Mulberry bag

zara fitted check dress

Within my circle of friends, there are two camps when it comes to shopping designer vs high street. I have friends who shop solely on the high street and others who mix and match designer pieces, with their carefully selected high street purchases. Do I have friends who only buy from designer labels…no! Why would they?High street stores have stepped up their game in a big way. You see, I still remember a time when buying from the high street meant having very little to choose from. In terms of the current catwalk trends and stylish well-made pieces – if you wanted something that you would find in a magazine, you had to head for your nearest department store to find that label. Now, high-end ‘glossies’ feature a wider range of high-street and designer brands and most of us know that with the right eye, you can kit out an amazing wardrobe in three easy steps – Zara + Topshop + Primark.This said, there will always be something special about buying from a designer label…the idea of buying luxury.In many ways, when you buy a designer piece you are buying much more than just an item of clothing, you are buying into an idea, a lifestyle, even an elite club. This is not to say that designer brands are just about marketing. There are a number of amazing designers, who use their creativity and imagination in diverse ways to create works of art for the body. But, quite often just knowing that you are carrying a Mulberry bag, or wearing Prada shoes has a strange way of putting a spring in your step! Is that down to the quality, design or just the brand marketing? OR is it all three?

And it is not just clothing.Many of the world’s most recognisable fashion icons have gone on to lend their names to interior design. Armani, Chanel and Missoni are just a few examples and some of their creations are beautiful. Not all of us have the budget for it, but it is true that investing in a designer label can mean that you are buying something that is not part of mass production and has been created with more love and attention to detail.Case in point: I recently bought some designer bed linen.  I could possibly have sourced them elsewhere for cheaper, but what I wanted was quality. I felt buying ‘designer’ meant that I would be assured of getting the best quality possible. Once I had my bed linen, I compared them with previous ones that I had bought from cheaper stores and I could really see the difference. My bedroom is my sanctuary, a place where the stresses of the day melt away – my new sheets are an indulgence, but they look and feel pretty darn good and for me have been worth every penny.But don’t be fooled. My sheets are now on my bed, along with my Primark throw, Designers Guild and Ikea cushions, and right next to my Asda candle.You see, I think intelligent shopping is really about balance. Getting the best out of your purchase is about knowing where and when to splash the cash for  a bit of luxury and when to head for Poundland.

Feather and Black

Buying only designer goods just does not make sense, especially when there is now so much choice. Mixing and matching your shopping is the way forward, it can benefit your wardrobe, your home and your bank balance – plus you feel far less guilty when it comes to buying that little bit of luxury every now and again!