CO Studios at Etsy


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Inexpensive vs Expensive Brand Clothes, 1

I think that using the word cheap to refer to something low cost is poor terminology. It sounds tacky to call something cheap. Or constantly talk about getting a 'good deal' on a bulk package of clothes. It is as if you're trying to purchase a used car for $200 dollars. Buying clothes is quite a 'you get what you pay for' idea. It is like getting a shirt, shoes, pants and socks for $10. The quality is likely to be terrible, or the clothes will look horrible.
One wants clothes that are sturdy and stylish.

It is obvious that while one wants to not 'break the bank', i.e. paying $400 for a dress or $200 for some shoes. One can look stylish on a budget.  One must also pay a reasonable price, because the price of the clothing goes to pay the company, and the workers, and for advertising, and to keep the lights on in their stores, and especially for the cloth. Or, if it's a private boutique or seamstress/tailor, cost of materials, time, shipping and further tailoring.

One must consider moderation. Paying $300 for a dress is debatable. What it comes down to is if you feel wearing their name is worth it, or if they are just pretty clothes.

I feel this way about brand name lolita clothing. It is obvious that a dress costs so much due to these factors:
  • A certain designer designed it
  • It is made with certain expensive materials, such as brocade, silk, velvet, or natural materials
  • the dress had much labor put into it, with painstaking detail
  • the company can add 'couture' in front of the name or in the description, and add on $300+ dollars to the actual cost.
  • how many dresses are in stock
  • how high the anticipated demand is
  • et cetera.
Most of the time, I just don't think it's right to charge so much for something easily mass produced. Perhaps it is expected of the creators to make something expensive, so that not everyone can have or wear it. Would it be fashionable if everyone was able to fit it and wear it and it lasted for some time? I just feel... if you're going to make a one colored dress out of polyester and cotton, throw on a few frills, a few bits of lace.... is it right to  make it $360USD? They certainly have a right, it is their clothing. But is it fair? Certainly if it were a full rococo gown, historically accurate, with soft, factory made lace and the whole thing is machine washable, it is justified that it should cost $300+ dollars. I wouldn't be surprised if it cost $500, and more if it was a seamstress making it, with hand sewn or hand made details.

Small independent companies are more justified in pricing, because there is much more hands on work in creating the garment, such as hand-picking the fabrics, hand sewing any alterations, embellishing and talking with the customer on sizing, repairs or additions.
Larger shops, like some of the ones I saw on 5th avenue, don't quite have that level of detail in their service. Therefore, I feel as if they're taking advantage of the consumer, and are not justified in selling a pair of synthetic leather heels for $3000. The only way to justify that is if the designer is making every pair of shoes themselves, or if they had precious metals or stones, and rare unique materials. Like live goldfish.
Pic from Discovery Blogs. No, you can't wear these. I wonder if PETA has seen these.

I do enjoy how brands are starting to make their clothes slightly larger and slightly more affordable. I am not a big brand fan. I feel some remorse in saying this. I thought I was a lolita. But is buying brand and wearing someone's name on your feet, head and torso what makes you a lolita? Not at all. The clothes are just covering in the end. It is justifiable to like their style, and want to be a part of their vision. Wearing brand for bragging rights, just to say that you're an expensive and therefore important person, is ridiculous.

I would, however, pay up to $200 for a dress. I believe are such dresses as I would pay such a price:
Dear Celine's Summer Classic OP, from QutieLand
Infanta's Spring Whisper Lady Charlotte OP, from QutieLand

Angelic Pretty's Sweet Princess OP, in Lavender

By plus sized, I mean bust and waist sizes of over 36 inches, or a height larger than 5' 6". And with no alteration.

There's not much you can do for actual brand OPs if you're 45" in either bust or waist. Nothing to do but wait. However, you can request reproductions or totally new dresses from smaller boutiques and seamstresses. It is my dream that these shops will realize that larger sized foreigners exist and want to purchase their clothing. u_u

Plus sized friendly brand shops:
QutieLand - A number of smaller shops that tailor make clothes standard size and 'oversized' for 10-20 extra USD.
Victorian Maiden - A very small number of brand dresses that would fit around bust or waist size of 40-42.
Innocent world - A respectable amount of dresses that have an upper bound of 44 inch waist or bust. Personal favorite.
Baby the Stars Shine Bright (BtSSB) - Their shirred clothing fits up to 45 sized bust and waist. Their tailored clothing hovers around 36 inches for bust and waist.
Candy Violet - An american startup lolita shop, with their own site. They have a size 2XL to most of their clothes, B: 46 W: 36.
English Charm - Goes up to 2XL, B: 48 W: 42 H: 52
Ergi - sizes by commission
Fan+Friend - up to around bust of 44 for untailored items. Offers tailored items.
mfashion - A few brand blouses, B: 42 W:40
Milky Ange - A lot of their dresses have an XL size, where  B: 44in W: 40-42 in. Very lovely traditional lolita.

List will continue as I find shops.