive shop is the lack of quality.

If you do not mind only being able to wear the piece two or three times then it will never be a problem. As a tween, I shopped at stores like Old Navy and Forever 21. Back then I did not know the difference of quality. I used to wear tops only once, wash them, and then take them out completely destroyed. Which was okay then because I was growing so fast, clothes could only last one season. Once I reached the age of 13, I moved on to greener pastures. Pastures of thick grass, bright flowers and long lasting apparel. Currently I can tell the level of quality by a picture or just from looking across a store. Since I stopped growing years ago, one shopping staple is quality vs. quantity.

When picking clothes I always look at the texture, fabric and seams to check how long I can wear the piece, and how well it is made. I also tend to look at the style of clothes and ask myself, Is this a timeless piece? Will it be wearable for multiple seasons? What can I pair it with? Will I have to buy a new complementary piece to wear it with? What would Audrey do? These questions are crucial in my decision making process and extremely useful. If I will not be able to wear an $80 sweater for multiple years, why pay that much? If I will have to buy another piece to wear it with, how much am I willing to pay? Would Audrey Hepburn wear it? Would my grandma comment of the level of skin shown? If I do not love it, why should I buy it? Shops that have these types of apparel are lifesavers! My go-to’s are: J. Crew, Modcloth.com, Zara and Anthropologie. If your mindset is like mine, I would definitely take the time to peruse these stores!

 

~ Isabel

 

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