Are you Brand-Conscious?


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.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Beauty. Fitness. Fashion. Food. Travel. Unicorns. World Peace. Digify Corporation.

26 Lovely Thoughts

  1. Sadly, some people are brand conscious in a wrong way, in order for them to put themselves in a high pedestal of society. Most convenient way to boast it around? social networking sites. sad but true.

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  2. Very well said, Ms.Martha!

    -Iya
    http://iyaboto.blogspot.com/

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  3. when i read the title the birkin scandal pop up in my mind first.
    -just make 1 blog :)))

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  4. How pretentious. I now unfollow you.

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  5. Patty: Thank you for your thoughts. Well, I guess that's what makes other people happy!

    Iya: Thank you :)

    Jenny: Oh I know that too haha.

    Anonymous: Hi there! I am not trying to please anybody here. It's sad to know that I will lose a follower but that's life. God bless you. :)

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  6. grabeh, I once been like that,now, I'm on the "I don't care if branded or not", I just make sure that I buy unbranded but not fake. but for shoes I go for branded as branded shoes only carries my feet size.

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  7. I think this is an eyeopener for all especially nowadays that everything has been copied. From MAC cosmetics to LV bags to designer clothes. It really isn't being able to save and get irritated with the powder that can give you allergies or skin irritations. There are just some posers who buy fake just so they can be labeled as "in". My hubby and I save a lot. We buy less for ourselves but we make sure we buy quality. Wise buying is getting more with what you pay for. It is really true that you get what you pay for, eg. the Zara tee vs the 50php white tee.. Branded stuff, from clothes to shoes to bags to cosmetics are expensive because they will last you years long than those cheap things that will deteriorate within months! You don't have to have so many... you just need the basic pieces then you can just accessorize or mix and match.

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  8. i usually go for anything that's sturdy and comfortable. sometimes expensive, most of the time affordable. Maybe it's because I don't have a job yet. But I don't think I'll ever be brand conscious. I'm so kuripot :D
    anyway, great post you got here Ms. M. two thumbs-up! :))

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  9. Branded items are really the way to go when one really wants to look good, especially when working. I love branded items too but still If I know I can find something that looks like the branded ones, say, in bkk, i'd go and get it. My principle? as long as its not a counterfeit product, I'm good to go.. For the basics, I'd stick to the branded, for trendy ones, I'd probably go for local one. Trends come in go but the basics will always be a staple in every girl's closet.

    xoxo,

    Iya
    http://youtube.com/missplpify
    http://missplpify.blogspot.com
    http://facebook.com/Missplpify
    http://twitter.com/Missplpify

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  10. I agree that most of high end brands really last longer. I've seen a lot of people go gaga over branded things kahit na hindi bagay go pa din just to be in. Some even splurge using credit cards just to satisfy their wants and end up having a hard time paying. Brand conscious is not bad, kelangan lang talaga ng control and prioritization. Love this entry!:)

    -Mitchie

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  11. youre a very good writer. u have a knack for catching peoples attention even without lots of pics! good job as always . ive been a long tym follower but its only now ive taken d tym to post cause i already hav a google acct. congratulations on a very successful blog. il also hav one soon

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  12. @anonymous hmmmm care to post ur name at least? i m not sure if ur close to martha or really know her. i think ur comment that shes pretentious is unfounded if u only know her from here- just my 2 cents. @ thebeautyjunkee: ur reply is very professional as always

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  13. Brand consciousness for me depends on many ways..

    If you are born with a wealthy family, then the lifestyle is most likely that way..

    Sometimes naman it became a competition, say the people that surrounds you are in..

    Others are for the sake of their happiness, and sometimes investment? :)

    Well if I have the guts , why sometimes be? But I will think it first many times.. Maiisip ko kasi marami na akong things na mabibili with that amount :)

    Great post Ms. Martha! As always :)

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  14. I can see how some might see you as pretentious, talking about brand consciousness when you show a lot of branded clothes and makeup on this site.

    I'm guessing s/he didnt read the whole thing.

    As you said, you're more reasonable now.

    I don't think I'm brand-conscious but I consider myself brand-loyal. I dont like shopping so when I need something I always go to shops where I know I'll find something I like or will fit me. Eg, charles and keith, coz my wide feet fit in them. It's not a high-end brand but all my shoes are from there.

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  15. I am not brand conscious. I always go for style and comfort, it doesn't matter whether branded or not. Besides, I can't always afford it, hihi..

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  16. OMG. I think I became like that :o

    Yes, being brand-conscious can drive people crazy. It did the same for me, during my high school years too. I never settled on something, in my opinion, that's "JUST THAT". I want something that people(and myself) would regard as "EXACTLY LIKE THAT". But because of the hardships that slapped me in the face, saying "DON'T THINK LIKE THAT", I learned to be more frugal and I now know how to spend my money well. I don't have a job of my own since I'm a student who relies on her school allowance, and I really can't afford to save on such "luxuries" yet.
    I was close to becoming all the things you've mentioned above(not the stealing part though HAHA) but good thing my family(and I)stopped me before things'd get worse.
    Now, I'm still a brand-conscious girl, but not like before. I'm now open to any brand just as long as they're usable(and gentle on the cosmetics part).

    Thank you for this post, Ms. Martha! :") I'm sure a lot of people would learn from this!

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  17. OMG. I think I became like that :o

    Yes, being brand-conscious can drive people crazy. It did the same for me, during my high school years too. I never settled on something, in my opinion, that's "JUST THAT". I want something that people(and myself) would regard as "EXACTLY LIKE THAT". But because of the hardships that slapped me in the face, saying "DON'T THINK LIKE THAT", I learned to be more frugal and I now know how to spend my money well. I don't have a job of my own since I'm a student who relies on her school allowance, and I really can't afford to save on such "luxuries" yet.
    I was close to becoming all the things you've mentioned above(not the stealing part though HAHA) but good thing my family(and I)stopped me before things'd get worse.
    Now, I'm still a brand-conscious girl, but not like before. I'm now open to any brand just as long as they're usable(and gentle on the cosmetics part).

    Thank you for this post, Ms. Martha! :") I'm sure a lot of people would learn from this!

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  18. Chazen: Hi there! Thank you :)

    Karen: Hi and welcome to TBJ! High five, sister! I was in the same sitch before, that's why I was able to write this post. :) As for me, I still have my preferred brands but I'm more open now to other brands (same as you) and even unbranded ones too. :)

    Miz Eloise: Hello there! Thank you for the kind words! I really appreciate it. Please keep on reading! :)

    Issa: What matters is if that thing-whether branded or unbranded-makes you feel good and comfortable! :)

    Rae: Hi there! Thank you for your thoughts.

    Like you, I'm kinda' brand-loyal to shoes because I have the same problem as you! I go for Tory Burch and Nine West. They're kinda' pricey that's why I only have one pair from each brand lol!

    Mitchie: agree, sister! :D thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. :)

    Iya: Thanks for sharing! I do the same too. I go to tiangges too because most of the time-especially if it's my lucky day- I end up scoring good finds. :D

    Harmony: You're welcome! :D

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  19. being brand concouis is to be proud of tama si martha reward sa sarili kahit papano,hindi pirated ang reward tapos di naman tatagal diba <3

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  20. I'm brand conscious for sure. I just found your blog and was reading about "how to spot a fake Tory Burch classic Reva" Well done article by the way! A year ago I bought my first pair of wonderful Tory flats. They aren't cheap but you get what you pay for. I too would look at Ebay and see all the great deals on "authentic" Tory flats. Ya right! At that point I decided the only way to avoid the fakes is buy from Tory boutiques, Nordstrom, Saks, etc. If that means paying full price so be it. I'm brand conscious.

    One year later I now own 12 pairs of Tory flats. A lot of people who see me wearing my Tory flats say "Oh those are fakes." This is going to get kinda weird here for a second but I'll tell you why people think that they are fakes. I a guy not a girl. People think a guy would never spend that kind of money on a real pair of Tory Burch flats for himself. But like I said - I'm brand conscious.

    If you'd like to see some of my Tory flats on my photo page here's a link (you will have to cut and paste it) http://www.flickr.com/photos/39715038@N00/

    Thanks for sharing.
    I hope I didn't offend you.
    Brian

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  21. Brian: Hi there and thank you for visiting and sharing- it's so refreshing to see a guy in here! I appreciate your compliment on my Tory Burch authentication post as well. And what offense? I didn't get that in your post as you were merely sharing your thoughts. :)

    I only have one pair of Tory Burch revas, and it's my favorite. As much as I want to buy cheap flats, I can't because it's either they're slicing my feet or they don't have my size. I've found comfort, my size, and my preferred style in Tory's Revas that's why I'm looking at buying another pair again. I know some people can't understand why the heck one would spend thousands of pesos on a pair of plain- looking flats but then again, the quality is what I'm after, although it doesn't necessarily apply to all luxurious products. Bottomline, you still have to research for reviews and try the stuff for yourself. In general, I've had a fairly good experience with luxury brands so I say, I am brand conscious as well, just like you. Hope to have you around more often! :)

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  22. I'm somewhat in between. It depends, really, on what I'm buying.

    I like branded bags because they are beautiful. I save to buy one, never on credit; and only as a gift to myself for a job well done.

    For everything else, I go for what suits me, whether they're branded or not.

    I think it's unfair to tag someone as shallow or pretentious just because they prefer luxury brands or they can afford to buy one.

    Everyone has reasons for their choices. I say, to each his own.

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  23. i am very sorry my dear. "SAVE" is the VERY word i don't feel comfortable with people who are very brand conscious. "WE" purchase signature items because we can "AFFORD" it and it's our "EXCESS MONEY" and even in that case, we go through overstocks, clearance stocks and dead stock items that we can get them reasonably cheaper. But saying that you "HAVE" to "SAVE" for clothing, shoes or bag is plain pretentious. You purchase only what is within your means of living and practically below your means of living. Let's slap the hard truth about high end brands... it's meant to separate the people "who have" from the people "who don't" regardless of quality. That is the truth!

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Thank you for your comments!