What Is Your Dress Actually Worth?

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When it comes to buying a dress, there are so many options at just about every price, too. But if you buy an inexpensive dress, you might feel like a cheapskate. And you might think that you need to invest in an expensive, brand-name or designer gown.

But is that true? Are expensive dresses really worth the steep price tag?

Why do you want the brand name dress?

This might seem like a strange question to start with, but it’s an important place to begin. For example, if you want a dress, and it’s from an expensive brand, before you do anything else, take a step back and ask yourself, “Why do I want this dress?”

The truth is, sometimes we feel insecure and not good enough. So, we turn to brand names to feel better about ourselves and our life situation. Brands also help you to fit in and prove yourself.

But the reason why we do this actually has scientific backing. In fact, this study found that people who wore well-known brands were better perceived by others.

Do you want this dress because you want to fit in and prove yourself to someone? Is there another dress that can do the same thing for you? Maybe this brand name dress isn’t really worth all the money you will end up paying for it.

BONUS TIP: take a look at women's luxury clothing in Amazon – reviews might be great help!

Is it a thoughtful purchase or a carefree splurge?

Depending on your finances and your budget, you may or may not have a lot of money to spend on frivolous purchases. So, when it comes to investing in a brand name dress, it’s important to make sure it’s a smart investment.

Is the dress something that fits you and your lifestyle? The thing is, we see celebrities and models wearing certain pieces, and we begin to imagine ourselves in them. But are you imagining your real life or a fictional place?

If you can’t really see yourself wearing this dress in real life (at least once!), it’s probably a splurge, instead of a thoughtful purchase. And instead of being a good investment, it’s not really worth it.

Is the dress high quality?

When shopping online, it may be difficult to know if a dress is high quality. That’s because you can’t try it on yourself, feel the material, observe the hemlines and seams, and also see how it actually fits on your body. Therefore, if possible, try to see the dress in person before spending so much money on it.

Online marketing, photo editing, and models can make just about any dress look amazing, and sometimes when you finally see it in person, it’s a bit of a letdown.

If the dress is only available online, check out reviews and see what other women have to say. If bloggers and influencers have tried the dress, ask them for their review. This can help you decide if the dress is high quality.

It’s a good idea to check out the materials, too. Is it cheap polyester, or a fine cashmere?

Where is the dress made?

Some brands are still truly artisanal and offer items that are well-designed, original and made well. But other companies outsource their production to factories throughout the Middle East and Asia.

If that’s the case, it’s possible that your dress was made by individuals who probably don’t receive a fair wage. What’s more, their working conditions may be quite poor. Therefore, the production cost for the dress is probably a lot less than the final price tag.

How much does it cost to actually make brand clothes?

Transparent pricing isn’t something you commonly find in designer brands. In fact, luxury brands can sell handbags at 20 times the cost of production.

Therefore, a bag that should sell for $200 to $300 gets sold for anywhere from $900 to $1,800. And in general, gross margins for luxury brand items are about 65 percent.

In the end, the final price doesn’t always reflect the true value of the item itself. Some pieces require careful design and research, and this costs money. Furthermore, according to an article from The Business of Fashion, “There are many steps along the way that contribute to the final price. There are the costs of raw materials, design, manufacturing, and fulfillment.”

On top of that, there are marketing and advertising costs to consider.

So, in the end, you are not just paying for a piece of clothing. You are also helping to pay for the brand’s image and marketing campaigns.

Designer brands work to make their items desirable

Sometimes, the more expensive an item is, the more it appears exclusive and special. Therefore, brands will sometimes increase their prices to increase consumer desirability. And the more we want something, the harder it is to resist.

This is especially true when there are glamorous ad campaigns persuading you to buy, buy, buy.

Wait until the dress is on sale

If the quality of the dress isn’t out of this world, and if the dress itself is super expensive, be patient and just wait. In fact, most brands offer site-wide, storewide and special sales throughout the year. So, keep an eye on your dress and wait for the price to drop.

Waiting also helps you decide if it’s really worth the money. Plus, it helps you budget and set aside money before you swipe your credit card.

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Brands that are offering transparent pricing

Not all brands are jacking up their prices way above the original cost of production. In fact, two brands that are standing out. Are they high-end, designer fashion labels? Not at all. However, they are challenging consumers to think about not only what they buy, but how much they spend.

Oliver Cabell

Oliver Cabell is an independent footwear brand that offers top of the line shoes minus the markups. When shopping their online store, you get a clear price breakdown of all production costs and the actual price of the shoe. You can also see the factories they partner with for a truly transparent shopping experience.


Like Oliver Cabell, Everlane offers high-quality basic pieces without the traditional markups. For every piece, you get to see the exact costs of each production step. What’s more, it’s a favorite brand for the bride-to-be, Meghan Markle, so it’s already a winner in many people’s books.

The designer dress you have your eye on may be worth all that money. But it might not be. So, it’s important to do a little research to decide if it’s a good investment or not.

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