Style Files | How important is quality?

The last time I came home after a voracious shopping spree with a handful of bags was years ago. It all started during sale season when I couldn't take my eyes off a tulle skirt. At the second store, it was a printed dress. At the third, it was a denim jacket. I then sat down to dinner with a victory pizza to celebrate my tiring evening of pointless spending. Since then, I've come a long way. I resist impulse purchases, I don't throw money at sales and most importantly, I care much more about quality. I know, I know; the girl with the handful of bags had an epiphany and changed her approach to fashion completely—it sounds like something Rebecca Bloomwood would do. But it didn't happen overnight and it definitely wasn't easy.

A gif image of an illustrated woman putting things quickly in a shopping cart at the grocery store

Like many others, the constant cycle of sale season, fashion month and 'I-need-new-clothes-for-this-meeting' meant buying a new bodycon skirt or dress without any reason, thought or need. Regardless if the stitches came loose or the print faded in a couple of washes, I kept going back for more (and I wasn't even a shopaholic!). Being part of the fashion and beauty sphere didn't make it any easier. Constantly scrolling through Instagram, experimenting with new trends on Style File or following what's in vogue made me want to be a part of it too. When millennial pink hit the headlines, I wanted a pair of culottes in that shade. When Gigi Hadid made the news, I wanted the varsity jacket she was spotted in. Consumerism hit me from every side—the internet, the papers and the streets. That's when I knew I needed an overhaul, stat.

The change began with a quote—'Buy things you see yourself wearing forever.' It switched on a light in my head. I retraced all the clothes, shoes and junk jewellery I had bought in the past couple of years. Would I really wear the asymmetrical skirt and neon clutch after they faded from the trend spotlight? Probably not. Was it sensible to buy a cardigan half off to find its colour fade by itself in my closet? Not really. It struck me that all my purchases meant nothing if they didn't last. If you thought regret was bad when you didn't buy what you wanted, it's infinitely worse when you do buy it and realise it's a hasty decision made in the fear of losing out.

Image of a red cardboard nike box on a beige background with the nike brand and swoosh in white

That's when I realised how important quality was. Quality in fashion meant my clothing, accessories and jewellery would be of higher quality materials and sit gently on my skin. They wouldn't fade, crinkle or pill in a wash or two. They wouldn't lose shape, have their handles break or their fabric peel when the weather got humid. Yes, quality products tend to be more expensive, difficult to find and care for but in the long run, they are smarter, more economical purchases. Especially during sale season, I still get pangs to pick up a trendy top or a frivolous skirt. Like a balanced diet, I do occasionally allow myself a taste of the cheat clothing. But when I think about the quality I strive for, the smart choices I've made so far and that striking quote, most items always go back on the rack.

That's when I knew it wasn't just my personal style that needed quality, it was the rest of my life too. That meant 8 blissful hours of sleep every night, a daily workout that got my heart pumping and a nutritious meals that kept me full through the day. For a more happy, productive and fulfilling life, all I needed was quality. Imagine that—being completely happy and wearing high quality threads, now that's a good life.


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