Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"Mindset" 1: Balanced Shopping

“Balanced Shopping; Quality over Quantity(of Money)”
     I recently had an enlightening conversation with a close friend of mine. A couple of months ago my friend was on the hunt for a good quality deep V-neck and asked if I had any recommendations. So I suggested to him which type and where I got mine. But after he heard the price he was initially reluctant to purchase them for $22 when he knew very well he could find them elsewhere for less or in bulk. So I presume he went on that journey until he found his way back questioning me about the V-necks a couple of weeks ago. Eventually he finally buckled down and purchased a couple of the Tri-blend deep V-necks, at the location that I had previously recommended (American Apparel). After his journey he became enlightened to a way of thinking that I would like to share with my fellow EF’s today. He became inspired to opening his mind to slightly altering his way of shopping; to a more balanced way of shopping.

     First and foremost there are three different types of shoppers. There are those who will “pay the cost to be the boss” or label “shoppers” (“shoppers” to be Politically Correct of course). The label shopper is the person who will buy anything no matter the price tag as so long as they want it even if they can or can not afford it. We can delve in to the different reasons as to why they are the hottest people walking or still living at home with mom and dad. But that however is a topic for another day. Then there are the more practical shoppers, whom even if they can afford the labels, couldn’t care less for spending the money on high end brands unless it was on sale or passed on to them. A type of shopper that prefers to shop within their means and reason such as; off the sales rack at department stores, thrift shops, garage sales or cutting out the middle man with wholesalers. What we would call a bargain shopper. Then there are those that couldn’t care less for what they look like coming outside into the world; None shoppers, or Style Felons, lol.
     Now just to give you a backdrop, my cohort falls under the second type. He’s not particularly a brand aficionado, not to say that he can’t afford it or wouldn’t purchase it, he just doesn’t believe in spending outrageous amounts of money on something that he could very well get from another brand somewhere else for much cheaper. Sure, it may be a Gap belt and not a Louis Vuitton belt but it holds his pants up just the same. I can appreciate my colleague’s practicality; something that I, myself, have struggled with practicing. Being a bargain shopper doesn’t mean that you’re cheap (although some may disagree) it just means one who makes the effort to be an informed consumer and get the most “bang for their buck”.

     My comrade was initially skeptical months ago about purchasing the great quality (in my opinion) V-necks. However the recent reconsideration to make the purchase resurfaced and after two days of deliberation, he made the purchase and seems to be satisfied. During the deliberation process he heeded my suggestions after bouncing his thought-processing questions off of me, as an informed consumer would. Since I had three of my own V-necks, he asked me questions about the quality, fit, texture, material, and after-wash durability. Eventually he went and checked the shirts out for himself. Once he got to ask the sales persons any last questions he had and ran any standard “tests” we all run to check the garment, he purchased. He called me to tell me that he had came to the overall conclusion that he would like to take “baby steps” towards treating himself more often through sound purchases without sacrificing quality rather then always shopping for what he can find on sale, generic made or at the clearance rack. This epiphany came from his recent shopping experience which reaffirmed that most times “quality reigns over the quantity” of the money one can possibly save.

     We concluded that it is okay to spoil oneself sometimes and to not always refrain from making certain purchases because of the pricing; especially when the quality is built to last. There is nothing wrong with bargain shopping or label shopping (for those who can afford it) but that it is all about finding the appropriate balance that matches your pocket book without sacrificing quality. Lastly, with so many people letting expensive couture and brands identify them it is important to marvel at and always appreciate someone who can make something out of nothing. Because it is like a magic trick that not just anyone can pull off. It takes some one who can always have you guessing as to what the brand(s) of their outfit could be. Only to find out that it’s no major name brand, was found at a thrift shop or was caught at a really good sale. And that to me, my friends, is a true Esoteric Fashionista!

* Nice touch with the A-shirt (Tank top) under the deep V-neck

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