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Buying budget, mid-range or high end – which is better?

Or, about that time I got holes in my socks.

Not long I wore a pair of socks for a couple of hours while out and about, and when I got home I realised both socks had holes in the toes. I was a little peeved because they were a $15 pair of socks (I think I got them with some 3 for $30 deal, but $15 individually) and would have thought that socks at that price would be holeproof.

The thought of throwing them out crossed my mind fleetingly, but instead I sat down and darned the socks by hand – hey, they cost me $10! Now they’re looking good as new.

So the holes-in-my-socks story doesn’t sound too interesting at first glance, but the incident did make me ask questions and I wanted to write a blog post about it.

$15 for a pair of socks sounds pretty steep, especially when you can get 10 pairs of socks from H&M for example for $10 – bargain right? Now in this instance, if I got holes in these socks or if a pair lost a partner, I wouldn’t even think twice and would probably bin them. What’s $1 compared to $15?

This is where the question of my blog title comes in – is it better to buy low-end, mid range, or high end? I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer as each person has their own opinions, circumstances and situations, but I’ll just talk about my own mindset when I’m shopping.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while you’ll know that where I can, I’ll shop second hand for the most part, and may occasionally hit the shops if I can’t find what I’m after through my second hand channels (or if I’m pregnant). When shopping either way, I’ll always try to buy good quality, mid-range brands (and the occasional high-end one if I can) rather than buy cheaper labels. Although I know I’m spending more money this way, I find that because I’ve spent more money I tend to take care of these items more than when they were cheaper, and therefore the clothes (hopefully) last longer this way. This mindset also applies to shoes, handbags and accessories.

Clothes as investments

This isn’t to say I don’t buy cheap – in fact, I just bought some undies from Kmart the other day, because I’ve had my current ones for yonks and the elastic and fabric were getting super loose. I also picked up some cool leopard pyjamas for the hospital from there as a little treat for myself for pushing out a baby! I’ve also bought stuff from H&M as I know my lifestyle with two, almost three young kids doesn’t always mean I can afford or properly care for some of my clothes the way they should. I also don’t buy high-end kids’ clothes because they grow out of them so quickly, it seems a waste to spend $80 on a shirt that’ll only be worn a handful of times.

Of course I’m aware that not everyone can afford to buy on the mid- to upper end of retail, and I’m very lucky to be in a position where I have the means to buy things that cost a little more. Also, it doesn’t mean that people who do buy cheaper don’t take care of their stuff – I think regardless of how much it cost you should take good care of the things you have – but for me I’m a bit more mindful of the care of my items if I know I’ve spent a little more on them. It’s also worth mentioning their re-sale value afterwards if I ever get bored of the item (or if they don’t fit anymore) – mid to upper range brands tend to sell better on second hand channels than Target, Big W or Kmart because of their ubiquity.

(This mindset also extends to stuff I’ve made, like the knitted items I’ve blogged about – I’ve spent a fair bit of time, sweat and tears constructing these things and would be really upset if they were to snag or get holes in them!)

So on that note, I’d love to hear from YOU – what’s your opinion on this question of buying cheaper, mid-range or high-end? What do you prefer to buy, and why?

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2 thoughts on “Buying budget, mid-range or high end – which is better?

  1. Stuff you don’t see like undies, socks, bras, I go cheap and cheerful.

    Clothes I probably go more cheap than midrange (I think Jeanswest is as expensive as I get, although I have a couple Sass & Bide on sale pieces).

    Bags and accessories as you know are splurges for me, haha! I find it easier to take care of bags than clothes. I’m forever accidentally throwing things in the wrong wash, being my usual clumsy self and spilling stuff on what I’m wearing…I’m much tougher on my clothes so I tend not to spend too much. I’d like to start investing a little more once the boys are bigger and it’s just my clumsiness my clothes have to survive!! When I do make an effort to take care of my clothes they last me a long time, it’s rare I have to get rid of something from my wardrobe because it’s worn out, mostly because I’ve gotten bored of it or it no longer fits. It’s definitely interesting seeing the different things people spend and save on, I think everyone has their splurge category!

    1. Finally replying! 😀 I’m definitely feeling the effects of having “nicer” clothes now with newborn, I’m scared of getting vomit on some of the clothes so they’re just sitting in my wardrobe collecting dust right now! Oh and they’re a size too small at the moment too :-/

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