Is There Real Value in Luxury Brands?

I’ve always been a budget conscious shopper. I can credit (or blame!) my mother for that, because she’s the one who taught me how to live well but keep it tempered with a healthy dose of frugality. So for a very long time, you’d never find a designer label or a recognized luxury brand in my closet. But I remember the first time I slipped on a pair of designer pants and immediately could tell that something was very, very different.

The fit was perfect. The feel of the fabric was – – heavenly. Of course, the seams, the workmanship were flawless. These felt like nothing I’d worn before. I looked again at the price tag, shuddered a bit . . . and bought them.

Yes, I do still look at and pay attention to the prices of whatever I add to my wardrobe or cosmetics. But I also allow myself a little indulgence, and remind myself that, yes, I am worth it. That said, what does it really mean to be a “luxury brand?” Here’s how one luxury brand ad agency terms it:

“Luxury is hard to define; it’s expensive but not overpriced. It’s high-quality and long-lasting, but futuristic. It’s aesthetically pleasing, but unique. It’s not only rare, but also difficult to access. It’s service-minded, but elitist. Luxury is a belief that relies upon elucidation.”

While I’m certainly no fashion guru, I do have some favorites. If you’ve never treated yourself to a little extravagance in your clothing, jewelry, or cosmetics, it’s time you took a look at what the world of luxury brands has to offer. Here’s some I’d suggest.

Luxury Clothing Brands

As with all luxury brands, some names continue on the list for decades.  And while there’s a constant flow of what’s hot and what’s not, the core names are widely recognizable.  Some of my faves in clothing are:

  • Vera Wang – Established in 1990.   Artistic and modern, yet luxurious with couture-like quality.  More moderately priced, the line is found in mid-level clothing retailers.  
  • Kate Spade- Founded in 1993.  Often associated with only handbags, Kate Spade also offers an extensive line of range of looks for every season and every occasion, and is sold in both upscale department stores and their own branded stores. 
  • Marni- Since 1994. Well known for its colorful and unique creations that bond beauty with elegance.  Featured in most upscale department stores.

And yes, there’s a long list of brands that I could include here, that I’ve personally tried and love.  That’s the adventure of luxury clothing!  Shop, experiment, and enjoy the experience!

Luxury Cosmetic Brands

You can buy cheap lipstick for a dollar a tube.  Or you can spend hundreds for the most elitist and pricey out there.  Is there a difference in quality that justifies the higher price?  Some experts say yes, tempered with a word of caution.  While I won’t bust my budget with something outlandishly priced, I have a definite conviction of the value of better quality products.  There’s so many to choose from that meet that criteria, and we all have our favorites.  I used to be a devout use of Clinique products.  Now, I’ve settled into more modest and dependably high quality brands.  So in my cosmetics collection you’ll find these:

  • L’Oreal- This French company has been a global leader since 1909.  Their reputation for superior quality cosmetics at affordable prices is long established.  
  • Lancôme- Another enduring brand from France that prides itself on “avant-garde science” and delivering legendary elegant makeup since 1935.
  • Estee Lauder- A relatively young member of the classic beauty and cosmetics luxury brands, Estee Lauder prides itself on innovative, technologically advanced offerings.

Indulge.  It’s Okay!

I’ve said it before.  It’s time you embrace the awesome woman you are.  Yes, you deserve to indulge and send yourself some love, and the message that yes, you are worth it!  How about you start today?  

Linda Allen

I'm a serial entrepreneur, with a resume that makes me look like a Jane of all trades. Pretty sure we are all reluctant Messiahs, travelling through life planting seeds where ever we can. Hopefully, most of mine have been good ones! MA from Miami University (Ohio, not Florida), BA from Cal State.