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The Struggle With Name Brands

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The little luxuries in life are certainly extremely valuable, but for some reason when a name brand is attached, that value is multiplied.

Here's a situation that has happened to me countless times. A friend points out my cute shirt and follows up with the question, "Where'd you get it?" Half of the time it's an honest question but for the other half it's a continued assessment of whether she should really deem it "cute" dependent upon the brand.

I concede, some stores are notorious for their clothes that won't last past the season, but there's also a 3-year-old Forever 21 shirt hanging in my closet that I always wear. It's time to stop giving the customers inside the Tory Burch store jealous glares. And maybe every Gucci bag you see isn't worth pointing out. The hefty price tags could be hiding the fact that the quality really isn't up to par.

To be honest this disbelief of name brand royalty began when I spent all of last summer working to earn a little extra money for a Michael Kors cross body bag. I finally got it and you could almost see the luxe aura emanating from the leather. Needless to say, I carried it around with a bright smile, and it was my outfit staple for four months until I stood at a street corner, and the strap ripped itself off. Was it the small draft of wind or the skinny wallet inside that did it? Devastated would be an understatement, and I was back to using my supermarket handbag.

Undoubtedly quality items may be more expensive, but dismissing lower-end brands and blindly supporting the names that are yelled out in rap songs is a little presumptuous. So then why do customers choose to buy expensive name brand products? Perhaps it's because of the implication that great quality comes with the brand, an assumption that was disproved in this case. High-end brands have their own share of poor products and a high price doesn't guarantee much, if anything at all.

Maybe some people just like the packaging. I have to admit that the gold letters spelling out a name brand on anything is an effective pull factor. If this is the case, the steep price point may be worth it, but for me a name brand is just a name. Unless the brand has been well-tested through personal experience, I wouldn't splurge my summer savings on it. Perhaps this was all about school starting and worrying about what to wear.