Two years ago, I created my second blog and had intended it for fashion posts only. So what happened to it? Nothing. LOL! I just got busier and figured that I can't serve two masters at the same time so I gave up My Erratic Fashion Taste for The Beauty Junkee. I'm thinking of deleting it soon, but I'm still not sure though.
Anyway, I am transferring some of my posts here. This is the first and incidentally, one of my personal favorites. Enjoy!
Brand- consciousness, by definition, is not only limited to clothing and style. It can be used to classify behaviors and attitudes toward preferences such as drinking a specific soda brand, using a particular laptop brand, etc. But let's limit it this time to fashion, since "Brand- Consciousness" is always associated with this topic.
"ARE YOU BRAND- CONSCIOUS?"
This is probably one of the most asked questions when it comes to anything fashion- related. And most of the time, the answer "YES" would raise eyebrows and awaken some sensibilities within those who cannot understand and is against such behavior. Honestly, it's no big deal-If you're brand-conscious, it's okay. If you're not, it's okay as well. However, not all people can understand and oftentimes, brand conscious people are misunderstood.
Photo Credits: polyvore.com
Even before I was old enough to understand the importance of fashion and styling, I already had this strong preference for branded stuff. I would have to credit magazines and the media for their wonderful job of shaping my mind through their creative and effective brand advertisements. LOL! Also, my mom herself is brand- conscious. I guess 'tis true when they said that daughters will be somewhat like their mothers. I digress. For polo shirts, I prefer Lacoste. For bags, I prefer luxury brands such as Prada. For denim, I prefer Seven Jeans, Current Elliot, and Lucky Brand, and so on and so forth. Please don't hate me-I am no profligate neither am I a show- off. I just prefer branded stuff that's all. BUT--I am wise enough to know what I can and cannot afford.
So let me discuss first the reasons behind brand-consciousness:
First. Branded goods, believe it or not, give you confidence whenever you are wearing/carrying one or if you're clad from head to toe with it. I'm not saying that it's the only thing that can make you feel confident. What I'm trying to say is that it helps, somehow.
Secondly, branded goods have value. A premium item, no matter how long you've had it in the abyss of your closet will always have value even after so many years. You can resell your branded bags, shoes, and clothes one day and retrieve a good amount somehow. But of course, the value varies depending on the item.
Third. Branded stuff, especially clothing, provide a comfortable, relaxed, and the perfect fit most of the time. Case in point: Jeans. I am always having a hard time finding a nice form- fitting, shape- flattering pair of jeans from local and Asian brands. I am not really a snob when it comes to affordable clothing but most of the time (if not always), these clothes don't flatter my body at all. Sometimes, I get lucky and find something that fits but the quality is horrible. :/
Since we're talking about jeans, High quality denim doesn't come at a cheap cost. But you really get what you pay for once you slip in them.
Fourth. Buying branded goods is a way to reward yourself. This is what I got from my mom. Any branded item she buys is indicative of a milestone in her career. So if you find yourself buying a Birkin one day, you'll probably just laugh at the times when you were penniless (and remind yourself to never be one again), or maybe you'll just let out a genuine smile because you've just realized that you have been very blessed. When you are very successful, you feel more thankful.
Fifth. Sometimes, you get to save more when you buy branded stuff. Think of this analysis: What's cheaper? A 50php white shirt or a 550php white tee from say, Zara. Bargain hunters and cheap thrillers would go for the former and exclaim "SAVE!" Sorry to burst your bubbles but let me tell you that no, that would be "SPEND!". Remember, you will always get what you paid for. So a 50php tee is nothing more than a 50php tee. If it shrinks or fades after the first wash, you'll travel all the way to the tiangge where you bought it, buy a new one, wash it, then it shrinks again, and the vicious cycle continues. Sometimes, bargains are not really bargains. Consider the time and efforts wasted-these are equally valuable too! So do yourself a favor and buy that Zara tee.
Lastly, Quality. My first ever Lacoste tee was bought around 6 years ago and it's still in its perfect condition. My pair of 7 for all mankind, which I wear six times a week, still returns to its original shape right after washing and it doesn't fade! That said, I could attest that premium labels are excellent--from stitches to washes.
Photo credits: sue-du-jour.com
Unfortunately, some brand- conscious people lose control over themselves. Here's the dangerous part: Brand Obsession.
Photo Credits: fanpop.com
My being brand- conscious peaked when I was in High school. During that time, my mom didn't have enough money to buy branded goods for the both of us so I settled for whatever measly- priced branded stuff that mom could afford. Even if the style is blah, or the piece of clothing/bag/jewelry/footwear didn't really suit me, I still wore them as long as people knew that I'm clad in branded clothing. You know those plain tees with brand names plastered on the chest area? Yeah-I had a lot of those. (I am effin' cringing now)
'Twas a good thing that I was able to battle this ridiculous behavior sometime after high school. I became wiser with money, and have learned to appreciate its value. So from then on, branded or not branded, as long as it looks good and feels good, I still buy it given that it's worth the dough.
Recounting this experience made me think about the common dangers that entail brand- obsession. Read on.
Photo Credits: dailydesigndiscoveries.com
First. Poser. Yes. That's what you will be if your brand obsession starts to soar to the heavens. One of the possibilities is buying counterfeit goods. Admit it or not, if you let vanity take its toll on you, you'll always find a way to please your ego and induce yourself even if its impractical already. So what if it's a Secosana or a Kimbel? At least it's the real thing! Spare yourself from supporting infringement and give credit to the brains behind the brands. I'm sure if you were in their shoes, you'll feel bad too.
Second. Becoming a profilgate. Also known as a spendthrift. Excessively lavish and extravagant living can be your financial downfall. As Baz Luhrman would put it "Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you have a wealthy spouse. But you don't know when either of the two will run out." It's okay to spend, spend, spend as long as you can afford it but please, don't be financially illiterate.
Third. Brand obsession distracts you from your goals. Would you rather have billions of pesos in your bank account or a Louis Vuitton collection? You should always have a clear vision of your future. Delay gratification and pay attention to the things that will lead you to financial freedom. When you're already financially free, you can finally afford everything you have always wanted.
Fourth. Impractical sacrifices. You will eat crackers and water for the rest of the year because you are dying to carry around a trendy Celine Phantom. Before you can say hello to your brand new Celine bag, you're probably dead by then because of malnutrition and extreme caloric deficit. Remember to always be reasonable. One valuable thing my mom has taught me regarding trends is that trends will always change-they're meant to be that way. Before you know it, there's a new fad in town and your item has become obscure already. So learn how to be practical when it comes to following trends, and never sacrifice anything just so you can please your ego.
Lastly, Brand obsession can lead to the worst thing: Stealing. It can happen.
So what am I right now? I am still brand conscious--but wiser and more reasonable now. I go for what I can afford, and I save up for branded and luxurious items that are versatile, functional and above all, timeless.
Conclusion from a brand-conscious girl: For other people, brand consciousness is really hard to fathom in the same way I can't comprehend K- Pop dressing- Some like it, some don't. Some people despise it while some don't care at all. There is totally nothing wrong with it as it is all a matter of preference. What matters most is that in the end, you are still the wiser one between you and an Hermes Birkin.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Beauty. Fitness. Fashion. Food. Travel. Unicorns. World Peace. Digify Corporation.