Fashion Mania 101: How to Break Your Designer Obsession

 “Luxury bags make your life more pleasant, make you dream, give you confidence, and show your neighbors you are doing well.” –Karl Lagerfeld


Designer labels are one of those aspects in high fashion that some fashionistas have a healthy penchant for. It is not necessarily all so bad if it is kept in check, but when it spirals out of control and progresses into something akin to an obsession, something needs to be done immediately.

A healthy dose of wanting the finer things in life is normal, but constantly finding yourself defaulting on your rent, asking for cash loans or living from paycheck to paycheck just to satisfy your predilection for luxurious and extravagant items should cause you alarm. Why do some people have a hankering for exorbitantly priced designer items? Well, some would argue that it is because of the excellent quality of these things, but with designer knock-offs that could pass off as authentic buys teeming in flea markets and bargain stores; this can be considered a moot point. The harsh reality is, a fraction of those who would invest much of their earnings on designer buys do it not for the quality, but for the certain prestige that goes along with it. Arguably, some may say that there are designer items in existence that do not blatantly show off their labels and logos, but with worldwide recognition of their styles and designs, is the absence of a plastered label, logo or tag relevant? Undeniably, these items whether they are clothes, handbags, shoes or accessories are status symbols and as Karl Lagerfeld would say, something you buy to show your neighbors you are doing well.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that if you have the capacity to afford as many of these luxurious items if you can, but when the obsession kicks in, you should be aware that you cannot be so cavalier with your finances. This does not mean to say that you should forgo buying those wholesale steve madden heels and Prada handbags altogether—no, but rather, this is a simple guide as to how to break this rather exorbitant habit when it is starting to consume you and your earnings.


One thing you have to heavily consider when you find yourself shopping for designer buys is this: Is the designer article truly better than its unlabeled counterpart? Are there some aspects of design that are peculiar only to the designer item? Well, if you answered positively to both questions then by all means purchase it. But, if the counterpart looks even better than the designer item or looks so much more unique that the luxurious item then ask yourself the real reason why you are buying the more expensive item. If the brand tag is your solitary reason, then you need to reconsider.


Vintage shops are avenues for thrift shopping as well as unearthing unique and individualistic sartorial collections and items that you may never even have to look at the tags. When you are at a vintage shop, you can become rather preoccupied with finding that one item that would fit and flatter you as well—and with the innumerable options of fabric, quality and color, you would barely have the time to ascertain the brand. Another bonus feature about the distinct finds you would be able to purchase in thrift shops is the item’s potential for improvement utilizing the DIY route. And really, a little personal incorporation is so much more valuable than one with a hefty designer price tag.


One failsafe and easy way to see clothes as they are and not for the designer and brand names they carry is to mentally envision the kind of look you would want to see in yourself. Before heading out into the mall or in any store, in particular, take some time first to envisage the outfit you would want to wear, the kind of cut, the kind of color, the fabric and pretty much the entire ensemble. Once you have a very distinct shopping list in mind, an extravagant sartorial item with a designer label would hardly catch your attention—unless it is precisely what you are looking for. In any case, either it may be the piece you are looking for, or it is not—there is definitely no gray area in between.


We all have our personal styles and preferences when it comes to dressing ourselves up, and this largely contributes to how we develop our style. But instead of shopping for pieces we only like, why not step it up and take it a bit further by knowing which of these pieces truly look great on us? Ask yourself whether you are happy with the way you look, whether a particular color flatters you or whether a piece of clothing in your closet would be definitive of you and your style. This is one way to successfully eliminate designer trends that may not look great on you but are instead merely “attention grabbers” for their luxurious brand. Each individual has a unique way of dressing, and not everything works for everyone all the time. Find yours and develop your personal style.


Yes, you can copy a particular celebrity’s manner of dress but instead of letting them dictate how you dress overall, let them inspire you instead. Fret not about having the exact same pieces as these celebrities have, instead, do some bargain hunting and shop for similar looking clothes. Remember, these celebrities get most of their designer clothes for free and are most probably earning more than you are. Take inspiration, find a similar piece but never try to copy their ensemble piece for piece. Let us be realistic here; you would never be able to keep up.


This is probably the most imperative step among all the steps enumerated here. If you want to take a firm hold on your finances and prevent yourself from splurging on needless items that you would hardly even wear, then ask yourself: Am I buying these items because I like them or am I buying them because they are made by so and so? Or a simpler tack would be to ask yourself whether you would buy the exact same piece of sartorial clothing if it came without the designer tag. If your answer is a firm no, then that is the wake-up call you truly need into assessing the kind of shopping lifestyle you are currently having. Put more effort into being label-blind and style-conscious.




Remember, clothes go beyond their respective tags and makers. See them for what they are: in fit, fabric, quality and style instead of where and who manufactured them. Recognize the real value of stylish clothes while disregarding the hefty price tag. This is not to say you should knocking designer clothes for good, but it serves as a good wake-up call for when one sees more of the brand than the clothes.


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