Fashion & Style

Fashion Debate: Brands vs. No Brands

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Two opinionated writers give us their points of view on whether brands really matter.

Brand Name Buyer

By Shari Eisen


Tired of being told that brand name clothing just isn’t worth the price, and that by wearing them you’re being superficial? Well, buying brand names go beyond what the critics say.

If I walk into a store and see a plain t-shirt for $20 and a popular brand I recognize on sale for $25, I’m far more likely to buy the brand because I know that I’m buying a good quality product from a reliable company. After all, high-end companies will ensure superior quality in order to uphold their reputations. And if I get great shirts from a particular brand name, I also expect other products by the same brand to be well made. However, I’m not sure what I’m getting with no-name labels.

Generally, the first impression that someone has of you is focused on the image that you choose to project. For instance, if you don’t take care of your appearance, others may think that you’re disorganized. Brand name clothing gives a positive impression to everyone around you.

If you see someone else sporting your favourite brand, it’s easy to spark a conversation. Even if you’re shy, you will be much more self-assured because you know that you’ve got something in common with the other person. Self-esteem is a huge part of being a young woman, so a small boost in confidence can have a tremendous effect. Confidence allows us to try new things without the fear of rejection or failure. So, why shouldn’t we have something that gives us that “I’m unstoppable” feeling?

I’ll admit that part of the appeal of brand names may be how something looks, but I can’t help it if I love the look of Diesel jeans or a Coach bag! “I like being the centre of attention sometimes,” a friend tells me.

Brand name clothing and accessories are designed to appeal to consumers, and they do so very well. There’s no point in buying something that you don’t like, so if you like the brand name item, go for it!

Brand name products bring us good quality merchandise, confidence in ourselves and great looking items. That certainly sounds worth it to me.

No Name Necessary

By Arfeen Malick

Michael Kors, Coach, Juicy Couture, Burberry, Chanel: brand names swirl around in your head. The big names come with even bigger price tags. You pause for a millisecond and think, “Why am I wearing someone’s logo and advertising for them?” The thought quickly disintegrates as another trendy label catches your Faze T-Shirteye. You’ve already picked out the perfect skirt to complete the outfit.

Perhaps in all this confusion you ignore the price or maybe you’re sucked into this brand name world without knowing it. Whatever the reason, you walk up to the $50 designer label t-shirt, pull it off the rack and head towards the dressing room. The almost identical (but lacking the right label) $15 t-shirt from the previous store is forgotten along with your budget for today.

So why do some people put in the extra cash for the logo while others couldn’t care less? Jackie Burkhart (played by Mila Kunis), the fashion-conscious member of the gang on That 70s Show, feels more secure in her brand name clothes. On the show, in response to accusations of her being insecure, she screams, “I am not insecure! This is a designer sweater, this is designer eye shadow and those are designer shoes, and they make me feel INCREDIBLY secure!” Is she right? Perhaps those teens buying strictly brand names are looking to their clothes for self-confidence. By wearing the hottest t-shirt they try to avoid the awkwardness of fitting in, thinking that their clothes will provide comfort, much like a security blanket. They believe wearing brand names will automatically put them into a category labelled “cool & trendy”. To some, fitting in right away based on appearance is more appealing than making friends based on personality. Of course, our clothes should somewhat represent our personalities but they shouldn’t replace them.

Brand names have become a method to display status. Label kings and queens say they buy clothes and accessories because they represent who they are, but really, how can a t-shirt that is owned by nearly half the population represent an individual?

Also bizarre is the fact that some people will buy a plain 100% cotton, white tank top for way too much money because it has some sought-after tag sewn into the back (where no-one can even see it!), while a similar top can be found elsewhere for a fraction of the cost. Some suggest that the higher the price the better the quality, but isn’t 100% cotton just 100% cotton?

Some also argue that brand names spark conversation. Someone across the room might approach you wondering where you bought that “great” (code for designer) bag! While this might be true, do you really want to talk to someone who only approached you because of something you are wearing?

Although brand names are more expensive, perhaps the appeal is that you aren’t only paying for the logo but also for status, confidence, and for the ability to fit in. But wait a minute, can’t I get all those things for free?


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7 thoughts on “Fashion Debate: Brands vs. No Brands

  1. It’s the skin that you carry to participate in ‘The World’, bragging

    about it is not an option. But wait, Brapping about it is always an option.

    Brapp is a social app I like to use to talk about the things I wear

  2. That was a GREAT post. You are spot on forsure. I only buy namebran and it makes me feel better. I like when people tell me that they like my jeans or shirt. Another reason I buy namebrand is because you wont see to many other people wearing the same thing at the same time. It would suck to show up at a party and then another person has on the same shirt as you etc. This was my first time on your site but I will definitely be back to see what else you post. Thanks for the great Info!

  3. Okaibyeee

    True, on so many levels. I’ve always been pretty trendy with my shoes, and recently, I asked myself why. Spending all this money on brand names, just because I’m too scared not to. I’m afraid to be judged, I guess. Non-brands are usually referred to as knock-offs too. Kids and teens just identify with brands for social points. Great post. I’ve been thinking about just skipping out on the whole brand thing from time to time.

  4. I am perfectly OK with letting people know what brands I like and am loyal to. As long as the brand doesn’t take up half the item, of course. A small logo is nice. It lets me know that company likes the product enough to claim making it. I LIKE Lacoste, Ralph Lauren, Levi’s, Nike, North Face and whatever else. I don’t need to hide that fact.

  5. And NO, 100 percent cotton is not that same. There are different qualities of cotton. My Ralph Lauren cotton tank top is far better fitting, and softer then the target ones I have. I used to always buy my t shirts at Target thibnking what you did, until i traded up.

  6. Brandon Alan

    The way I see it is that people wear them to fit in. People are being pressured to wear them or they end up being bullied or beat up, Its a disgrace! I done a little experiment a few years back, I bought some Nike branded shoes and some plain branded ones in the same style/design. The minute i walked out the door people started making fun and getting into fights with me. The next week I walked out with the Nike shoes and suddenly everything changed, People would comment and talk about them in a good way. Its just stupid that as soon as an athlete or someone famous wears them there automatically in fashion. People should stop judging and bullying people for what they wear and start looking for personality instead.

  7. I buy name brand items in clothes and handbags. But I NEVER buy at full price,i am amazingly good at finding promotions and coupons so I always get an AMAZING bargain. I don’t buy name brand stuff because I’m insecure or anything like that, I buy them because 1. They lasts for years (I’ve had my 1st and only pair I have ever own Reebok sneakers for 10 yrs) and I don’t see me buying a new one anytime soon. 2nd, I can afford it. Life is like a marry go round, always the same thing with everyone. You are born, you work, you have bills and other responsibilities, you get old, you die. The point is, no one knows when they are going to die and I’ve seen it so many times where people save all their $ for when they are older and don’t live to spend it. Save for retirement yes but enjoy some too. Whether its buying quality stuff, giving to charity, taking a World Tour, buying a car, etc. LIFE IS TOO SHORT SO ENJOY IT WHILE YOU CAN:) ( And I also buy stuff that is not name brand)


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