Who doesn’t dream of owning high-end designer pieces? A frequently asked question is whether exclusive designer clothes are the key to effortless style. This post answers this question and provides reasons for the answer.
- Second-hand Designer Clothes Can be Affordable for Jane Doe
- A Wardrobe of Only Designer Clothing Looks Unreal
- Big Names Never Go 40, 50, 60% Off
- Head-to-toe One Designer Is Never in Style
- Yes, Jane Doe Can Wear Some Designer Clothes
- Too Much or Too Few Effort, Both Is Not Stylish
- Mix High and Low End Fashion
- Style Is Not in the Genes, It’s an Art You Can Learn
- Further Tips on Buying Second Hand
- Designer Clothes in a Nutshell
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Second-hand Clothes Can Be Affordable for Jane Doe
My regular readers know that I am a big fan of thrifting to add items to my wardrobe and compiled a list of which designer brands to look for at thrift shops. Second hand fashion not only saves money, but also reduces waste.
A Wardrobe of Only Designer Clothing Looks Unreal
Of course, one could imagine to use just designer labels to create a wardrobe. Or even more extreme, buy these items on sale at the end of the season. The big question is would doing so be a shortcut to great style, i.e. a way to avoid looking up style recipes, read how-tos on getting ageless style?
Big Names Never Go 40, 50, 60% Off
As a rule of thumb, the more expensive a designer sells at full price the least likely is that you will find this designer at half the price or less (unless you buy second hand). When you find a pair of Gucci horse-bites mules, new without tags and without box at 60% off, it most likely is a knock-off. Some desperate exes may sell a real piece way off because they want to cut their losses. However, ask for the receipt and all the certificates, etc. to ensure it’s not a knock-off. Actually, it is best for them to sell thru a certified seller specializing in high-end designers.
However, you can find high quality clothes produced by the same manufacturers than those of high-end brands at up to 80% less at Italic. Learn more about the retailing concept of Italic to understand the big differences in pricing. In short, for designer piece you pay for their huge amount of advertisement, i.e. the brand name.
Head-to-toe One Designer Is Never in Style
Even when you didn’t pay full price wearing just one designer head-to-toe or only high-end designers looks just expensive. It doesn’t even look rich.
Instead it screams inconfidence all over!
It doesn’t matter that the clothes are second hand in great condition (never buy vintage or mint unless you want to create a collection for the local fashion museum).
All high-end designer clothing most likely also contradicts with your real lifestyle. Remember: Clothes convey a message!
Are your clothes lying about you? An empty-nester Jane Joe, whose two kids are in college, who is working 9-to-5 as an administrative assistant, sales person, teacher, you name it, wearing all Prada in a small town somewhere in the middle of nowhere? Looks like Scotty beamed her there by mistake when he actually planned to beam her onto the cat walk at the Fall/Winter Milan, London, New York, Paris, … Fashion Week.
Even in the fashion and style capitals like Milan, Paris, New York or London, she would look unreal when walking the streets!
Head-to-toe one designer is never in fashion, nor in style.
Yes, Jane Doe Can Wear Some Designer Clothes
When you only buy things that last forever, i.e. classic investment pieces, you’ll get bored and look, well just expensive, not stylish. Most likely you even look conservative and old-fashioned. However, you don’t want to wear just the latest trends either. That would look either like you rioted your daughter’s or even grand-daughter’s closet (even when you don’t have any of these). But there is nothing wrong to have the one or other items from your favorite designer(s). Just don’t wear them all in one outfit!
Too Much or Too Few Effort, Both Is Not Stylish
Great style is all about looking modern, up-to-date and your best ever. Great style is a balancing act. And on contrary to the saying effortlessly stylish, it takes a great effort. On the other hand, making too much of an effort looks like trying too hard. Read more on the secrets of great personal style.
Mix High and Low End Fashion
You need to know when to splurge and when to bargain. A mix of cheap and more expensive is best. Wear that expensive Burberry blazer you found second hand or on sale (it never goes 40% or more off) with a $20 pair of great fitting jeans and a graphic Tee or the Dior over-the-knee boots you scored on eBay with leggings or skinny jeans and a trendy (read cheap less than $30 aka fast fashion) tunic or mini dress.
Style Is Not in the Genes, It’s an Art You Can Learn
Personal style is all about knowing who you are, how you edit your wardrobe, how you combine things and knowing when to wear what and how to wear it right. The good news is, you can learn it! I had to learn it, so you can learn it too if you have the willingness to do so. It’s not too late to learn How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy the book now.
Further Tips on Buying Second Hand
If you you are new to second hand clothing, you can find resources exclusive to the respective source right here on High Latitude Style. The post at this link provides tips how to score high on eBay. It has a step-by-step description to assess how to bit. Consignment stores are another great source. You can learn how to score high in a consignment store in the post at the link.
And yes, I wrote a post with 5 tips to buy excellent high-end fashion on a budget.
Designer Clothes in a Nutshell
Only buy a designer piece second hand when it fits and meets your personal style needs. Mix it up with the inexpensive pieces in your closet.
Photos: G. Kramm
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