Why Spend More?

Recently I’ve wondered what it is that makes people willing to spend more money for clothes when there are tons of stores out there that offer clothes at a far lower price. The focus of this question is Aritzia, the women’s clothing store. Everything there has been on sale recently, which I’ve taken advantage of on more than one occasion, but even their sale prices are on the high end. A hat costs $14 on sale, and the original price is $30. A similar hat can be found at Forever 21 for $11.90. What makes people pay for the more expensive hat?

Quality must be a factor. No one wants to spend that kind of money for clothes that won’t last. Aritzia is a Canadian brand that claims to make clothes for Canadian weather, but I’m sceptical. I’ve noticed that some of their $40 shirts, while soft, are made from very thin fabric. The stitching goes right off the end of some shirts, but that could easily be excused as the “style”. I have a blazer from Aritzia that looses buttons too easily for a blazer I paid that much for. At the same time, nothing I have gotten from Aritzia has ever torn or worn a hole. Buttons may fall off easily, but they are made from some sort of metal instead of plastic and the paint is finished with a high gloss. Fabric (not the thin ones) can be silk, comes in colours that don’t fade so easily. Quality may be a factor, but only for some products, or some areas of products.

Style could be the biggest reason for exuberant spending. Personally, only a handful of Aritzia’s styles are the kind of thing I’d wear (I suppose being on the younger end of their 20-30 age target could be part of the reason for this) but when I find something I like the look of, I really like the look of it. Most young women in my hometown have something from Aritzia in their wardrobe. With my time in England, I find the fashions at Aritzia to have a european edge to them which is appealing.

Culture is often overlooked. As I said, most young women in my city own at least one Aritzia item. It’s become a pop culture brand, and the popularity is the best advertising the company has. Celebrities wear the brand and magazines feature it.  Women read the magazines and follow the celebrities, then buy the brand.

Whatever it is that makes people spend more for a particular brand, it’s working for Aritzia. I will also add that although I focused on Aritzia for this article, and Aritzia sells womenswear, the behaviour of shelling out more for a particular brand is just as noticeable if not more so in men. While my female cousins brag about how much they saved at a sale or what a deal they got at a store, Ive known more men in my life who show of their collection of Nike and Adidas shoes and compare watches over poker while I try to figure out what makes a more expensive watch better. But those are just the people I know.

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