04 Mar 2014

Branded vs. Unique…

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I’m not exactly a shopaholic, but I do like to shop once in a while. Well, okay: more than just once in a while. Of course, when it comes to shopping—regardless of how often you go out—there are tons of decisions to make: Where will you shop? Online or in a brick-and-mortar store? How much will you spend? Will you look for branded or non-branded apparel?

Now, wait a minute… this last one sounds a bit more interesting, no? Let’s take a closer look…

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First of all, when most people hear “branded items” they immediately think “expensive”. So, for the sake of this discussion, let’s assume that money is not an issue… or at least that you’re a responsible shopper who’s carefully budgeted for your fashion needs. Also, let’s assume that we’re talking about a bit of “serious” shopping here instead of picking up something you simply happened to come by…

Okay, with that out of the way, let’s move on…

So, branded items have a lot of obvious plus points: Better (and more consistent) quality, a wider range of available size options (not always, though), and (most importantly) they’re definitely eye-catching. Yes, the price will bite a sizable chunk out of your budget, but you’ll definitely get your money’s worth…

The downside is, to me at least, that you’ll be sporting the same look like anybody else who buys the same brand.

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That’s why I usually only buy branded items for basic items such as denims, tank-tops, or plain tops. For my actual “statement items”, I prefer looking for unique, oftentimes handmade items that are generally harder to find—usually online or in some obscure but high-end boutiques. For instance, I once found a very beautiful handmade poncho on Etsy.com. It was just the right color for me and was a true one-of-a-kind item sold directly by the lady who made it. It turned out to be not exactly cheap, but it allowed me to make a totally unique statement…

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So, how about you? Do you stick to branded items? Do you avoid branded apparel? Or do you like to mix-and-match as well? :)

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