Is it really worth paying more for designer brands?
See that little croc on my polo shirt? He cost me £100. And the dinky chap playing polo on my jumper? Well he set me back £150. Oh, and what about that mini Medusa on my scarf? Quite a looker, eh? She was just over £500.
I’m talking, of course, about big brands’ logos – the Lacoste crocodile, the Ralph Lauren polo player and the Versace Medusa. And if those opening lines struck you as vulgar and entirely uncharacteristic of your favourite columnist, then fear not – I don’t really own any of those items and wouldn’t dream of forking out for clothes in such a mindless way. You can’t buy style like that. And you shouldn’t attempt to.
I remember as a sensitive young teen being told by the precocious younger brother of a friend – “You’re wearing Tommy Hilfiger shorts and you still look crap.” Gosh, it was wounding. He’d spied the little blue, white and red logo on the shorts and promptly decided to give me both barrels. But, the fact is, he was right. That the shorts came from TK Maxx for a heavily reduced price didn’t make a jot of difference. Throwing on branded clothes doesn’t automatically make you a well-dressed man. That’s not how it works.
Growing up, my mother encouraged me to always cover the logos when shopping. If I saw a t-shirt I liked – be it from Nike, Quicksilver (the surf brands were making a splash in the noughties) or whoever – I was to put my hand over the logo and ask myself if I still liked it. This was a sensible little test that told you if you were drawn to the t-shirt itself or were just being seduced by the brand and the logo. Mother knows best!
These early experiences were very valuable to me and I came to assume that they were fairly commonplace. But it seems that most of the world didn’t receive such lessons. I just can’t believe that so many intelligent adults are prepared to pay so much for a little logo. It looks to me as though everyone is being duped into buying bog-standard items for silly money....
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