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Clothes: the Label Game

Before shelling out big bucks for a brand-name shirt or jeans at the hottest clothing store, consider whether it's really worth it. Companies spend millions of dollars on market research and advertising to teens. They know what buttons to push to make you think you "have" to have their brand.

skeptical guyThink about this:
Designer clothes aren't necessarily better quality. In fact, some are made pretty cheaply! Examine the material and how well it's put together. You'll be mad if it fades, shrinks or unravels after a wearing or two.

Are you being used as a "walking billboard?" Companies pay a lot of money for advertising space on billboards, in magazines and on TV. They love that teens will pay them for the privilege of wearing their logos all over town.

By buying high-price designer duds, you keep the whole racket going. They'll keep charging high prices as long as people will pay.

Look good without spending a fortune:stylish girl

  • If you like a certain designer style, look for "lookalike" items at discount stores.
  • If you really, really want something by a certain designer, wait until it's on sale, or look for that brand at outlet malls.
  • Buy just one thing by that designer. Then wear it with less expensive things as the rest of your outfit. Don't waste your money on buying designer label socks or underwear–make your spending count.
  • Opt out of the brand name game entirely. Buy things that make you look good, no matter who makes them. Create your own style.
  • Which is the best buy?
    jeans jacket
    Brand-name jacket at trendy store $49.99
    jeans jacket
    Same brand-name jacket at discount store $39.99
    jeans jacket
    "Copycat" jacket at discount store

    Answer: It's up to you! Just remember you have choices.

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