I’ve had a bit of an up and down week this week but one lovely thing did happen at work the other day completely out of the blue – I received a long service award as I’ve worked with the same company for 10 years.
I was given a lovely framed certificate thanking me for my work, along with a silver engraved keyring, a silver photo holder and a small catalogue of gifts to choose from. The gifts were really impressive (to me anyway) – matching his and hers Armani watches, a Tissot watch, a Radley Cheadle bag and a Links of London Sweetie bracelet among other things.
I decided to go for the Links of London bracelet (below) as it looks really pretty and it’s not something I would usually buy for myself or ask Mr Frugal to buy for me and last night, when Miss Frugal got home from her friends house, I turned the laptop on and proudly showed her the bracelet that’s winging it’s way to me as we speak.
She loved it straight away (what did I expect – it’s pink and shiny) until she saw the price of it, which horrified her. ‘Why would someone pay that much just for a bracelet Mam?’ I was a bit lost for words at this and mumbled something about it being very pretty, to which she replied ‘I have a pretty bracelet just like that Mam and I bet it never cost that much – there’s lots of better things that people can buy with their money’.
What can I say to that? The girl has a point that I can’t really argue with.
Why do we spend so much more on designer labels and brands? Is it because they are genuinely better quality that everyday brands or if we’re honest is it just for the label and the fact people will see that we own a designer brand – like a kind of status symbol.
Whichever way you look at it, £175 is a lot of money to spend on a bracelet that people probably won’t even wear every day and as Miss Frugal says, she does have a very similar bracelet that cost about £3 from Tesco and from a few feet away (which is as close as most people would get to seeing her wrist) you genuinely can’t tell the difference. Obviously close up, the difference in quality is more apparent and I’m sure that my bracelet will last a lot longer than hers but I can see her point.
The same can be said for designer clothes, shoes, make up, handbags and on a larger scale even things like cars. Are we really paying for the brand name or do you think the extra quality is worth paying a premium for?
Another reason I think we buy designer labels is because they are the ‘in’ thing to have. I can personally vouch for this as I went through a Radley phase a while ago (pre-frugal life) and if I’m honest, I think that was more down to the fact that lots of people had one and I wanted one than because I actually like the bags. Now I prefer more individual things and I think Miss Frugal is possibly the only nine year old in her school to have a Radley bag and purse – someone might as well get some use out of them!
What about you? Are you a designer label fan or do you steer clear?