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buy lessOn of the most popular discussions I have with my friends lately is about more for less or less for more? In times where consumerism rules the world it’s a damn challenge to want less instead of more. Cheap and attractive stuff is lurking around every corner and as a student on a budget it’s tempting. But still I wonder, Is being on a budget an excuse to buy cheap, less quality stuff? In my opinion not. Beware I’m not trying to say how it’s done because I know everyone’s situation is different and it’s a luxury to be able to choose whether you go cheap or save up. Still in my opinion, especially for people with similar backgrounds as me, the sky could be the limit.

Cheap & chic

Cheap isn’t always bad. That basic shirt you can buy for 5 euros will be as good as the one for 50 euros. Choosing between both can be based on money, quality or ethics. Maybe there’s even a version in between that gives you all of those options with just paying a little more. Choosing for ethics may seem luxury but most of the times it equals better quality. And about that quality, yes you probably heard it before: it lasts longer. Not just a day, or a week but it can last a lifetime.

How to asses the quality?

The things you want to buy can convince you otherwise when you assess their quality. Don’t turn a blind eye for a really bad shirt just you like the colour because you deserve better!

– The fabrics should be soft and without pilling. Is the shirt you want already pilling in store, then you can be sure it will pill even more after washing. A definite no go! Cotton is a safe way to go since it’s cheap to produce. Affordable and well-made cotton items should be easy to find
– Check for manufacturing faults, any knots or loose ends aren’t a good sign. Wearing this on a daily basis will not do any good and your garment will get a worn out look very fast.
– Seams should be very strong, especially in case of denim. Check if the threads pull apart under pressure, if so time to put the garment back and move on. There’s nothing worse to have your jeans ripped.
– Synthetics can be a good substitute of natural fabrics but beware they don’t breath as well and they can be very stretchy.
– Non stretchy garments should be assesed on the way they are tailored. I once had a 100{1eacffa9ebeab588c36cec3d2da2b32fad3fa4c1e369410f800f367e980bc882} silk blouse ripped since it had not the right fit. How to check? Move around with your arms, check if you have enough space, walk around and be sure everything stays in place.oh and if it already rips in store DON’T even think about it!
– Check the lining. Especially for winter coats this can be important. Do you hear anything snap when moving your arms? High street coats a lot of the time have lining that is too tight and rips when you move a bit too much. There’s nothing worse than having to check wether you put your arm in your sleeve or your lining!
– Especially with pants check the buttons and the zip. Does it feel like it can fall apart any time soon? Then it probably will. Especially with skinny pants this can be really tricky so watch out for it.

More for less or less for more? 

I don’t think I can give you the right answer on this question. What I can say is that it can help to recognise that more stuff doesn’t equal more happiness. Finding something more meaningful to replace material items can prevent you from impulse shopping. Doing things instead of buying things gives you more happiness and at the same time indirectly lets you save up for something big.
A help can also be to set goals. Saving up for a big buy makes you realise you really can save a lot by not splurging. Another trick is to try to not shop for a month, 3 months, a year to see how you would feel and probably you wouldn’t feel any different and maybe even better with a not close to empty bank account.

And in all other cases I can only say as Vivienne Westwood already said:
Buy less, choose well, make it last.

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