High fashion should obviously cost much more than regular fashion. The obvious question is… why? Now everybody is going to try to explain it in vague, different ways for you: it’s because of the quality, it’s because of the fact that some models wear those clothes or it’s because they are super cool! The only issue is that none of that makes any sense. Ok, the clothes are super cool… so why do they cost £500 and not £200? You get the same explanation over and over again until you settle and think that it is normal for a £500 clothing piece to cost that much. But it’s not. We have tackled this subject in some of our previous guides, but we have never talked about things so openly before so, if you really want to understand why high street fashion is so expensive, you had better start paying attention.
It’s more than just materials, more than the models who are wearing them on a catwalk, it’s more than just the shop. It’s an entire system that works behind the scenes, something that people are not aware of. Some consider that they should not be aware of it, but the simple explanation is that they just do not care. Everybody wants high street fashion and that is everything that matters, right? As long as it’s cool, all your friends are talking about it and you got your hands on it first, everybody agrees with it. The need grows, more and more people want it, demand is on the rise, the cash flows directly to the producers and everything is good. The only issue is that you are left without your money. Where is the money? It’s in the system. You funded it. And next year it’s going to attempt to sell you extra clothing pieces so that it can fund itself for the year that follows.
It All Starts with a Business Plan
The classical business plan has been around for years. Most of your money does not go into clothes, but in the system that gets them closer to you. If you are not familiar with the classical business plan, you simply have to know that it is divided into three parts: 40%, 30% and another 30%. That’s 100%, right? The total amount of money you spend on a product. Now who gets every percentage? Well, do not be surprised to find out that those 40% go to the producer. That’s right, every clothing piece that cost you £100 is actually worth £40. The other £60 were spent on something totally different: the fact that you found the clothes in the shop and the fact that there is some sort of commercial telling you that that specific piece is in a shop. It sounds fair, in the beginning, doesn’t it? In the end, someone had to work for you so that you can know that the product is closer to you.
But is it really worth it? Has the quality of the product improved over time? No. Has its quantity increased? You could have bought almost three pieces with £100, right? No. What did you give those £60 for, then? The fact that someone told you that the clothes are closer to you? People could tell you these things for less considerable prices or you can find it out from a friend… for free. So the system doesn’t seem anymore… the only issue is that we cannot change it. It works. It has been working like this for years and there is no actual way to stop it. On top of everything else, note that this is the classical business model. This is actually old. Each company or industry responsible for their percentage share has the freedom to play with their addition. You are not playing 30% for marketing anymore, but 50% because there is some really cool marketing or advertising agency doing it. Better work needs to be paid for different prices, we all agree to that. But do they really need to rip off £50 from our wallets every time we buy some clothes that we like, no, not really. At the same time, there are many producers who are trying to figure out how to spend and sell for less than 40%. These are, in fact, the guys who should be taking your money. They really try to make your life easier and better.
The Exploitation of Emotion
Whether we like it or not, fashion can be an emotional subject. It really is for a lot of people. All it takes is one day in which you are judged for the awkward clothes that you are wearing at the office and fashion becomes a subject of interest in your life. It works the same with high fashion as well. You can already imagine what everyone is going to say: “If that celebrity is wearing it why shouldn’t I?”, “Oh my god, have you seen how she looks, I need that too!” or “Look at how Gigi Hadid wears high street fashion!” These are all emotional triggers. They make people think emotionally instead of using a rational approach. Why is high street fashion so expensive? Because emotional decisions outweigh the rational ones. You know you look in a certain way every day and you’d like to change that. What better way to do it than look like a super star? Your decision is understandable, but throwing away half of your salary just so you can buy some things and look like someone makes no sense at all! Now do not think that this is necessarily a bad thing. In the end, the world needs to live somehow and industries need to exist. Fashion is an industry that is never going to die, but you do not really need to be one of the people who spend £2000 on clothes in one month and remain broke for it. You have to be a little smarter about it. If you decide not to think emotionally today you are going to be doing yourself and the world a favor. Firstly, you are not bound to unnecessary needs anymore and, secondly, the world will not mind that you did not spend so much money on clothes.
There is always someone else who will want them anyway. As long as they are happy and you have your money in your pocket, isn’t everyone happy? But how can you get rid of your emotional needs? This is the hard part: you need to learn how to resist. You need to understand that you do not need super expensive clothes every month, you do not need to look like a super star and you do not need to please everybody. The only person you need to please is yourself, based on your needs, not those of others. Once you understand this, things become a lot easier. You will understand the benefit of the imitation game, why you should look for chic, but less expensive clothes, how to value producers who actually care about your needs and how to step away from the system. But this is not an easy thing to do. It comes with a great price and a lot of effort. It can be really difficult to look at your friends wearing certain clothes and accessories while you wear something totally different. There is a very high chance that you will feel unaccepted, that you do not belong or that you are making a mistake. But this is the path that you will need to walk if you want to get out of the system. It’s as if you were choosing between safety and freedom. Do you want the safety of acceptance? Everyone to be ok with you but you are unsatisfied with yourself? Or do you want to be free and find the people who accept you for who you are?
Now You Know the Secret
Why is high street fashion so expensive? Because people afraid to be themselves. We long to be accepted, so we remain within the same mentality and system for a long period of time. What is the result? We educate ourselves that this is “normal”. It is normal for a pair of sneakers to cost £1000, for a trench coat to sot just as much and for high street fashion items to exceed out wildest financial expectations. Whether we are talking about high fashion or not, we have to understand that we are referring to one single thing: clothes. There are expensive clothes and there are cost-efficient clothes. What do people with expensive clothes get? Less money and a feeling of pride that is going to last them for a few days. What do people who buy cost-efficient clothes get? Money in their pocket and a feeling of satisfaction that they got themselves something useful. And yes, that feeling is going to last them for a very long time. Make a choice. It is all up to you.