Let’s hit it straight between the eyes: Do brands really matter?
It’s not unusual for me to go out and help a friend shop for clothes. In today’s retail therapy, we got to talking about brands and how people perceive, use and abuse it. Filipinos in general are brand fanatics. We obsess on labels. It doesn’t matter if it’s a knock-off as long as the brand is there. Well here’s my two-cents on style and brands:
1. There’s nothing like the real thing. I would rather wear an unknown brand or even something unbranded from an obscure used clothing store rather than buy/use fake. And how would you know if it’s fake? If the price is too good to be true. Branded items are expensive for several reasons – material, make, importation costs, marketing are just some. Designer brands are obscenely expensive because a lot of these i.e. Ferragamo, Hermes are made from exotic materials and are hand made. Also, brands like these are not just brands. They are a lifestyle. Think about it, what is the point of having a Chanel bag if you only have one? So what’s the deal, should you still buy something branded? If you can, why not? If not, get something cheaper. There’s nothing wrong with that. Follow the Sharon Cuneta rule: Buy something only if you can buy three of it.
2. It’s not the brand, it’s you. The secret to good style isn’t about the brand you wear but on how you wear it. Think of a basic white tee – be it Calvin Klein or Hanes, it doesn’t matter. It’s not the brand that will make that shirt work. It’s you. Like what I always say, work it as if it’s got a fancy label and you’ll be alright. By the way, one of my most favorite pieces is a long-sleeved white woven shirt. I wear it with everything. I got it for only P35.00 in Cubao. Shhhhhh….
3. Brands will give prestige but never style, never panache. We were talking about how some pricey items are wasted on people who got the money to buy it but not enough sense to properly wear it. So tragic that someone who can buy branded stuff but they end up looking like they were dressed by a blind patient at the cuckoo house. A total waste.
So to close off, let me share one last anecdote. A few months back I got invited to one of the state universities to give a talk about looking for a job and getting hired. As I was talking about dressing up right, I began critiquing their clothes and noticed this girl hugging her “LV”. I asked her if it was a genuine LV and she said yes. If she read my mind that instant, she would see: “Honey, who are you kidding? The stitching in your bag is screaming fake and if you can really afford an LV, why aren’t you paying your entire class’ tuition next semester?”