The Reality of Label Whoring
The world has two types of label whores: people who believe certain brand names are inherently better than others, and people who wish to show off their expensive possessions but care little about quality. Here’s why both of these people are seven levels of obnoxious, especially when they can’t afford to buy designer brands in the first place.
“My Oakley sunglasses aren’t Chinese ripoffs.”
Label whores are terrified of accidentally buying accessories made in China. It’s as if they believe only counterfeit products are manufactured there. Surprise! Most of your expensive designer sunglasses are made in China! Oakley, Ray-Ban, Prada, D&G are just a few brands that have manufacturing plants in China. Why? Because labor is cheap in China, and designer brand companies want nothing more than to make even more money selling overpriced products.
“Expensive brands have higher quality products that last longer, so I’m saving money in the long run.”
This is true sometimes, maybe even at least half the time. Other times expensive products are made in the very same manufacturing places as cheap ones. They’re given different labels and brand logos, then shipped off to the good ol’ USA to be sold in vastly different stores.
Either way, anecdotal evidence on this subject is totally useless. As humans, it’s difficult to overcome the psychological compulsion to feel happier about products for which we paid more money. This is why so many people report no problems with Apple and BMW products. Even when there’s a problem, their brain struggles to justify it and turn it into a feature.
Finding affordable high quality products is sometimes a matter of trial and error. It’s made even easier with companies like REI and Zappos whom accept returns at any time, for any reason.
“Prada just looks better!”
No, natural fibers look better. Cashmere, wool, and silk are usually more aesthetically pleasing than synthetic blends. Nordstrom doesn’t have a monopoly on selling wool jackets, though. You can find good quality clothing elsewhere, but label whores don’t bother to look.
Expensive brands might also look better because the clothing comes with free tailoring. Unfortunately for the clueless among us, nothing is ever free. The cost of tailoring is included in the price of the clothing.
“I like showing off my possessions. Isn’t that harmless?”
Not only is it needless attention-whoring, it proves how manipulative large corporations can be. Do you think it’s a coincidence that teenagers believe smoking and drinking is cool? Cigarette and alcohol companies have spent billions nurturing these ideas because it’s so incredibly profitable for them. The same goes for clothing companies.
In addition, it’s not harmless if you can’t afford it! If you’re bumming rides from friends or asking daddy to cover rent to afford the latest fashion trends, you’re failing as a human being.
“But I can afford this.”
You can afford to spend $500 on designer shoes if:
1. You have at least one month’s salary in a savings account.
One month is the bare minimum. Many financial advisers recommend three to six months. This money shouldn’t be used for anything except emergencies.
2. You have health insurance for yourself and all dependents.
A major injury or other medical emergency is the cause of most bankruptcies. Health insurance in the United States can be expensive, but it’s a necessary evil to ensure financial stability. As crazy as it sounds, you should also get health insurance for your dog or cat too. Even a minor surgery for a large dog can have anesthesia costs of up to $1,500. Yeah, that doesn’t include the surgery itself or the pain medication that’s just smaller doses of the same, really expensive medication given to humans.
3. You have little or no debt.
Let’s be clear: school, car, and mortgage loans are debt. Credit card balances are debt. Unpaid bills are debt. You can still spend money with debt, but it’s important to have your priorities in order.
Most people don’t have good reasons for label whoring. It’s herd mentality encouraged by their favorite brands. What are your reasons for buying designer brands? Are you ever influenced by advertisements or notice product placements in movies and TV shows?